"Ancient Aliens" Ratings Are Falling While Paranormal Shows Draw Bigger Crowds
Even I would not have guessed that swapping out To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science’s show Unidentified for William Shatner’s The UnXplained would produce such dramatic results—for Ancient Aliens. The UnXplained has run even with or outpaced Unidentified, and in its latest outing it brought in 1.127 million viewers in live plus same day viewing, according to Nielsen figures. But the effect on Ancient Aliens, one of the History Channel’s tentpole series, has been devastating. Yet again this week, Ancient Aliens viewership came in well below one million viewers, racking up the show’s consistently lowest ratings for new episodes since it returned to the History Channel from H2 several years ago. (It previously hit a similar low during a special one-off showing on a Monday, when viewers weren’t aware it would be on.) This past week, just 865,000 people watched in live plus same day viewing.
By comparison, 1.2 million people watched last week’s new episode of Expedition Unknown on the Discovery Channel, while nearly half the audience tuned out for the alien-themed Contact, Discovery’s rip-off of Unidentified, which aired immediately after. Contact had just 758,000 viewers.
It’s hard to say what exactly has caused nearly a third of Ancient Aliens’ audience to drift away. It certainly isn’t that they are doing other things since they have tuned in for William Shatner. It might be that Ancient Aliens is just on too damn much and audience fatigue sets in. It might be that William Shatner’s show just seems fresher, so if you are going to pick one to watch, you’ll pick the newer one. Or it might be that the boring sameness of this season’s Ancient Aliens episodes, which have been much more repetitive than usual, is finally driving some viewers away.
The real explanation might be simpler. Current tastes in paranormal programming have been swinging away from aliens and toward demons and ghosts for the past year, as evidenced from the massive slate of new ghost-hunting and demon-tracking shows in production, including A&E’s revival of the original Ghost Hunters. We might have finally hit a tipping point where the viewership for fringe programs has decisively shifted from aliens to the paranormal—at least until that trend burns out, too.
8/14/2019 09:34:27 am
Jason, you are focusing on first day viewership in your analysis of the entertainment industry. There are delayed viewers, DVD sales, very importantly ost of production per viewer, international sales and other issues.
An Over-Educated Grunt
8/14/2019 08:46:50 pm
George R. R. Martin?
8/15/2019 10:05:56 am
I don't know. Does he smoke pot?
8/14/2019 10:15:42 am
How can anything with an 88-year-old host be called "fresh"?
8/14/2019 04:47:24 pm
The same way people sell fresh prunes.
8/14/2019 04:07:03 pm
Yes, despite the best efforts of Tom DeLonge, TTSA, Lu Elizondo, George Knapp, Leslie Kean, and shills at the New York Times, Politico, etc., interest in UFOs among the general public is falling off. And Millennials never gave much of a rat's patoot about them anyway. Cheeze-its. They're artifacts of their parents' and grandparents' generations.
Harvey the White Rabbit
8/14/2019 07:04:37 pm
I sure wish the wheel would turn and "reality" shows would start to lose viewers. That was one of the things that ruined History Channel, all that quasi-reality horseshit. Shows about people pretending to run a pawn shop, cruising the roads of America buying crap hoarded away in barns, cutting down trees, hunting alligators, living alone in Alaska with only a production crew to keep you company and finally building swords, knives and axes out of scrap metal.
8/14/2019 07:44:52 pm
Don't forget Real, little housewife ice road truckers, apprenticing to live naked and survive on a deserted island while competing to be dancing, master chefs who make moonshine as they date eligible bachelors racing around the world in fishing boats looking for real estate deals while singing songs to become rich and famous like the Kardashians.
8/14/2019 11:04:36 pm
If you think it’s bad now, just wait a few more years when conventional broadcast television is dead and such programming is provided almost exclusively through YouTube type outlets which are dominated by lunatics who produce their own content. It’s pretty scary already.
8/14/2019 07:55:05 pm
"When there's an oversupply of any commodity, the demand for it goes down. Economics 101"
8/14/2019 10:58:56 pm
Jason, off topic, but did you see this article ?
8/15/2019 10:45:45 am
8/15/2019 03:16:17 pm
Don't blame us for dragging Dragoo's name through the mud.
8/15/2019 07:57:42 pm
Oh yeah, and Fowkes too. And Snow and Webber.
8/16/2019 03:33:41 am
You already said "Fowkes" immediately above. RUOK?
8/16/2019 10:38:15 am
"During World War II, Hibben served in the Navy as a commissioned officer and aide to Admiral Foy of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C. His duties were to memorize final battle plans and carry them--only in his mind--to commanding officers in the various war theaters. He was in a plane shot down toward the end of the war by a German submarine, and carried shrapnel until his death."
8/16/2019 10:44:21 am
Kent, you keep making points to yourself. Fortunately, few other people are as deluded.
8/16/2019 11:29:34 am
So you have a copy of his DD-214 or the equivalent at the time?
8/16/2019 02:04:19 pm
Kent, that you do not know the difference in Iroqouis between "giant" and "stonish giant" demonstrates stupidity. That you can not understand that there was and is a difference demonstrates s deeper mental defect. That you think that it does not matter demonstrates a contempt for the Five Nations and Native Americans generally.
8/16/2019 04:11:30 pm
In other words you've got nothing.
8/16/2019 09:32:36 pm
Look, asshole, for years I have worked in the deadly serious field of documenting recent asteroid and comet impacts. I d not have much time for stupid, retarded racists.
8/17/2019 04:15:56 am
... and the profanity. I googled the phrase you began with and you use it quite a bit on this site, don't you? I thank Wematanye that I'm not like you. It must be sad.
8/17/2019 12:06:18 pm
8/17/2019 01:10:17 pm
"Photographs taken in 1941 at the Cripple Creek mine located just west of Fairbanks, Alaska. (a) Frank C. Hibben on August 3, at right, holding a broken mammoth’s humerus (Mammuthus primigenius) and an unidentified person holding bison skull fragments (Bison priscus) at one of Otto Geist’s fossil discard piles (see Supplementary Information, “Historical note”). Maxwell catalog no.: Hibben_Ak41_neg15bw. (b) Otto Geist on August 4 standing next to a runoff stream from hydraulic jets (monitors) used to thaw and wash away the muck overburden (background), and expose the gold-bearing gravels (see Fig. 2). Note the logs, branches, and other plant material protruding from the fined-grained frozen mucks. Maxwell catalog no.: Hibben_Ak41_neg16bw. Both photographs are from the Frank C. Hibben Photograph Collection, courtesy of the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, University of New Mexico."
8/17/2019 02:13:12 pm
Only the wise counsel of Wematanye stays my hand. That and distance, and lethargy, and a fanatical devotion to the Pope. But I have to ask:
8/17/2019 04:06:16 pm
"Kent, that you do not know the difference in Iroqouis between "giant" and "stonish giant" demonstrates stupidity."
8/18/2019 10:54:28 am
Look buddy - You are not fit to lick Hibben's shoes.
8/18/2019 11:54:08 am
Is that your kink or do people actually go around licking other people's shoes? I haven't seen it.
8/15/2019 02:05:56 pm
I thought that the market for ghost hunting in terms of cable TV, movies, youtube, etc. was already approaching a glut. But then again I don't keep a tally of such things and don't know the difference between a ten year old re-run and a hot new release.
8/16/2019 03:39:33 am
Any young lady worth her cheap beer is entertaining. Alternatively, cheap young ladies and entertaining beer, It's all good as Wolter says his lunatics. This new guy "Key" is quite a specimen although one hesitates to diagnose from a distance.
8/16/2019 02:08:44 pm
Ah Doc, if we are lucky, as we grow older we learn that sometimes young ladies like cheap beer.
8/16/2019 03:31:11 pm
8/16/2019 04:26:54 pm
Windowless panel van.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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