Teen Mom Young and Pregnant Premiere ratings tie lowest ever for franchise

MTV’s Teen Mom franchise continues to struggle to retain its audience. The network premiered the new season of Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant Tuesday night and the ratings for the episode tied for the lowest ever — for any Teen Mom show.

Just 161,000 viewers tuned in for the Premiere, exactly matching the season low ratings achieved by the fifth episode of the prior season. The numbers are extremely disappointing for the newest installment of the franchise after the show averaged above 700,000 viewers per episode during its first run.

Here’s an excerpt from our article about the ratings for the previous season of Young and Pregnant (Season 3a according to MTV?) addressing the episode that had just 161,000 viewers:

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.

As we try to point out in all of our television ratings posts, 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 the Teen Mom shows dominated, even when their viewership numbers weren’t on par.

Teen Mom shows used to consistently place in the Top 5 in “P18-49” for the night they aired, but that is no longer the case. The Teen Mom Young and Pregnant Premiere ranked 62nd among first-run cable episodes on Tuesday night with a P18-49 rating of 0.08.

MTV seems to think that a potential solution for the franchise’s poor ratings is the Jersey Shore-ification of the shows. And what I mean by Jersey Shore-ification is having all the moms get together in the same location where they can have some drinks and see what happens.

The Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant Premiere featured all of the moms, except Madisen Beith (who was a late addition to the cast), together in Los Angeles. In addition to filming some segments with cast members from Teen Mom OG, the Y&P moms hung out together and talked about some of their issues — including what it was like being on the show.

As a fan of the Teen Mom franchise since the very first episode, I will say that I am not a fan of the get together idea. Part of what made the franchise very unique in the modern reality show landscape was the fact that we got multiple stories that were completely unrelated to each other outside of a theme. Of course, it’s hard to argue with the fact that having the cast together in one place saves A LOT on production costs!

I assume the show will return to it’s segmented format in Episode 2, after all of the moms return home from their L.A. trip. We will have to wait and see if their stories are compelling enough to bring the viewers back. Stay tuned!

Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm. You can contact Asa via Twitter, Facebook, or email at starcasmtips(at)yahoo.com

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