The survival of shows thrive on ratings. If a show gets bad ratings it will not survive. I’m not here now to talk about how the way ratings derived is flawed. did that lat year in a multiple part series. Now, it’s time to talk about how much ratings affect shows and the major down turn in ratings numbers that has happened over the past few years.
Shows live and die by the ratings they receive. Good ratings mean that people in the target demos are tuning in to watch the show on the day it airs or within 24 hours. Every show is subject to ratings. A show with high ratings will garner more attention and thus be more lucrative i the eyes of advertisers. Thus the quality of a show bears no relevance to shows with high ratings. You can have a terrible show, but if people are turning in to watch that terribly and not a really good show, thegood show is going to get the ax That is ultimately what a show comes down to, advertisers. Advertisers want people to see their ads. If less people will see the ad on a lower rated show they become less lucrative for a network.
What is most interesting is that in the past few years have taken a major downturn. Where previously it wasn’t uncommon for ratings to be in high 3s and 4s. A bad rating then would be dropping into the 2s. Now, most ratings are in the 2s with it not being uncommon for shows in the mid to high 1s to get renewed as well. The outliers have now becoming shows that high 4s. Ratings are now so low that it’s complete change over from what we used to see. This means trouble not for tv shows, but for the networks. Standards have had to be adjusted to accommodate for the now low ratings that are commonplace.
Much of the cause of the ratings downturn is the lack of reliance of same day airing. It’s no longer important to watch TV live if you want to see it. There are now a multitude of ways for people to watch shows. There’s on deman and there’s hulu. Some people wait for entire seasons to finish in preference of binge watching an entire season rather than watching week to week. Everything has changed in the way the we watch TV and it will only continue. There is a groundswell of young adults like me who are opting to cut out cable entirely and rely on streaming services. The mentality is why should I bend to the schedule of TV when it can bend to mine. Things will only get worse for ratings as people with this mindset flood the target demo slowly pushing out older generations that may be more willing to prescribe to a schedule.