Nickelodeon’s Ratings Woes Return: New Series Premiere Soft, TMNT Returns Low

Henry DangerUpdated 9/17: Article updated throughout to expand on analysis and to include kids demo ratings for last week – which paints an even bleaker image for Nick.

Nickelodeon’s newest attempt at a relaunched Saturday night of premieres fell soft. The night featured the official series premiere of Henry Danger (after airing a one-hour movie in July), the series premiere of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, the second season premiere of The Thundermans as well as new episodes of The Haunted Hathaways and AwesomenessTV.

New series didn’t pack much punch

Nick had some idea of Henry Danger’s ratings potential when the series previewed in July with a one-hour pilot (promoted as a movie) that scored 1.943 million total viewers. Last Saturday’s official premiere scored 1.571 million viewers. That was followed by the series premiere of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn which actually grew on the Dan Schneider-created Danger with 1.603 million total viewers. Obviously, both are disappointing numbers to say the least.

Returing series didn’t fare well either

The second season of The Thundermans got underway at 9pm with 1.561 million total viewers – low for the series, which has scored at or above 2 million viewers for much of its first season. The Haunted Hathaways, which returned for season two in July, scored 1.282 million viewers at 7:30pm. That series has faced lower ratings since losing Sam & Cat as a premiere lead-in. The non-Nick produced AwesomenessTV at 9:30pm scored 1.271 million viewers.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 02

Turtle trouble too

That’s not the only bad news. Friday night’s return of Nick’s green team was pretty sad too. Despite the profitable movie in theaters a month ago, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CGI show returned after two months with a low 1.332 million total viewers. This is the same Friday spot that doomed Korra for book two and three. Nick has transitioned TMNT from Saturdays to Fridays to Sundays and now back to Friday. Why? Who knows. Either way, Sunday morning’s encore of the same new episode scored a slightly higher 1.543 million viewers.

The ratings game and why it matters

Ratings are a tough game to play. I no longer cover them on a regular basis here on the site (so many other sources provide original data, and interpreting it all can be tedious), but it’s still very important to watch and pay attention to realize what’s going on and what may end up happening to a show’s future and the network’s schedule. Ratings are integral to a series renewal, but not always 100% either way.

Every situation is different, though. In this case, Nickelodeon’s two new series that premiered Saturday night are created and produced by the network with no built-in support otherwise. Continued low ratings will only spell a fate like many of Nick’s other sitcoms of the past five or so years. The Turtles, on the other hand, provides a lot of revenue to the network in other ways (merchandise, the live-action movies, etc.) and that show’s future is secure – for now at least.

For the week of September 8 – 14:

Ratings overall are down everywhere. Nickelodeon last week averaged a very low 1.096 million total viewers, ranking #5 for the week. Disney Channel tied for second place with 1.141 million (tied with Adult Swim) and Cartoon Network ranked seventh with 901,000 viewers.

With Kids 2-11, Disney Channel placed first (595,000), Nickelodeon second (589,000) and Cartoon Network third (405,000). With Kids 6-11, the order was the same with Disney (407,000) spanning Nick (307,000) by a larger margin and Cartoon Network (274,000) not far behind Nick. And with Tweens 9-14, Disney was the clear winner (346,000) with Nick (206,000) and Cartoon (200,000) very close at second and third.

The top programs for the week with kids 2-11 and 6-11 are also another big blow to Nick. Surprising is Cartoon Network’s top placement with Steven Universe at the #2 spot with Kids 2-11 (1.312 million viewers age 2-11). Teen Titans Go! followed at third (1.270 million). Disney took seven spots of the top 10 with Cartoon having the other three. Nick at zero.

With Kids 6-11, Disney and Cartoon again shared top spots with Disney’s movie at #1, Teen Titans Go! and Steven Universe right behind. Disney had six in this category and Cartoon Network had three. Nick should be happy to know that returning series The Thundermans scored as their top show for the week with K6-11 and ranked #8 overall (907,000 viewers age 6-11).

Episode ratings via @SonOfTheBronx on TV Media Insights; weekly total viewer data from TVbytheNumbers.com; demo ratings via Cynopsis Kids.