Wednesday, April 17, 2024

UPDATE: “Succession,” “Barry” Low Linear HBO Ratings Reflect New Generation of Streaming Audience vs. Cable and Cord Cutting


A few weeks ago, I had a long eye opening conversation with a smart 25 year old. He said that if his friends watched hit shows it wasn’t on cable. “No one I know has a cable subscription.” he said. All of this pals did their viewing either by sharing streaming accounts, or from You Tube, etc.

This is important to remember when looking at Sunday night’s ratings for the “Succession” and “Barry” series finales on HBO, that is, linear HBO.

“Succession” scored 896,000 viewers. “Barry” had only 234,000.

HBO says that their totals added 2 million people on Max on SmartTVs, phones, iPads, Roku, Apple TV or other devices.

If the 2 million number is right, that’s astounding. For decades, it was so important to have a “cable package” so you could watch “The Sopranos” or “Sex and the City.” Has the cord cutting really been that severe? Apparently so.

“The Succession” number on HBO is the highest its ever been, but never cracked 900,000. It was really a niche show. “Barry,” for all its accolades, is a disappointment. The season high was in its 4th episode, with 300,000 viewers. Sunday night’s show was about the same as its been the last three weeks. These numbers have to be frustrating for HBO. These are the highest quality TV shows, but once they find their audience, it’s finite.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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