Television ratings are important for a multitude of reasons. Though the streaming age has complicated the measurement of audience size, pure ratings still indicate which shows are hot, which networks are thriving and how many advertising dollars a given series can pull in. Earlier this week, we took a look at the top-rated networks in the advertiser-friendly and highly coveted 18-to-49 demographic, complete with which shows were making a killing. Today, we’re less positive.
Here are broadcast television’s five lowest-rated series.
The Alec Baldwin Show (ABC)
In the key demo, Baldwin’s talk show earned just a .3 rating throughout the 2018-19 TV season. In terms of live-plus-same-day viewership, it’s averaging 1.3 million viewers throughout its first season, though audience size has shrunk every week except one.
The Alec Baldwin Show is an hourlong weekly talk show in which the titular host conducts one-on-one interviews with American pop culture luminaries such as Kim Kardashian West, Robert De Niro and Jeff Bridges. This isn’t Baldwin’s first time in that chair either—he briefly hosted Up Late with Alec Baldwin for one season on MSNBC.
The third season of CBS’ crime drama is averaging a lowly .3 rating in the key demo and 2.37 million live-plus-same-day viewers. The show follows crisis and hostage negotiator Eric Beaumont (Luke Roberts) as he and his team pull off impossible rescues thanks to Eric’s unique understanding of criminals.
In recent years, pure viewership has become less central to the formula that dictates whether or not a series is renewed. For example, Ransom reportedly performs well overseas and boasts a decent enough profit margin for the network. As such, it’s anyone’s guess whether or not it will get the ax.
Paradise Hotel (Fox)
Reality television: inexpensive unscripted drama that historically yields big profits for networks. With the dating competition Paradise Hotel, Fox is hoping to do the same by sticking a group of attractive people on a tropical resort. Unfortunately for the network, the show posted just a .4 rating and 1.20 million live viewers. The numbers were so underwhelming that Fox actually pulled two episodes off its lineup this week, suggesting that a cancellation is imminent following its June 6 finale.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
S.H.I.E.L.D. has already been renewed for a seventh season despite Season 6 debuting to low numbers. That .4 key demo rating and 2.24 million live viewership through two episodes is a noticeable dip from last season’s .53 rating. But don’t feel too bad for S.H.I.E.L.D.—it has passed the vaunted 100-episode mark, which signifies one helluva run and a lucrative syndication deal for its cast and creators. And ABC’s parent company, Disney, likely isn’t losing much sleep over S.H.I.E.L.D. Not when it has a standalone streaming service, Disney+, to worry about.
Red Line (CBS)
Uber-producer Greg Berlanti and Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay teamed up to executive produce CBS’ family drama. The show follows three very different Chicago families as they journey toward hope and healing after a tragedy connects them all.
Red Line posted a .4 rating while pulling in 3.85 million viewers this past season, which likely isn’t enough to score it a second season—it was billed as a “limited series,” which is meant to ensure that a second season has a set number of episodes.