Returning "America Unearthed" Draws Just 440,000 Viewers, Beat by Reruns of Itself in Key Adult Demo
My new book on the history of the mound builder myth now has an official title: The Mound Builder Myth: Fake History and America's Hunt for a "Lost White Race." The official title is close to one of the titles I asked about in my survey last week, and that option scored a whopping 95% of votes cast! My thanks to everyone who participated in my survey over the weekend, and for all of you who offered thoughtful suggestions for alternative titles. Some elements from those suggestions have made their way into the final title.
The ratings are in for the relaunch of America Unearthed, and it did not exactly deliver boffo ratings. Prior to air, I predicted that the show would not crack 500,000 viewers, and I was … right. The 10 PM broadcast of the series scored 440,000 viewers with a 0.08 rating among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic. (All times reported here are Eastern.) Embarrassingly, the 10 PM broadcast scored a lower rating among adults 18-49 than the 8 PM America Unearthed rerun that led into the show. The rerun’s 360,000 viewers had a 0.09 rating in the key demographic. Over the weekend, America Unearthed reruns topped out at 370,000 viewers.
By comparison, last week in the same timeslot, Travel’s Bermuda Triangle: New Secrets drew 391,000 viewers and a 0.10 rating among adults 18-49. In its original run on the H2 network, America Unearthed bagged between 1.0 and 1.5 million viewers on any given week.
America Unearthed delivered just about exactly the same ratings for a new episode that it did for the first round of reruns that aired on the Travel Channel this spring. The show’s ratings were also just about on target for any old Travel Channel show any night of the week. A Haunting scored 397,000 viewers the day before, and on Friday Portals to Hell brought in 422,000 viewers and a 0.11 rating among adults 18-49. Both were dwarfed by Paranormal Caught on Camera, which drew 625,000 viewers the previous Wednesday at 10 PM with a 0.19 rating among adults 18-49 and In Search of Monsters, which bagged 479,000 and 0.13 among key adult viewers at 9 PM. Even The Dead Files outdrew America Unearthed among adults 18-49, bagging a 0.09 rating and 410,000 total viewers last Thursday at 10.
Since America Unearthed has been on something like a perpetual loop on Travel for the past week, it must be a disappointment that the lower-profile Portals to Hell and Paranormal Caught on Camera outdrew it. On the other hand, the show benefits from the fact that it draws basically the same number of viewers any time it airs, whether it is new or a rerun, so it is a stable performer and could be a utility player as Travel seeks to complete its transition from a travel-based network to an upscale home for ghosts and conspiracy theories to complement sister station Destination America, which provides similar programming for a downscale, rural audience.
5/31/2019 08:52:48 am
Ah, Jason, what perfect timing you have! Or maybe it’s — karma? Surely it cannot be mere coincidence that on the very day you announce your book title, I discover that the featured guest on Coast to Coast AM last night was none other than your old mound builder nemesis himself, LA Marzulli, who can now proudly proclaim to you:
5/31/2019 09:18:35 am
I hope you listened to the second half with Dr. Greg Miller. He also writes on Indian mounds. He is even crazier than Marzulli.
5/31/2019 01:58:50 pm
5/31/2019 10:28:48 am
"There are some 10,000 mounds in Ohio alone, but there weren't that many people to build them, Marzulli suggested, especially the large ones (the Octagon Mound was constructed with over 500,000 tons of earth)."
How does that work
5/31/2019 10:48:57 am
Reminds me of Biblical scholars (the historians, not the theologians, who are much worse).
5/31/2019 03:04:58 pm
Not all mounds are the size of Monks mound. Many more are quite small and could have been built by a small group in a rather short time. We know that people have been building mounds in North America for at least 2500 years. The Ohio River valley has historically been a great area for agriculture, hunting, and trade with significant numbers of people living there.
5/31/2019 03:40:37 pm
Hi Doc -
5/31/2019 04:22:21 pm
Mills was working over a century ago and I would be interested in how he arrived at that number. In other areas of the country it was common in the past for natural features such as ridge and swell, mima mounds, pimple mounds, and hillocks to be confused with mounds. Could be a gross overestimate, or not. Either way, a lot of mounds in Ohio isn't something to be automatically attributed to Nephilim. Not that Nephilim are a rational option to begin with.
Marzulli has concluded
5/31/2019 09:06:34 am
What ?! No sacrament involved
5/31/2019 09:15:42 am
Impossible to enter other gateways and portals without sacrament
5/31/2019 09:22:23 am
You called it! I don’t think the show will last long.
5/31/2019 09:50:18 am
Congratulations, I like your book title. Much success with it.
5/31/2019 10:51:27 am
You have negated yourself as a sober critic
5/31/2019 10:43:05 am
I guess those numbers are why Wolter is so testy on his blog.
5/31/2019 01:30:09 pm
Wolter wasn’t all that happy on Coast to Coast this week either. I think he has several episodes “in the can” as they say in the biz. He made a point several times that the show needs ratings to stay alive.
5/31/2019 04:51:07 pm
I noticed that in the months leading up to the first episode Wolter seemed a little more relaxed than usual in what he permitted on his blog and how he responded. That seems to continue with his new posting. He is still in batshit crazy mode in terms of attacks on the Catholic Church and Smithsonian. But on the other hand it looks like he is permitting some critical comments by others to appear there and hasn't really started in on the name-calling and personal attacks on individuals, yet.
6/1/2019 11:27:02 am
More comedy gold from Wolter on his blog. First he claims he doesn't lie. Then he goes on to lie, lie, lie:
6/1/2019 12:03:38 pm
You missed the best part:
6/1/2019 04:02:51 pm
Calcite don't lie.
6/1/2019 09:06:37 pm
Wolter is taking advantage of a semantic gray area when referring to "peer reviewed scientific laboratory reports." It is common practice for laboratories and research centers to circulate written work internally, or with known colleagues outside the facility, for an informal review by their "peers". That is not an actual peer review process as it is widely accepted. In fact, on several occasions I had papers receive a thumbs up in an informal review process by my "peers" in a research center only to have the same paper shot down in flames in peer review after it was submitted to a journal. The standards for the latter are significantly higher and unknown peer reviewers are more inclined to be brutally honest and find fault than colleagues that know you and want to be supportive.
6/1/2019 11:23:25 pm
I think what you say can be summed up as "A review by peers is not peer review." Similarly "A cup of coffee is not an Honorary Master's Degree."
6/1/2019 11:52:24 pm
Yes indeed, or for the sake of greater brevity just saying "Scott Wolter is a dumbass" works even better. But then you miss out on the shits and giggles from drilling down on this stuff.
5/31/2019 04:13:55 pm
"The 10 PM broadcast of the series scored 440,000 viewers with a 0.08 rating among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic."
6/1/2019 10:10:11 am
"Prior to air, I predicted that the show would not crack 500,000 viewers, and I was … right. "
6/1/2019 06:01:14 pm
Maybe this is what has gotten Wolters panties in a bunch, they are digging up Kensington Rune Stone Park and he isn't invited.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
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.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.