Tuesday, 14 June 2011

TV Ratings: GLEE, season 2 finale (E4)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011
"... start spreading the news, they're leaving E4..."

Glee's second season concluded on E4 last night, achieving an impressive 1.24 million in the ratings (5.1% of the audience). That's actually down 300,000 on season 1's finale, although 391,000 watched the episode on E4+1—so maybe that's where the missing 300k went?

The musical comedy-drama continued to be one of E4's best performing shows this year, regularly breaking through the 1m barrier, making it one of the most popular digital channel shows.

Of course, Glee's finale is a bittersweet swansong for E4, now that Sky have bought the rights to season 3. Sky plan to show new episodes on Sky1 just days after their US premiere on Fox—scheduling E4 had success with in the second-half of season 1, before reverting back to the typical four-month gap for season 2.

It's a gap that shortens over time (as US TV have regular hiatuses, allowing E4 to slowly catch-up), but is still seen as a problem for modern audiences who have the option to download torrents. It doesn't seem to have dented the audience too badly in this case (do we overestimate how many people download shows like Glee?), but you do have to wonder if a next-day UK premiere would have boosted ratings even higher.