It has been two weeks since the highly anticipated Teen Mom OG episode aired in which show executive producer Morgan freeman “fired” show star Farrah Abraham by delivering the ultimatum that Farrah either quit working in the adult industry or they would no longer be able to film her for the show. Just like we did with the highly anticipated episode in which Morgan Freeman announced to the cast members that Farrah Abraham would be returning to Teen Mom OG back in 2015, we decided to take a look at the “Farrah Factor” as far as the show’s ratings leading up to the episode, the episode itself, and the two episodes after.
When Farrah was brought back to the show it had a huge impact on the ratings, increasing viewership dramatically for the episode that she returned and the two episodes after. Farrah’s “firing” didn’t seem to have much of an impact at all:
The ratings for the actual Farrah firing episode were up from 1.077 million from the previous episode (two weeks prior) to 1.132 million. Those ratings have slowly declined in the two episodes since, although the decline seems to be in line with what was already happening this season. The episode after Farrah’s firing dropped to 1.097 million, and this week’s episode inched further down to 1.044 million.
You might have noticed if you checked out our previous “Farrah Factor” ratings graph that viewership is WAY down for the show overall, but the cable industry is a rapidly evolving entity these days, so there are a slew of factors impacting live ratings — like the growth of DVRs, as well as an explosion in streaming services and apps (like the MTV app).
That being said, it is pretty astonishing that the original Teen Mom flagship series is getting very close to dipping below one million live viewers! For comparison, TLC’s brand new teen pregnancy reality series Unexpected premiered with 999,000 viewers back in November. The show actually cracked one million later in the season, and finished with a VERY strong 1.162 million viewers.
Speaking of Unexpected, I thought it would be interesting to compare the ratings from MTV’s new show Teen Mom Young and Pregnant to see how they stack up with the competition at TLC. The answer appears to be…not very well. Not very well at all.
Teen Mom Young and Pregnant premiered to 666,000 viewers, and the three sixes were apparently a bad sign as ratings have dropped over the last two weeks. The second episode came in at 602,000, and the most recent episode Monday night managed only 534,000 viewers.
I have to admit I was a bit shocked by the dramatic difference in ratings for the two shows — especially the premieres! I suppose the argument could be made that TLC’s commercials for Unexpected were a little better, but it would still seem like the new series under the established Teen Mom brand would draw in more people initially. Audiences are going to grow or shrink based on how good the show is, but for Unexpected to START OFF with 50% more viewers is amazing to me. Perhaps MTV audiences just aren’t excited for new teen pregnancy shows, while it’s kind of a fresh thing for TLC viewers?
Either way, things are not looking good for Young and Pregnant. The show really needs to turn things around or it may be joining Teen Mom 3 (and Teen Mom NJ) in the franchise graveyard. Of course, producers may not see it as a total loss if the show doesn’t make it because they can use it as a farm system and perhaps take one or two of the most popular moms from the show and add them to either Teen Mom OG or Teen Mom 2.
Getting back to the Farrah firing — are you missing Farrah Abraham from the show? I don’t think anyone would argue that she definitely brought something unique to her 25% of the show, but are you missing the Farrah Factor?