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.