It was easy to downplay the value of the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” lead-in on new E! reality series “Total Divas.”
After all, the WWE-themed reality series premiered to far better ratings than “The Wanted Life” did when it occupied the post-“Kardashians” slot. And, in recent weeks, the “Total Divas” number managed to grow even as its lead-in support from the Kardashian clan weakened.
But that notion was exposed as a fantasy this past week.
Airing not out of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” but out of a low-rated “Modern Family” special, “Total Divas” delivered its worst numbers to date. Sunday’s episode declined to a mere 0.5 adults 18-49 rating with 1.09 million viewers. It might not have moved in perfect unison with the “Kardashians,” but “Total Divas” was clearly retaining some of the E! flagship’s audience.
One, of course, cannot discuss this week’s rating without acknowledging the season premiere of NBC’s juggernaut Sunday Night Football. It might not have been as demographically-relevant as the Summerslam PPV or the MTV VMAs, but the Giants vs. Cowboys game provided much larger competition.
And that competition–combined with the show’s performance against the E! standard–makes this week’s rating easy enough to swallow. No one, realistically, could have expected it to grow.
But given the rapid fall at a time when momentum for the show seemed to be growing, it is impossible not to consider this number disappointing. And it is even harder to ignore the potential impact of an absentee Kardashian family.