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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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January 13, 2014 - 9:36 am
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The ratings are in. Shows that generate massive media buzz have flatlined well below the ratings of one show that media commentators and buzzmakers tend to ignore.

HBO’s Girls, which enjoys huge media buzz for featuring nudity and casual sex, saw its ratings fall upon its 2014 return.

Last night’s Season 2 premiere of Girls at 9 PM drew 866,000 viewers, a slight drop from the 872,000 viewers the HBO show drew for its series premiere on April 15 last year. Sunday’s premiere was also down from the series-high 1 million that watched the Season 1 finale on June 17. Over three plays last night — 9 PM, 10 PM and 11 PM — Girls had a total audience of 1.6 million, up 42% from the double showing of the series premiere. HBO was happy right away with Girls,rewarding the series with a 10-episode second-season pickup April 30 after only three airings. Sunday’s premiere came the same night the show’s creator and star Lena Dunham won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series and the show won Best TV Comedy.

So, HBO is “happy” airing a show that hardly anyone is watching, and that fewer are watching now than were watching a year ago.

E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians did a bit better than Girls. That show, which follows the lives of a vacuous and narcissistic family who are famous for being famous, still hauls in nearly 2 million viewers. But like Girls, its ratings are down. The Kardashians were bringing in about 3 million back in 2012. So about half of those who once kept up with the Kardashians, no longer do.

These two shows tend to generate far more favorable media stories, pictorials, commentary and noise than just about anything else on the TV landscape, even though both shows’ audiences are shrinking. They’re politically relevant, so the media tells us. The star of Girls, Lena Dunham, is busy telling people how to vote when she isn’t shedding her clothes for the cameras.

Year on year, while these two shows have declined in audience despite increasing media buzz around them, Duck Dynasty has built one of the largest audiences in all of TV. A&E’s cable show about the conservative, Christian Robertson family routinely gathers an audience of around 10 million viewers, and has beaten major broadcast network programming. Its 2013 Christmas special declined a bit to 8.9 million, yet still raked in an audience about 4 times the size of the Kardashians’ audience and about 10 times the size of Girls’ audience.

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Top Rated Comments   
It is by television audience standards. Those audiences are usually measured in millions. And the fact that the number is shrinking not growing means that the show can't remain viable for much longer.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lena Dunham is the chubby, obnoxious, barnacle friend you have to remove to get the hot chicks that she came in with number.

She's utterly plain. And being crass doesn't help.

Girls is merely a service show. Tedious dialog, and bad acting, to endure to see what passes for nudity or a sex scene. Big Love, the "L" word, Sex and the City, all the same.

How far as HBO and all the cable channels sunk to where to get any eyeballs on the screen at all they have to broadcast lame soft porn?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know this isn't an original observation but I think "Girls" would be more popular if seeing Lena Dunham naked didn't work like an ipecac.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
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Don't wish to be picky, but if 3 million people used to watch Kardashians, and 2 million do now, then about 1/3, not 1/2, of those who DID watch it stopped.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is why I tossed cable out. Nothing good to watch.

We do have Netflix - but is pretty much stupid as well.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The insipid Kardashian show is usually in the top 5 downloaded shows listed on Yahoo, so I think the kiddies are watching it on their phones, and not on TV.
The ratings system is out of whack now. They try to include DVR, but I have read numerous times that young people do not sit in front of a set that much, it is all about watching on their tablets or phones.
(I am thinking we are going to have a lot of older people with very poor eyesight in the near future!!)
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Media tells people who to vote for - why wouldn't they think that telling them what to watch would work out well?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ugly girl porn gets old really fast.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
That is so true! I tried to watch it once, just to see what all the buzz was about, but it was truly intolerable, and luckily I did not last long enough to have to endure looking at the poster girl for gayness without clothes, She is hard enough to look at WITH clothes on.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I googled 'Lena Dunham nude' and the first image was enough to give Nudity a bad name.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
masochist!
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
:-)
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
What "Economy" there is is being propped up, the Democrat Party is being propped up, Unions are being propped up, so why not that portion of the entertainment industry favored by our "betters" who now rule us?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Game of Thrones has plenty of sex and nudity--probably a whole lot more. The difference is that the chicks in Game of Thrones are hot. Lena Dunham and her buddies are ugly hogs that are only appreciated by fat-positivists, lesbians, and metrosexuals. People don't watch Girls because nobody in their right mind wants to see Lena Dunham's flabby tattoos.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
It couldn't be due to all of the people who see it and are uncomfortably reminded that the self-absorbed vapid airhead enthusiastically and sexually endorsed Saint Obozo with the same lack of critical thinking that they themselves did.

35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The trend I've been watching is all-black reality shows. I'm not sure who would want to tune in to watching women screeching and clawing at each other's weaves, and men bragging about their stables of willing vagina's, but evidently someone at the top of several networks thinks there's an audience out there for this sort of programming.

We're also seeing all-black remakes of movies like Steel Magnolias, Annie and Streetcar Named Desire. Does this mean that producers have given up entirely on non-black audiences, who evidently are spending all their time watching Duck Dynasty?
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder if people watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta for comedy???
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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