“Grimm” is one of those network shows that is hard to classify. Its live ratings have never been altogether great, but at the same time it flourishes in DVR viewings and streams. Also, it gets a little bit of a pass because it airs on Friday nights.
We are now getting to the point where some of its problems could all be rising to the top. The show has already met its syndication threshold, and while it has devoted fans, its ratings are not at the level that most major networks would accept. Does it have enough in the tank for a sixth season? This is something we’ll be investigating further in the latest chapter of our Ratings Bubble Report series.
The good news – As we’ve said, streaming and live+7 data for this show is pretty great. It’s never been a show that a ton of people watch live, and due to it being somewhat under-the-radar to begin with, it can maintain these ratings without too heavy a promotional campaign. NBC can keep it on Fridays (where its ratings are never good to begin with and the network has struggled to figure the night out), and it can continue to satisfy its fans for at least another year or two. Also, it keeps them with a bona fide genre show in their catalogue; with “Heroes: Reborn” ending, they’re going to be lacking that elsewhere.
The bad news – The ratings have gone down steadily the past few years. Season 5 so far is down over 20% in the 18-49 demographic from season 4, which was down almost 18% from season 3, which was down 14% from season 2. (The second season actually performed better than the first, so season 3 is where the bleeding started.) With the current trajectory in mind, could a 0.8 or a 0.7 rating become the new normal in a sixth season? That may not be something NBC wants to risk, even with good data in other measures. Live ratings are still where most of the money is made.
Renewal odds – Moderate to moderately high. Ultimately, there’s still a lot of time left this season for “Grimm” to show improvement (season 5 returns on January 29), and we also think what the show has going for it is at least one more year without having to renegotiate anything. Why not keep the show for one more season 6, then promote season 6 as the end if you’re concerned about live ratings?
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