Over the last couple of months I’ve seen a lot of talk on Teen Mom 2 forums and fan pages about how the show might get canceled by MTV due to extremely low ratings this season, so I thought I would clear up those rumors.
Yes, if you looks at the raw number of viewers tuning in to watch the episodes when they air, the numbers are down dramatically from the show’s peak popularity. The first two seasons of Teen Mom 2 were bringing in over three million viewers per episode, with some episodes inching above four million. Compare that to this season, which brought in between 1.5 and 1.75 millions viewers per episode (on average), and it does appear to be a serious issue.
But, as we pointed out last season, the show is seeing a massive shift from “live” viewers to people watching the show later — either via DVR, on demand, or re-airings. As an example, the June 6 episode had 1.636 million viewers that tuned in the day the episode aired. That number nearly doubled to 3.163 million over the next seven days — an increase of 93%.
The ratings look even better if you focus in on pretty much the only demographic that networks (i.e. advertisers) care about: viewers between the ages of 18 and 49. In that demographic, the June 6 episode of Teen Mom 2 went from a .9 rating to a 1.9 rating, the largest total increase of any original cable show that week other than HBO’s Game of Thrones. And the impressive 111% uptick was actually way down from the week before, as the May 30 episode of Teen Mom 2 went up 143% in the seven days after it originally aired.
The end result is that if you go by the same measurement that the industry uses (Adults 18-49 rating), Teen Mom 2 was the third highest rated original cable show for the week, behind Game of Thrones (5.4) and Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (2.0). The week of May 30 was exactly the same, with Game of Thrones (5.4) on top, then Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (1.8) followed by Teen Mom 2 (1.7) in third place.
For perspective, TNT’s scripted drama Rizzoli & Isles had almost double the viewers of Teen Mom 2 (6.216 million), but only garnered a 1.1 Adults 18-49 rating. To put it another way, a very high percentage of people who watch Teen Mom 2 spend money on stuff.
And remember, we’re not even figuring in the revenue and exposure MTV gets from all of the attention given to the show in the media! Then there are the popular preview and bonus clips — all of which run ads. And this is all when MTV seems to REALLY be struggling to come up with successful new shows, whether scripted or unscripted.