Fox premiered its new horror comedy Scream Queens at the start of the fall season with a deluxe two-hour premiere. While Scream Queens was arguably the most promoted and anticipated new series, its premiere ratings do not represent its hype.
Scream Queens premiered with a 1.7 18-49 Neilsen rating which is quite disappointing to say the least. Scream Queens managed to draw 4 million U.S. viewers for its premiere. Considering the extensive promotional campaign, the star power of creator Ryan Murphy, who also producers the extremely popular anthology series American Horror Story and the formerly popular teen drama Glee, and most importantly, the young, well known cast including the likes of Ariana Grande, Keke Palmer and Nick Jonas, the low premiere ratings for Scream Queens is quite surprising.
Fox’s musical drama Empire, which has a main cast of mostly new comers and premiered during mid-season, scored a 3.8 rating. The premiere rating for Scream Queens further suggests how difficult it is to convert social media buzz into actual viewers.
Scream Queens, which skews a younger audience, generated the most social media buzz before its launch in comparison to any other new fall season show. Scream Queens also had very high awareness among the general public however, as the ratings suggests, the general public had a very low intent to view the show.
The official Twitter account for Scream Queens has 245,000 followers while the official YouTube channel has 147,000 subscribers. During the series premiere on September 22, Scream Queens was the most social TV program with 415,000 tweets.
Scream Queens is not completely down and out. The series shows signs of becoming a cult series with a relatively low but loyal audience. Scream Queens will most likely have to rely on delayed and multi-platform viewing, such as online streaming and DVR data to make up for the lacklustre number of viewers.