As coronavirus continues to shut down much of global life, there isn’t a lot of news from the world of fake history, space aliens, and other imaginary things. The real virus commands much more attention than fictitious threats. So, today I am going to devote some of my time to making progress on revising the chapters for my upcoming book on pyramid legends. I’m not sure what will happen when the deadline hits since the publisher currently has its offices closed and the staff are working remotely, though not consistently. In the meantime, here are the latest ratings figures for Rob Riggle: Global Investigator and Ancient Aliens in a week when people are stuck inside and watching more TV.
Ancient Aliens rose slightly to 1.03 million viewers, but its share of younger viewers continues to remain low. Ancient Aliens is now only the fiftieth most watched show on Saturday in the coveted 18-49 demographic, behind even HGTV’s prime time decorating shows, which one wouldn’t expect to be a huge draw for young adults. Bizarrely enough, William Shatner’s The UnXplained attracted 1.07 million viewers but cleaned the clock of Ancient Aliens among viewers 18-49, making it the thirty-third most-watched show on Saturday for that demographic. I wonder who those few thousand young adults are who tune in just for Shatner.
Meanwhile, Rob Riggle: Global Investigator actually lost ratings during this week of increased TV viewing. His viewer haul fell to just 523,000, losing almost 50% of the audience for his lead in, Naked and Afraid. His only saving grace is that he attracted almost exactly the same number of adults 18-49 as Ancient Aliens, so his show eked out sixty-sixth place on their strength, despite his miniscule overall viewer total. The audience has spoken: They hate his half-assed, unfunny pseudo-history show.
On Tuesday, Curse of Oak Island continued to dominate the fringe history ratings, with 3.5 million viewers. It remains cable’s number-one nonfiction series, and it drew a massive number of young adult viewers. Last week, Expedition Unknown clocked in with 1.2 million. Its spinoff Expedition X scored 1.19 million, and the after-show, After the Hunt, had 815,000 viewers. All three Expedition Unknown shows attracted more young adult viewers than either Ancient Aliens or Rob Riggle.
3/19/2020 11:48:52 am
Considering there are zillions of planets it is very doubtful that space aliens are imaginary.
3/19/2020 12:49:16 pm
Not the point
3/19/2020 02:36:17 pm
Speaking of evidence I find it rather strange that experienced military men cannot tell the difference between an alien spacecraft and a weather balloon.
3/19/2020 11:57:45 am
Marketing is not my forte. I sorta understand the importance of the 18-49 demographic. However, it seems at times that it is overemphasized when shows go down the toilet for low 18-49 numbers despite having overall solid ratings. With an aging U.S. population and the fact that a retired 70 year old probably has more disposable income than an 18-22 year old college student or entry level worker I find it a bit hard to digest the 18-49 as the magic number. But then again that could be because my parents are still bitching about Longmire being cancelled by A&E for low 18-49 numbers despite attracting around 4 million viewers per season over 3 seasons.
3/19/2020 12:55:33 pm
I would guess it has to do with the target audience of people who buy advertising time during the show.
3/19/2020 02:16:23 pm
3/19/2020 02:29:25 pm
Advertising isn't as simple as running an ad to make viewers buy stuff. The 18-49 demographic is favored because advertisers believe they are the group that is most persuadable. Older consumers are thought (probably wrongly) to be brand-loyal and unlikely to change their habits in response to an ad. So it's not just about spending power but about whom you can lock into brand loyalty before age hardens their habits.
3/19/2020 02:49:41 pm
That makes sense, Jason. Is there any published research on this or is it more along the lines of what guys in expensive suits pitch to TV execs? I can see where getting them young in terms of brand loyalty could make some sense. On the other hand I would assume that there are many like me who are downright whorish in their lack of brand loyalty. I come from a family where most aren't inclined to get into fist fights over things like Ford vs. Chevy, though.
3/19/2020 05:02:46 pm
Doc, I'm thinking impulse buying plays a big part. Youngish working people with dollars to spend would be the prime target audience.
3/19/2020 05:43:29 pm
3/19/2020 12:07:25 pm
Last episode of Oak Island, they pulled the old permit has expired before they could venture further into what looked to be (to only them) a "flood tunnel". Kinda like the stories they peddled a century and a half ago where they strike something hard believing it to be a treasure vault... but it's dark, so they have to come back tomorrow... or was it Sunday and they had to go to church... and come back the next day to find the hole flooded. Well, whichever it was, this new "permit" wrinkle is a nice tip o' the cap to the con of old.
3/19/2020 03:04:30 pm
They have to add drama somehow.. The difference between Oak Island and the other shows is there appears to be at least an attempt to do a proper science. The claim is that the government requires them to have experts - ie an actual archaeologist etc. I get the feeling that they recognise that their desire to discover treasures like the ark of a covenant is just a dream, but that "what really happened here" is more the focus.
3/19/2020 09:23:27 pm
No, their "science" is just as corrupt as any other fringe history show. Their onsite geologist continues the charade that there are manmade flood tunnels on Oak Island; which was disproven as a matter of geology over a hundred and fifty years ago. I do remember a great line he got in on one show. A line worthy of Wolter himself. He gets a hold of something they dug up and says that it "looks like rock". Yeah... science.
3/19/2020 12:28:56 pm
I think the 18-49 viewer demographic is passé and over-hyped - usually by networks that have programing deficiencies. As the United States grays, this demographic has diminished and represents only 55% of the adult population - down from 62% a decade ago. This 18 to 49 demographic is a smaller percentage of the overall population in numbers. In the last year, 18-to-49-tear-olds have declined one percent since last year to 126,540 people.
3/19/2020 02:41:31 pm
"In the last year, 18-to-49-tear-olds have declined one percent since last year to 126,540 people."
3/19/2020 04:54:20 pm
Numbers are accurate but the sentence is fractured. I should have written that "....18-to-49-year-olds has declined by 1% ( 126,540 ) since last year." Sorry, I should have realized it was unclear.
3/19/2020 10:09:14 pm
Still completely wrong (assuming you're talking about the U.S. and not San Corridor). 126,540 is 1% of 12,654,000
3/19/2020 12:57:41 pm
That's encouraging, hopefully they'll mercy kill the show before it gets any worse, if that's possible.
3/19/2020 01:54:06 pm
One fortunate outcome of COVID-19 will likely and hopefully be the end to this show. Travel certainly won't be an option for a bit. I suppose they could restrict the stories to within the US.... Let's hope it just fails.
An Anonymous Nerd
3/19/2020 09:10:24 pm
3/25/2020 10:40:04 am
Hey Jason, I finally watched the first two episodes of Rob Riggle's show, and I gotta say....
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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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