The medicine I’m taking for my sinus infection has left me drowsy, and I have to choose between being able to breathe or being awake. Right now, I’m choosing breathing, but it has left me with less energy for writing than I would like.
Since it’s been a slow 24 hours in the world of fringe history—and a rather slow month overall, truth be told—I thought it might be worth checking in on this past week’s Nielsen ratings. Project Blue Book sank a bit more this week, declining to 1.7 million viewers. This is significant because for the first time it lost more than 50% of the viewers from lead-in Curse of Oak Island, which drew 3.55 million viewers this week. The Travel Channel’s new “mystery” series intended to replace Expedition Unknown similarly made little mark. Legend Hunter with host Pat Spain, a grandnephew of Charles Fort, examines “mysterious” and “anomalous” phenomena and sensational crimes with an eye toward “questioning mainstream science.” It unintentionally answers the question of whether a mystery still exists if no one is around to observe it. The 10 PM series spent this week hunting for the Irish Crown Jewels, which interested only 377,000 viewers. But the Travel Channel—one of the Discovery Networks properties—can at least take heart that it isn’t fellow Discovery network Destination America, the rural-themed paranormal channel. That network’s Paranormal Lockdown series attracted only 120,000 viewers at 9 PM and 127,000 at 10 PM.
Sadly, these numbers mean that the Travel Channel must be practically orgasmic that reruns of America Unearthed continue to draw numbers around 20% higher than Travel’s original programs. America Unearthed attracted 412,000 viewers on Monday night from 8-10 PM, while their 10 PM offering, Lost Gold, brought in just 334,000 viewers.
So, it’s a mixed bag. The bad news is that the numbers seem to suggest that Travel would financially benefit from producing more America Unearthed and greatly increasing the network’s audience. The good news is that the numbers also suggest that less than 0.2% of Americans are watching the Travel Channel, so it may not make much of a difference beyond the core of true believers who are already watching.
But this Sunday we’ll get some useful data about how loyal the fringe audience is. Opposites the Super Bowl, History is airing another Ancient Aliens marathon. It will be interesting to see how many people tune in.
2/1/2019 09:24:34 am
Don't worry Jason, it sounds like more pseudo is on the way.
2/1/2019 09:26:04 am
Gee ! I have a choice Sunday between watching an over-hyped sporting event or an equally over-hyped series of reruns. Which should I chose ? Tom Terrific or Gorgeous Georgio ?
2/1/2019 09:45:02 am
You think the Brady Bunch are going to win ?
2/1/2019 01:03:02 pm
I wouldn't bet the hacienda on it ... but .. I think both Belichick and Brady & Co. have it in them to add one more ring to their collection ... and...ever since I had a run in with Georgia Frontiere many years ago, I have NEVER been a Rams fan.
2/1/2019 12:19:36 pm
What, you're not thrilled to see Spandex-clad rage-bros fight over a piece of dead pig on plastic grass? That's unAmerican!
2/2/2019 01:03:50 am
2/1/2019 09:55:43 am
Who is watching TV in 2019? We have something called 'internet' and young people are watching only internet. TV is used only by people 35+ years age. Every TV station has massive decrease in ratings and it's good sign because TV is really an ancient invention.
2/1/2019 10:18:31 am
The hills are alive with the sound of farting, with farts they have let for a thousand years. Fart on oh ship of state, move on to larger farts.
2/1/2019 11:18:21 am
"Project Blue Book sank a bit more this week, declining to 1.7 million viewers. This is significant because for the first time it lost more than 50% of the viewers from lead-in Curse of Oak Island, which drew 3.55 million viewers this week. "
2/1/2019 12:05:56 pm
I'm not celebrating its demise, Joe, and you're right that it is the highest-rated new scripted cable series of January. It has higher numbers than History's "Vikings" (which peaked at 1.92 million this season), but the interesting thing is that the show doesn't really do all that much better than any random trash that History has programmed in the post-"Oak Island" slot. The real question is whether the vastly higher costs of "Project Blue Book" justify the very small increase in ratings.
2/1/2019 01:36:53 pm
"... but the interesting thing is that the show doesn't really do all that much better than any random trash that History has programmed in the post-"Oak Island" slot. "
2/5/2019 11:43:54 am
Project Blue Book just got a 1.8 million overall viewer bump in the live +7 day ratings and more than doubled the amount of viewers in the preferred 18-49 demo. So it is most definitely doing better than previous offerings in the post Curse of Oak Island spot.
2/1/2019 11:28:29 am
Even a pseudo-science junkie like myself gets tired of watching when the same old shit keeps popping up in so-called "new" shows. I'm seriously considering switching to cartoons on Netflix.
2/1/2019 01:48:50 pm
Good choice. There's 5 seasons of Bojack Horseman available. Satire, farce, parody, sex, and talking animals! Just be sure to start from the beginning.
2/1/2019 01:24:10 pm
The Oak Island show is getting better now that they are finding lots of weird stuff, so much so that they haven't mentioned any Templar crap for a few weeks. They might be moving on to Vikings instead. If they invent Viking Templars, I'll be outraged.
2/1/2019 01:44:47 pm
Finding the remnants of a bulkhead at a cove really isn't weird or out of the ordinary. The Laginas also have to know that the cove in question had already been dug up about fifty years ago, and though "finger drains" had been found, they did not extend past the beach (and were likely remnants of a former salt works: http://www.criticalenquiry.org/oakisland/Dennis_King_Mar_2010.shtml)
2/11/2019 02:22:05 pm
Hate to spoil tomorrow's potential headline, but Project Blue Book was renewed for a second season.
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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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