MTV continues to struggle to keep its Teen Mom franchise afloat as both Teen Mom OG and Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant are currently tanking in the ratings.
Teen Mom OG premiered in 2009 and has featured a total of 168 episodes over nine seasons. During the show’s run, it became one of cable television’s most viewed reality shows, with some episodes bringing in more than five million viewers. However, the show has been on a pretty steady decline over the past few years — due in part to the rise in popularity of streaming services (including the MTV app).
The current season (or half season) featuring Maci McKinney, Catelynn Baltierra, Amber Portwood, Cheyenne Floyd and Mackenzie McKee premiered on September 7 with a shockingly low 405,000 viewers tuning in. Over the course of the next 10 episodes, the ratings managed to push up over 500,000 a few times. However, viewer interest appears to be waning as last week’s episode brought in a meager 411,000 and this week’s episode fell all the way down to 395,000.
UPDATE – The Season finale episode managed to do a little better with 475,000 viewers tuning in.
To contrast those abysmal numbers, here is a graph from our post about the effect that Farrah Abraham’s firing had on the show’s ratings back in March of 2018:
Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant Ratings
As bad as Teen Mom OG is doing, Teen Mom: Young & Pregnant is doing much, much worse. (The show is currently on its fourth distinct season, but MTV lumps the first two seasons under Season 1a and Season 1b for some reason. As a result, MTV refers to the current run of episodes as Season 3.)
The September 7 premiere episode of Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant limped in with just 260,000 viewers. That’s a sizable drop off from the previous season’s finale, which brought in 470,000 viewers. It is important to note that there was reportedly some indecision on MTV’s part as to whether or not they were going to bring the show back for another season. As a result, there was a year and a half between episodes.
Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant stumbled out of the gate in early September, but stepped up over the next two weeks with 328,000 and 333,000 viewers respectively. The boost was short-lived, however.
The September 28 episode dropped to 262,000 viewers, and the following week the show nose dived all the way down to 161,000. I believe that is the lowest rated regular episode of any Teen Mom show ever, including the ill-fated Teen Mom: Young Moms Club series that only ran for five episodes after being revamped from its original Pretty Little Mamas incarnation.
Pretty Little Mamas brought in 440,000 viewers for its premiere. The second episode dropped to 317,000 and MTV pulled the show with no announcement. The show was heavily edited and relaunched as Teen Mom: Young Moms Club and averaged 312,000 viewers over five episodes. It was not renewed for a second season.
Getting back to Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant, the ratings have remained fairly stagnant over the past six weeks. The show has averaged just under 202,000 viewers during that time, with a high of 224,000 on October 19.
UPDATE – The Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant season finale didn’t fare much better. The November 23 episode titled “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back” brought in just 210,000 viewers. Here’s the updated chart with the finale episode included:
It’s important to remember that raw viewer numbers aren’t the most important metric for networks and advertisers. The most important number is what percentage of viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 are tuning in. This has always been a metric that the Teen Mom shows could dominate in, even if their viewership numbers weren’t on par.
Teen Mom OG was almost always in the top ten shows in P18-49, if not the top five. However, the ratings are SO low this season that the show barely made the top thirty on Tuesday. Young and Pregnant came in ranked number 83 for the night.
Despite the abysmal performance by Young and Pregnant in the ratings, The Ashley reports that MTV has renewed the show. From The Ashley on October 12:
“The show has been renewed for additional episodes, but the word behind the scenes is that only four girls have been asked back so far for the new episodes,” one of The Ashley’s sources tells her, adding that official contracts have not been signed by anyone yet as of press time.
It’s unclear if MTV plans to renew Teen Mom OG. Clearly, the cost of that show is substantially higher due to the fact that the cast is making exponentially more money than the moms and ads of Young and Pregnant.
I confess that I am very surprised that MTV has committed to additional episodes of Young and Pregnant. Then again, the network seems desperate to find ANY success in the non-competition reality show market. I think their last big hit was Catfish? Viewers can only watch Ridiculousness reruns so many hours of the day!