"Search for the Lost Giants" Tanks in Ratings, Loses Almost 40 Percent of "Curse of Oak Island" Lead In
It’s official: Search for the Lost Giants is a dud!
According to preliminary figures released yesterday by A.C. Nielsen, Curse of Oak Island brought in more than 2.6 million live plus same day viewers, while Search for the Lost Giants squandered nearly 40 percent of its lead in, bagging just under 1.6 million live plus same day viewers, fewer than the 8 PM rerun of Curse of Oak Island.
The new series’ performance was so far below expectations that History chose not to mention the show in bragging about its Tuesday night ratings performance in a press release.
The numbers are especially disappointing since they represent only a minor improvement over the typical viewer haul for America Unearthed or Ancient Aliens on sister station H2, a channel seen in far fewer homes. History is seen in 99 million homes, while H2 is available to just 63 million homes, according to A+E Networks figures.
Among Search viewers, just 500,000 were in the coveted adults 18-49 bracket, meaning that two thirds of the program’s viewers were over the age of 50 or under 18. (Very few are likely to be under 18.) By contrast, 1.1 million adults 18-49 watched Curse, an increase of 24% over last year.
Viewership for Search, and its stars, Jim and Bill Vieira, may have been impacted by History’s decision to air the pilot episode opposite election night coverage, but since Curse actually gained 4% over its season one premiere while airing on the same night opposite the same coverage, this seems unlikely.
This hasn’t stopped the media from using Search for the Lost Giants as an excuse to give conspiracy theorists free reign to rant about Smithsonian conspiracies and lost giants. The Huffington Post, for example, had the Vieiras on their webcast to discuss giants. But far worse: On the community blogs for South Milwaukee Now, Kristan T. Harris, a 2012 Republican platform committee member and libertarian activist, used the show as an excuse to rant about how the government is trying to suppress the truth about Bible giants—under the heading of “The Critical Thinker!” Apparently Harris has been publishing a series of articles on old newspaper accounts of giants on the community blog of South Milwaukee Now, and these attracted the attention of Search’s Jim Vieira.
Harris praises Scott Wolter as a “trailblazer” and also delivers this masterpiece of journalistic research in condemning the Smithsonian for not endorsing Harris’s belief in Bible giants:
The Smithsonian Institute seems to be a recurring theme in recent controversial discoveries. So why the “Giant Cover Up”? Federal whistle-blower Stew Webb claimed on The Rundown Live that fraternity and secret society Skull & Bones holds all the powerful positions of influence in the Smithsonian. He was married to one of the “Bushes”.
The quotation marks around “Bushes” are a nice touch, but the tie-in to the Jewish Banking Conspiracy only serves to underscore how the quest for Bible giants, like so many other right-wing historical fantasies, is inseparable from a cultural revitalization movement focused on Christian fundamentalism. Stew Webb, self-described whistleblower, proudly quotes fans on his paranoid-survivalist-conspiracy theory website praising him for going after “Zionist organized crime,” and presents “evidence” from an alleged US Intelligence source that the Jews are in league with “djinn” and “demons” to take over the world. The use of such terms makes plain that the people they are taking it from are good, God-fearing Christians—the kind that buy the “survival seeds” and “patriot supplies” he hawks for profit.
I am dumbfounded that Harris can be a libertarian and a member of the GOP platform committee and still think that the government is run by evil Jews and their secret Illuminati bloodline henchmen. So why does Harris work for them?
After watching the quest for giants descend into anti-Semitism, I think we need a bit of a palate cleanser to finish up today.
Usually when celebrities opine on their love of Ancient Aliens they say something really stupid about how deeply they believe everything Giorgio Tsoukalos says, like Megan Fox and Katy Perry have done. Fortunately, Daniel Radcliffe seems to live up to his Gothic near-namesake Ann Radcliffe by finding a skeptical explanation for the supreme silliness of Ancient Aliens, as he told People magazine last week:
I went through a heavy Ancient Aliens phase. It’s so silly but brilliant. I was like, “How are they going to distort history to involve aliens in this one?” I feel like it has become the template for all other crazy History Channel shows.
Now if only the rest of the media would pick up on this and stop helping History and H2 distort history for profit.
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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