Are “The Simpsons” starting to lose their luster?
The long-running Fox animated comedy, now in the midst of its 25th season, scored record-low ratings for a regular episode in its history Sunday night – coming in with 3.4 million viewers and a measly 1.5 rating in the crucial 18-49 age demographic, a rating that is largely used by advertisers to determine where their various marketing budgets are spent.
So are viewers just getting tired of the dopey antics of Homer and the rest of the gang? Are “The Simpsons” just simply past their prime? The Fox network certainly hopes not, as the TV show has been picked up for a 26th season. And while this may indicate some reason for concern, all you need to do is glance at how the other 8 p.m. Sunday night shows are faring to get a sense of why there’s been a ratings falloff.
Just look at “The Simpsons” competition on the other major networks: ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” CBS’ “The Amazing Race” and NBC’s “Dateline.” “Once Upon a Time” led the 18-49 demographic with a 2.1 and scored 6.9 million total viewers, while “Dateline” dragged in a 1.1 and about 6.1 million viewers. “The Amazing Race” had over 8.5 million viewers and a 1.9 in the 18-49 demographic.
So while “The Simpsons” may have experienced a drop, it’s up against some pretty stiff competition – and while it lost the 18-49 battle to ABC and CBS, it’s still beating out NBC in the important category.
What might be more troubling for “The Simpsons” is that Fox’s 8:30 p.m. animated feature “Family Guy” continues to lead the 18-49 demographic with a 2.1 – a sharp, 0.6 increase from what “The Simpsons” experienced last Sunday. So Fox still has the audience, just perhaps not as much for “The Simpsons.”
The ratings for the animated show is definitely something to keep an eye on over the course of the season. While “The Simpsons” has already been renewed for a 26th season, if its ratings don’t perk up, there’s a chance that Fox may decide that the 26th season will also be its last.