We do want to start this particular “Scream Queens” article off by making one thing abundantly clear: We love the show, and feel like it does a pretty tremendous job week in and week out of being entertaining. Yet, at the same time, we do also acknowledge the fact that this show is not exactly looking as though it’s going to get another kick at the can on Fox. While we’d love to be wrong, there are some things standing in its way that are worthy of looking at.
First things first, let’s just look solely at the ratings for this season itself without any sort of tremendous context. The show is averaging a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic through season. That’s bad on any major broadcast network; it’d probably get you a renewal on The CW, but anywhere else, that’s a one-way ticket to the TV graveyard. It’s routinely losing in its timeslot to CBS, NBC, and ABC, in particular by “This Is Us,” which is throttling just about everything.
Given that this is a show that brought in Taylor Lautner and John Stamos to be series regulars this season, the easy assumption you’d want to make is that this show would end up scoring better numbers. Alas, that just isn’t happening.
Now, things are just as bad when you look at the comparisons year to year. At this point, the show is down almost 40% in the demo versus its average for season 1, and that’s no good no matter what network that you’re on or whatever your cast is. It’s one of the biggest year-to-year declines of broadcast shows this season. It’s once again a situation where it is difficult to identify the exact problem, given that you have quality here and you have a great cast.
If we had to pinpoint the issue for “Scream Queens” as best we can, we’d say that it’s this: The show struggles to know what its precise audience is. With that, we mean specifically that it never quite gets a good grasp on how to be edgy enough to please hardcore fans while getting a network TV audience. Fox was never really the right home for this; if it was on an FX or maybe even a streaming service like Netflix, we think it’d be served well with excess insanity that would allow more young-adults to take notice.
Like we said, we’d love to get more “Scream Queens” down the road, and we encourage everyone to watch live in order to see what happens. We’re just not extremely optimistic at present. (Photo: Fox.)