Edit for July 24th
Pirate Master has officially walked the plank for good, as CBS has pulled the show from its lineup and will stream the remaining episodes online each Tuesday. For more info, head to Variety. Or, really, less info, it’s not very informative.
So, Overnight Ratings are in, and Pirate Master was not embraced by viewers. At all. This highly advertised CBS Reality series was supposed to make a big splash, but it wasn’t appointment television for viewers [You can read Cultural Learnings’ full recap for more info]:
In series-premiere news, Survivor-clone Pirate Master on CBS did not fool the audience, with just 7.09 million viewers (#2) and a 2.4 rating/ 8 share among adults 18-49 (#2) from 8-9 p.m. Considering how tired the Survivor franchise is, what sense did it make introducing the same show with a different title this summer? Wouldn’t it have been better resting the format, and filling the hour with a game show? Bad move, CBS.
Now, there’s multiple reasons this probably took place.
The show faced competition from Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grade? and the Scripps National Spelling Bee, along with repeats of My Name is Earl and 30 Rock. A special event, an established reality series, and some solid comedy reruns: that’s a tough-ish draw for the summer.
2. The Jericho-fan led CBS Boycott
I’m not entirely convinced that the Jericho numbers are substantial enough to skew things at this stage, but CBS is certainly having some trouble launching what was supposed to be a sure-fire success. That’s got to count for something, and is definitely a buoy for the campaign. Yes, that’s right, a buoy. A Pirate Buoy.
3. The Mark Burnett Curse
Survivor might be surviving, but with The Apprentice gone and FOX’s On the Lot falling fast, Mark Burnett has gone from reality-tv poster child to washed up failure. Well, not quite, but still: his days as Midas have ended.
4. People were all Pirated-out
With At World’s End tearing up the Box Office over the past week, were people just already too mired in pirate-talk to really embrace such a series?
5. It was boring
While I think the premise has potential, the first episode definitely wasn’t a fast-paced affair. It was more of a “Here’s what could be interesting in the future”, which would turn people away fairly quickly.
Will this signal an end to CBS’ reality dirge? It is unlikely, considering they’re likely to just develop more. Still, for new summer reality series, things are not looking good in the least.
79 responses to “‘Pirate Master’ Walks the Ratings Plank”
I don’t know if those of boycotting CBS (and yes, I am one of them) is affecting the ratings, but believe me, we ARE NOT WATCHING CBS anymore. Not till Jericho comes back.
Thanks for this coverage, I am happy that someone is noticing the #2 reason you posted.
I for one am glad that it was a bust for CBS. I am boycotting all prime time shows on CBS, until they return Jericho for a second season. I am completely sick and tired of reality TV and dumbed down television. Give us something thought provoking like Jericho!
Now that was an awesome post; very fair, very interesting, and very analytical without being boring.
Hat tip to you. Now you have a fan.
I’m not over-sure whether the Jericho boycott(of which I am a part) had much of an effect, but I DVR’ed it, and I can guarantee that its ratings are going nowhere but down. Even survivor is better than this. I think many people tuned in out of curiosity, and are now going to abandon ship.
i will not turn on CBS till jericho is back on the air! cbs here that!
it was a show all my family loved!
I boycotted CBS, and will not watch CBS until they bring back Jericho..
I am sick and tired of reality tv. I know it’s cheap to produce and all. But come on, enough is enough! And like the others above, I am done with CBS until Jericho gets a season 2.
No CBS for me since Jericho was cancelled. No more CBS until it comes back.
It’s just another stupid reality show, with an unusually stupid theme.
CBS drops a quality show like Jericho – for this?
I’m also boycotting CBS until the renew Jericho for another season.
Hi there…thanks for taking notice of the Jericho campaign! Jericho fans CAN make a difference and are choosing not to watch other CBS shows…until they bring back a SECOND SEASON! It is the smartest business decision CBS can make.
Yep, our family is another who is boycotting CBS until they bring Jericho back. It was the only show we watched on CBS anyway, and they shot themselves in the foot by getting rid of it.
Survivor is getting long in the tooth and this was their plan to replace it?
CBS is on the verge of setting a new record for shows that bomb this season – have you seen their 07-08 schedule???
Cane, Power of 10, Moonlight, Big Bang Theory, Viva Laughlin, Swingtown and the worst of them all Kid Nation – check them out on TV.COM. Most of these have serious negative buzz – score 1 or 2 out of 10. I still remember NBC and Fred Silverman who delivered a whole load of bombs in the worst TV season back in 1983, the year I graduated from highschool – Manimal was the signature disaster of that year. CBS deserves to go down in flames after killing Jericho. Nuts to CBS !
There’s no way of knowing what caused the Pirate show to ‘sink,’ but if the fact that my family has ‘cancelled’ CBS television in light of its decision about “Jericho” had anything to do with getting the attention of the executives…then good. It may be somewhat old fashioned in today’s ‘disposable’ society…in which customer loyalty doesn’t mean much to the turnstile accounting of big box consumerism…but in our household, we believe the customer is still always right. This customer wants more “Jericho.” And until it is available…we will be shopping for entertainment elsewhere! Period.
I know I am one of those people who didnt watch Pirate Master because of our CBS save Jericho boycott. I told all my friends and family not to watch also.
Thanks for the review !
Yes, I’m also one of the folks belonging to the Save Jericho Campaign, but that had nothing at all to do with me not watching Pirate Disaster. The very idea of another lame “reality ” show does nothing at all for me, or judging by the ratings, anyone else.
I’m positive CBS will have plenty of open time slots for Jericho when shows like Kid Nation & Pirate Disaster are canceled !
Thanks again, Dwight
No CBS in my house until Jericho comes back.
I boycotted this show due to the cancellation of Jericho and my family will not have CBS on again in any form until Jericho is back on the air.
Add another to the “I will NOT watch CBS” camp.
I’ve seen the previews online though, and I gotta say..this thing stinks worse than my son’s workout suit!! WHEW!!
It’s like they took Survivor and just changed the scenery.
Look CBS, no one, and I do mean NO ONE buys that ‘They’re out there all alone to sink or swim’ crap! No one! We all know that the ‘real’ world is mere steps away, complete with medical help, etc.
I think a CBS exec. was watching Swiss Family Robinson ( a great movie) and thought “Hey! I bet we could make something like this real cheap if we used regular people instead of all those actors with their SAG cards! Lotsa money here…….Let’s do it!!”
Which may have worked, but when over done (and trust me this IS!) , it begins to smell like fish after a week in the sun.
Hold your noses everyone, here it comes.
Me? I’m waiting for Jericho season 2, a breath of fresh air if ever there was one.
Fresh acting, fresh concept, fresh dialogue…..top notch casting AND writing.
CBS ,When this ship sinks, if you don’t have the decency to go down with it, bring the Jericho re-runs back till season 2 starts this fall……..you’ll have a whole new group of fans addicted by the time season 2 begins in addition to the 9+ million you have now. Speaking as a Jericho fan, I’d be thrilled to see season one in reruns, it would keep me fired up and on the edge of my seat waiting for season 2.
I can’t tell you if I would have liked Pirate Master. I have not watched anything on CBS since Jericho was canceled. We need quality shows like Jericho on network tv. Please help us bring back Jericho.
No Jericho = No CBS in our house
CBS is blocked from my television since they failed to renew Jericho, and will stay that way until Jericho is back on the air, but I wouldn’t have watched “Pirate Masters” anyway – it sounds like a bad Saturday night live skit : ) Same with “Kid Nation”, which offends me on so many levels.
Add me to the “No CBS until Jericho gets Season 2” camp.
Thanks for the article.
Add my house to the boycott. Im sure it wasnt worth watching anyway but I wouldnt know since CBS does not get watched in my house until Jericho returns. Thanks alot for the story, CBS better get used to this unless they bring back Jericho
I read your excellent article with great interest. I am a Jericho fan and am angry at CBS for not renewing it. However, I would not have watched this pirate show anyway. I am tired of reality clones. I want to watch shows that are thoughtful, well-written, and well-acted.
I do/did watch Survivor and Amazing Race and I thoroughly enjoyed both of those shows. A little mindless TV is fun for a while, but enough is enough already. I’d choose a show like Jericho any day of the week over any more reality TV. It’s been a long time since there’s been a show where you can care about the characters and be left hanging from week to week wondering what’s going to happen next and wondering what you would do in the same situation.
There was a time not too long ago that Wednesday was just hump day, the middle of the week. And for a very short time, I LOVED Wednesdays. But now, sadly, I get my Wednesdays back — as well as my Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, for I, too, am not watching CBS anymore. There are plenty of other channels to choose from, I guess.
But I will gladly return when CBS puts their money where their mouth is and proves to me that CBS CARES.
Add me to the list of households who refuses to watch another reality show. I won’t watch CBS until Jericho returns.
CBS seems to be buying into the mentality that it can not get ratings unless it gets them via the same way the Romans did – with something as base and meaningless as gladiators or sex – and then for good measure add in kids. If they are going to abandon meaningful content for the sake of rubbish like this then I am going to go back to only reading books. CBS needs to get a clue!
Well, I and my family, my in-laws, my sister and her family are all boycotting cbs over Jericho.
that’s 14 people not watching CBS due to their bad programming decisions.
I’m not trusting them w/serial dramas, don’t care for their reality shows, their news is too liberal for me personally and Just because of Jericho we’re not watching any CBS at all atleast for the forseeable future.
They have to earn our family’s trust again.
I would love to comment on the quality (or apparent lack there of) for “Pirates”, but haven’t watched CBS in several weeks now in response to the disappearance of a certian show. Good article though!
CBS is dead to me until they bring back Jericho. I think the Jericho fans are having an impact, they have shown that CBS doesn’t value fans, doesn’t value loyalty and doesn’t value quality TV.
Nuts to CBS
Bring back Jericho
I just don’t get why the concept of piracy has been so romanticized by Hollywood. The whole concept of the show is rediculous and stale. I wouldn’t watch this show even if I weren’t bitter about the cancellation of Jericho, which was the only show on CBS that didn’t rely on sex, vulgarity, senseless murder, or recycled concepts for ratings. It’s a sad statement about our society that a show based on strong values of community and character didn’t earn a second season on network television.
CBS is in big trouble if they think they can just keep re-tooling “Survivor” (which is way past its prime) into shows like “Pirate Disaster” and “Kid Neglect”.
I have also “cancelled” CBS from my household, including PGA Golf and in the fall, NFL Football (I’ll just have to focus on the FOX and Sunday/Monday night games) until they wisen up and bring back “Jericho”.
CBS would do much better putting Jericho back in the fall line up. I, for one, will not be watching CBS until this wonderful show is back. If CBS doesn’t have the motivation to please the viewer base, let them sell this show to another network. I will follow it wherever it goes.
We haven’t had CBS on since the Jericho cancellation announcement or non-announcement and we suffered from Survivor burn-out years ago. Hoping that CBS sees the value is great TV by returning Jericho for a second season. It’s only 1 hour (realizing the expense and all) but that show is “da bomb”.
Butt Pirate Master? No thanks. Im boycotting CBS until Jericho gets a season 2.
Dressing up Survivor as Pirates is stupid. In Vegas at the CBS affiliates meeting they also hated Kid Nation and Swingtown. CBS is really going to down the tubes. Paybacks a beach CBS.
Even if I wasn’t boycotting CBS, which I am, I would not have watched this show. The premise is just not something that even remotly interests me.
Thanks for the #2 mention. My family, my parents, my sister’s family, and all of my inlaws (a total of around 45 people are not watching CBS at the moment because of the cancellation of Jericho.
I tuned in to the last 2 min. of the show and will not even bother again…OH MY… It was BAD!!!! I love Survivor, and this is just a very bad spin off… Part of the problem is that Jeff is such a great part of survivor, and this host is just not good enough to help the show.
ps.. CBS please bring back Jericho
Hi…thanks for mentioning the efforts to save Jericho….my family and I have decided that our time is too valuable to watch anything on CBS until a full season two of Jericho is returned to the schedule. CBS is minus many viewers due to the boycott. (7 in our house alone!!) CBS PLEASE, GIVE US BACK JERICHO!!
I am proud to be one of the viewers who did NOT watch this show. I will not watch any CBS programming until Jericho is back.
Nice article 🙂
Oh and I guess this is another person not watching any CBS untill I see a Jericho Season 2
Glad to hear it was a stinker-roo.
The nice thing about cable boxes is it’s so easy to block channels. CBS is blocked in my house on all three tv’s until Jericho comes back.
This is a prefect example of how the networks keep trying to give us poor quality television we don’t want. They are going to launch another reality show in Jericho’s slot, and we don’t want to watch it either. Jericho was quality television, and CBS has decided it’s not what we need to watch. I’m not watching CBS, until they start listening to their viewers. It’s not just about Jericho, it’s about not having my intelegence insulted with poor quality television.
I am another CBS audience member who’s no longer watching since the cancellation of the quality program, Jericho. This shows CBS that you can produce very fine television to balance all the reality and crime shows. Jericho has all the potential for success and could become another multi-season hit like Star Trek and even like the Waltons and Little House. CBS, bring back Jericho!
CBS will never be turned on another TV in my household until Jericho is renewed.
If no Jericho, then no CBS.
Thanks for mentioning Jericho.
Enough already of reality shows. Only a couple are good but the rest only get watched because the networks aren’t offering anything else..
CBS:Bring back Jericho!!!! Only thing I watched EVERY week other than ABC’s Lost.
No More Reality.
BRING BACK JERICHO!!!!!!!
CBS cancelled Jericho that actually had a good story line and chooses to show this #%#Z!!
Programers should be fired if these are the choices they make.
Not watching any CBS again… ever.
Bring back Jericho!!!
Not surprised that Pirate Master was a bust. This is what happens when CBS cancels a good show like Jericho.
I think you hit the nail on the head with all 5 of your reasons. I truly hope the Jerichoholics boycott of CBS makes a dent in their proposed summer, fall, & spring lineups.
Thank you for mentioning us (the Jericholics).
I watch very few programs on CBS in the first place. I am a fan of the original CIS, NCIS, The Unit, Close to Home, Numb3rs and most importantly JERICHO. I can not say that I will boycott CBS but I do plan to watch over programs live so it will influence their ratings. JERICHO was a program that my entire family watched and could relate to. I can not say that about any other TV show.
Another CBS boycott family here. Jericho is the best show on TV in years. I have always been a big Survivor fan but this season CBS almost ruined it with the luxury crap in the beginning. With that said there is no way I’m going to watch a reality show about Pirates. I mean come on. The only pirates in real life are way out in the ocean’s near 3rd world countries, and there bad guys. How in the heck is that a reality show. It’s just a plain stupid idea. Jericho offeres real drama that could occur in real life. It is a wonderful show that is truly inspiring to anyone who watches it. NO JERICHO! NO CBS! NUTS TO CBS!
Another CBS boycott family here. Jericho is the best show on TV in years. I have always been a big Survivor fan but this season CBS almost ruined it with the luxury crap in the beginning. With that said there is no way I’m going to watch a reality show about Pirates. I mean come on. The only pirates in real life are way out in the ocean’s near 3rd world countries, and they are bad guys. How in the heck is that a reality show. It’s just a plain stupid idea. Oh and don’t even get me started about this Kid Nation! I’m begginning to wonder if CBS doesn’t have a gas leak or something. Jericho offeres real drama that could occur in real life. It is a wonderful show that is truly inspiring to anyone who watches it. NO JERICHO! NO CBS! NUTS TO CBS!
If CBS is surprised, they really don’t know their consumers… Our household is watching a lot more Discovery (Planet Earth, WOW!), TNT (drama, drama, drama) as well as, the other non-cable networks. We will NOT watch CBS until they bring back Jericho, hopefully in place of some of the brain-numbing reality garbage. I can’t believe that they can’t find room, or budget for, intelligent, thought-provoking, conversation-making programs.
Yet another reality clone, how boring…CBS is becoming a sinking ship, with an incompetent captain. Time to break out the life rafts…oh look, one has the name “Jericho” on the side….hmmm how about some real television, not un-reality scripted trash.
I was a fan of a few reality shows but this year’s reality shows are just played out!! I like the suggestion that the Jericho-fan led CBS Boycott is definitely a Pirate buoy for the Save Jericho Campaign. Hopefully it will help get a second season for Jericho.
I am NOT and have NEVER BEEN a fan of reality shows. I just cannot believe that CBS thinks it will win viewers with this garbage! Also, can’t believe they cancelled a great show like JERICHO for this. I won’t be watching CBS again until they renew Jericho and if reality shows are all they have to offer Jericho will be the only show I watch on CBS.
I was going to watch this series as I LOVE Survivor, but CBS blew it with me and at least 4 other households I know by cancelling Jericho!
So, forget us for supporting CBS on anything!
Bring back Jericho
Might this not signal the beginning of the end for Nina Tassler? Up until now, she has been the golden girl of clue-Les Moonves. With her ill-fated cancellation of Jericho, unexpectedly disappointing numbers for what was supposed to be a sure-fire summer hit “Pirate Master”, runaway production costs on what also promises to be a fall loser “Kid Nation”, not one single freshman fall 2007 show looking like a survivor (let alone a hit), flagging interest in “Survivor”, and waning following for the crime dramas, CBS Entertainment’s president has suddenly appeared vulnerable.
add me to the boycott list. haven’t watched cbs since may 16th. Bring back Jericho
I am also boycotting CBS until either Jericho comes back full time or you make a movie. What happened to Hawkins? Did he derail the train? Did the army take out everyone or just a certain area? This could be very educational to people for when the terrorists actually DO come here. Bring it back.
I thought the show was a litte like survivor but hey when survivor isnt on this show will do until then.
I loved Pirate master……..2 thumbs up.
I like Pirate Master. I will watch it again tonight.
This show is campy, wacky, overly dramatic, and I love every damn second of it. It’s fun to watch with a group of friends, and I hope CBS doesn’t cut it adrift. But if they took out Jericho, I cant predict what they’ll do. It’s like Firefly all over again.
Watched “Jericho” once and hated it. Sorry to disagree, folks. Watched “Pirate Master” once and hated it. Sorry, reality folks. Never miss an episode of “Survivor” or “Amazing Race”. Love ’em both plus NCIS. You can have the rest of the line-up. Too much guts and gore on the CSI’s for me. On the whole, CBS stinks. But for those three shows, I guess that I boycott CBS, too, but for different reasons.
Hahaha, Jericho sucks! Why do you think it got cancelled? Sure, Pirate Master sucks too, but if Jericho was really all that good, it would have stayed on the air.
Won’t watch CBS until Jericho is back???
People need to get a life.
If Jericho were cancelled, would it really be the end of the world.
Honestly I kind of like Pirate Master. Sure it is a washed up survivor. But with most of the trash on television now-a-days, it isn’t too bad. I don’t understand the CBS boycott, they really can’t make Jericho much more interesting after last season. Why would they take a great show and create an awful second season to it? I think that they would eventually run out of ideas for an entire second season of Jericho, and that’s why they haven’t brought it back.
I like it … ALOT! One of the best reality shows out in my opinion. These people are living it up on the seven seas, looks like a blast.
Oh ya … and what’s Jericho? Never even heard of it!
Spoiler Alert don’t read this if you haven’t seen Jericho: I’m not so sure I want to watch Jericho when it does come back on air but I probably will…the reason I watched was because my Mom and I Loved Gerald McRaney(Ex-Mayor and Dad) and when he was shot and killed on the Last Show we both cried and was very upset then to find out the Show was cancelled the next day. The lame reason they killed him off in a later T.V. Guide interview with McRaney was weird! She and I didn’t like it and maybe they could still have him on in some way in Memory flashbacks like Days of Our Lives does all the time and is doing right now this summer with E.J. and Sami as Colleen and Stephano’s Father. Please CBS bring back Gerald we LOVE him LOTs My Mom needs her eye candy!!! BAD MOVE KILLING OFF Gerald McRaney CBS!!!!! Sincerely, Chrissie
Boooo for CBS cancelling Pirate Master because my Mom and I weren’t boycotting CBS and we were watching Pirate Master and somewhat enjoying it. I wish here in California we could review television like you guys back East can but they don’t provide the review boxes here in California?!?! Weird because people in California watch T.V. to why can’t we review T.V.?!?! I feel like Rodney Dangerfield we don’t get no respect in California!!! Anyways Pirate Master wasn’t aired Tuesday Night and isn’t on the Listings for next week either so I believe it’s gone 😦 again, boooo CBS you stink!!! Bye for now. Chrissie….
Pirate Master was a great idea with even better concepts than Survivor (I really liked the whole idea of priviledged sub-group in the capt’n and his officers) but the quality of the show was just awful. The host sounded like the guy who lost out on the host job for “Amazing Race”, and the contestants didn’t appear very real, more like actor wannabes (who stay as wannabees because of very poor acting skills). Jay as the puppet master, and the Viking, as the Rupert clone, are the only ones well cast for a reality show in the Survivor franchise, although Christa fits the “silicone-display” role rather well. The rest are to blah, “forced” and highly predictable (see Joe Don and that Scientist-stripper voted off first).
A great idea executed terribly. Now bring back Jericho (although the “cheese” has started to thicken in there too, please fix).
Couldn’t agree more, Zee. Pirate Master had a lot of intriguing elements that just never overcame the rest of the show’s colossal problems. Burnett really needed to organize this show beyond the “Reality show about Pirates” stage of development.
Well, I liked the show and can’t beileve they pulled it right in the middle like that. At first I didn’t think I would like it but being the Pirate lover that I am I got into it and I am pissed that I will have to watch the final episodes on the computer. Not good at all. It would have been fine if they would not have put that stupid show Big Brother in it’s time slot. Big Brother SUX!! PIRATE MASTER WAS AWESOME!!
I liked Pirate Master but I am glad to see it go. Maybe it will teach CBS that reality TV is basically garbage outside of Survivor which has had years of testing to make it great and was a fairly original show when it began. I am a Jericho fan as well but I am not a boycotter of the network, however their line-up has basically made it so I watch Jets Football and that’s it on that network.
I am a fan of survivor and amazing race and those are the only reality shows I watched in the past. Pirate master is just as good as those shows, too bad CBS or NBC can’t get anything right, I am fans of jericho and the black donnelly’s and both were canned. They need to take a look at how FX can create and keep great shows.
first it was “the mole” that disappeared before it concluded and now “pirate master”. The least you could do is finish the series and then not remake it. I and others have been walking around for weeks going what happened to the pirate show we were watching? We had no idea it was cancelled in the middle. Don’t put it on in the first place if you can’t finish it. I tried watching Jericho a couple times and couldn’t get into it. Men in trees disappeared for awhile and then came back. I hate this new disappearing trend and executives betteer be careful or people will stop watching t.v. period. As if commercials constantly weren’t bad enough. We didn’t mind them so much on regular free t.v.(unlike cable where you pay to watch and then have a commercial every 5 min.) But this vanishing episodes is to much to take after getting sucked in and wanting to see the conclusion. Enough!!!!!!!!!!!!