Thicker Than Water – Season 1 Ratings

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Updated Tuesday January 5st after S01E08 aired at 9pm on Sunday January 5th.

Sunday December 8th saw Thicker Than Water take a week off when Shahs of Sunset was given a chance to boost its ratings with a Sunday night airing, pushing Thicker Than Water’s finale air date into calendar year 2014. With the premiere of Blood, Sweat & Heels slated for 9pm, Thicker was pushed back one hour and aired at 10pm, which meant it missed out on having the direct boost of the lead-in provided by The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

However, despite the 10pm time slot, the finale episode which featured the nuptials of Benji and Shanira easily became Thicker’s highest rated episode of their freshman season and should almost guarantee that Bravo Media will commission producers; Sirens Media to film a second season of the Tankard family. A total of 2,286,000 viewers tuned in (1,200,000 aged 18 to 49 years – Demo 1.0 ) which was 6,000 more overall and 100,000 more aged 18-49 than those who watched Nene Leakes’ wedding to Gregg in October 2013 – (See Weddings By Bravo – for the entire weddings ratings history).

Those stellar finale ratings mean that Thicker has finished its freshman season averaging 1,841,875 viewers per episode with 1,000,750 of those aged 18 to 49 years. Married to Medicine has now been displaced as the highest rated non franchise/non spin-off freshman season of any show on Bravo TV, since Queer Eye for The Straight Guy. Married to Medicine’s freshman season contained ten 1 hour episodes (versus Thicker’s 8), with M2M’s two hour season finale combining episodes 9 & 10 and those initial ten episodes averaged 1,804,778 viewers per episode (1,077,556 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.86), and Thicker rated just over 2% higher overall but was down -7.13% in the more important 18 to 49 year old demographic.

That Thicker than Water has rated so well is testament to the fact that negative buzz can have a positive ratings affect. It’s fair to say that when the initial episodes aired many people on social media attacked the show as unwatchable but its ratings throughout its 8 week run prove otherwise and so, I think it’s very safe to say that the Tankard family will get another year gracing Bravo TV screens – the shows many critics be damned! ;-)

Full Season Summary

With the recently wrapped fifth season of the Siren’s Media produced The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the producers at Siren’s headed off to Tennessee to film the Tankard family’s new Bravo TV show Thicker Than Water – Season 1. Let’s all hope that the Ben Tankard and his wife Jewel Tankard don’t find themselves Giudice’d either by Siren Media, the IRS or Department of Justice in the near future.

Via Bravo PRThicker Than Water follows Ben and Jewel Tankard with their blended family as they live, love and laugh through the perils and pleasures of life. Self-dubbed the “Black Brady Bunch,” this southern family integrates their strong religious conviction with their penchant for the finer things in life.

Thicker than Water Season 1 Cast - 2013 Photo courtesy of BravoTV ©

Thicker than Water
Season 1 Cast – 2013
Photo courtesy of BravoTV ©

Under the watchful eye of the patriarch and matriarch, the Tankard children Benji Tankard, Britney Tankard, Brooklyn Tankard, Cyrene Tankard, Diamond Tankard and Shanira Tankard, although grown-up, still live at home and must abide by Ben and Jewel’s rules. With the belief that “God wants us all to be millionaires,” the Tankards aim to be the best and brightest in everything they do. Along with their drive, comes a healthy dose of rivalry proving the adage, “You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family” especially true.

Here’s a taste of this upcoming season of Thicker than Water;

Bravo Media evidently have high hopes for this new show as it’s been given prime Sunday night scheduling real estate as when it debuts on November 10th, it will do so following an episode of their number 1 rated show; The Real Housewives of Atlanta, although as was recently learned by the cast of Eat, Drink, Love, a strong lead-in, isn’t necessarily a recipe for ratings success.

Thicker Than Water” is produced by Sirens Media with Rebecca Toth Diefenbach, Valerie Haselton Drescher, Lucilla D’Agostino, Kris Lindquist and Michael Call serving as Executive Producers.

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Thicker Than Water – Season 1 Episodic Ratings
Episode    Time        Date     Lead-In Audience 18-49 Audience 18-49 Demo
S01E01 9:00 PM 10-Nov-13 RHoA 1,563,000 852,000 0.70
S01E02 9:00 PM 17-Nov-13 RHoA 1,846,000 1,001,000 0.80
S01E03 9:00 PM 24-Nov-13 RHoA 1,623,000 839,000 0.70
S01E04 9:00 PM 1-Dec-13 RHoA 1,284,000 691,000 0.50
S01E05 9:00 PM 15-Dec-13 RHoA 2,050,000 1,149,000 0.90
S01E06 9:00 PM 22-Dec-13 RHoA 2,081,000 1,157,000 0.90
S01E07 9:00 PM 29-Dec-13 RHoA 2,002,000 1,117,000 0.90
S01E08 10:00 PM 5-Jan-14 Blood, Sweat & Heels 2,286,000 1,200,000 1.00
Season 1 1,841,875 1,000,750 0.80


Source: Nielsen Media Research via Son of the Bronx, TVByTheNumbers and/or TheFutonCritic

Prior Updates

Updated Tuesday December 31st after S01E07 aired at 9pm on Sunday December 29th

For the third consecutive week, Sunday’s 9pm airing of Thicker Than Water drew over 2m viewers and with just next Sunday’s finale to air, Thicker Than Water’s season-to-date average viewership is closing in on Married to Medicine as the highest rated non franchise/non spin-off freshman season of any show on Bravo TV, since Queer Eye for The Straight Guy. Married to Medicine’s freshman season contained ten 1 hour episodes (versus Thicker’s 8), with M2M’s two hour season finale combining episodes 9 & 10 and those initial ten episodes averaged 1,804,778 viewers per episode (1,077,556 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.86).

The 2,002,000 viewers who tuned into Thicker Than Water on Sunday December 29thThicker’s season-to-date average to 1,778,429 (18-49 demo 0.77), and providing next Sunday’s finale again exceeds 2m viewers then Thicker’s average will move to around 1,806,000 viewers and ahead of M2M’s 1,804,778. And on the strength of those ratings, I think it’s safe to say that the Tankard family will get another year gracing Bravo TV screens – and the shows many critics be damned! ;-)

Updated Tuesday December 24th after S01E06 aired at 9pm on Sunday December 22nd

For the second week running Sunday’s 9pm airing of Thicker Than Water drew over 2m viewers and this week set another season high ratings record for its freshman season. This week’s 8pm airing of The Real Housewives of Atlanta increased its audience almost 6% from its previous week’s ratings, and despite there not being a Kandi Burruss’ cameo in Thicker Than Water this week, they still managed to increase their ratings week-on-week by 1.51%.

The 2,081,000 viewers who tuned in Sunday (18-49 Demo 0.90) represent a larger total than The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have managed in their current season. Season to date Thicker Than Water now averages a very healthy 1,741,167 viewers per episode (demo 0.75) and they’re now closing in on the 1.78m averaged by RHoBH; a far more established Bravo TV show. That’s a Christmas present that Ben Tankard and family will well enjoy!

Updated Tuesday December 17th after S01E05 aired at 9pm on Sunday December 15th

After a one week hiatus while Shahs of Sunset was given the post RHoA time slot, Thicker than Water returned with its highest ratings of its freshman season. Despite this week’s 8pm airing of RHoA falling -8.10% from last week’s season high (a loss of 306,000 viewers), there were plenty who stayed with Bravo TV at 9pm to witness Kandi Burruss’ cameo on Sunday’s fifth episode of Thicker Than Water. On average the first four episodes of Thicker had been retaining 47.50% of RHoA’s lead-in but that grew to almost 60% as 2,050,000 viewers (18-49 Demo 0.90) propelled them to a season high both in their total audience numbers as well as the 18-49 demographic.

Last Sunday Shah’s, a more established Bravo show in its third season, was only able to retain 52.34% of RHoA’s audience and so the 59.06% retained Sunday by Thicker is a great result. How much of that is due to the astute casting of Kandi Burruss at a time when her own story line is propelling RHoA’s record breaking sixth season ratings, will be better known next Sunday when Thicker leaves Housewives’ land and heads closer to another of the many Weddings By Bravo.

Updated Thursday, December 5th 2013 Bravo Media today announced a special airing of Shahs this Sunday December 8th 2013 at 9pm bumping Thicker Than Water from the Sunday schedule for a week, although if Shahs does well back on Sundays, it wouldn’t surprise me if it became a permanent change.

Updated Wednesday December 4th after S01E04 aired at 9pm on Sunday December 1st Bookmark this page & check back regularly for updates.

This week the Tankard finally sprung a leak, as the audience for the fourth episode dropped to their lowest of the season with just 1,284,000 (691,000 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.50) tuning in at 9pm. That was a -21% drop on their prior week’s ratings, which had already fallen -12% from the week before that. This week’s retention of the lead-in provided by The Real Housewives of Atlanta, dropped to just 41.42% of the 3.1m who watched RHoA at 8pm, meaning that almost 60% of the RHoA’s viewers didn’t stay on Bravo TV at 9pm.

In fact the 10pm repeat of RHoA attracted an audience 19% larger than that of Thicker than Water, which is further evidence that the viewer interest in Thicker is beginning to wane and quickly at that.

Updated Tuesday November 26th after S01E03 aired at 9pm on Sunday November 24th.

When this third episode of Thicker Than Water aired I mused on Twitter that with this week’s ratings we should begin to see whether Ben Tankard’s tankard is half full or half empty, and with Sunday’s ratings of 1,623,000 – Demo 0.70, it most assuredly is not only half full but filling up and fast. While it is true that this week’s audience was -12.08% lower than last week’s, that was in line with the reduction that its lead-in; The Real Housewives of Atlanta witnessed. Thicker’s retention of 49.26% of RHoA’s 8pm audience was in line with the previous week’s of 49.93% and shows that while Thicker has yet to grow its own audience outside of Atlanta’s, it’s not losing any of them either. And given the disdain that many on the internet hold for this particular show, Ben Tankard, his family, Sirens Media and Bravo TV are all having the last laugh.

Updated Tuesday November 19th after S01E02 aired at 9pm on Sunday November 17th

At 9pm Thicker Than Water managed to increase its RHoA retention percentage from last week’s 46.84% to this week’s 49.93%, as it had 1,837,000 viewers at 9pm, a figure almost matched by the 10pm RHoA repeat with 1,712,000 viewers aged 2 years and over. Both the 9 & 10pm hours had 18-49 demo ratings of 0.80. Bravo Media press release as well as Ben & Jewel’s record breaking appearance on Watch What Happens Live.

Updated Tuesday November 12th after S01E01 aired at 9pm on Sunday November 10th

Thicker than Water debuted with a strong 1,563,000 viewers Sunday at 9pm (852,000 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.70) and while on the face of it they do seem a good numbers for a new series, they’re not that great once you dig a little deeper. Married to Medicine premiered in its freshman season also airing immediately after an episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and it drew 1,892,000 viewers (1,196,000 18-49 – demo 0.90.) Their total audience retention was 67.69% of the 2,795,000 who had watched RHoA in the preceding hour whereas Thicker was only able to retain 46.8% of the massive 3,337,000 people who watched RHoA’s second episode Sunday. Still Thicker’s led-in retention percentage was much greater than the measly 25% that Eat, Drink, Love managed in August 2013 when it debuted. EDL then dropped to 22% for a further two weeks and was then booted out of the Sunday prime time schedule.

As I wrote immediately after I watched Thicker on Sunday, I’ve never seen such a negative viewer reaction to a new Bravo TV show, than I saw Sunday on Twitter & Facebook (and yes, not even for Princesses; Long Island), and I expect that next Sunday’s second episode’s ratings will give a clearer view on whether Thicker can succeed under the ‘it’s so bad, it’s good‘ theory!

Pending Ratings Update by Noon Tuesday November 12th after S01E01 aired at 9pm on Sunday November 10th, but in the meantime judging on the viewer reaction while the premiere episode aired, I doubt that Thicker Than Water will last even the three Sundays that Eat, Drink, Love lasted before it was booted out of prime time. After this last season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, I’m beginning to think that Sirens Media, producers of RHoNJ and Thicker, need to call 911 and now, as they have their own emergency programming issues.

  • JoAnne

    This is a good show! Love to watch and see what goes on with other family whether they or rich or poor. Critics stop being so critical. Want to see season 2 and so on…..

  • Pingback: Meet the Tankards | elitebuzzmagazine

  • Donna

    I love love love thicker than water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://Bravo Pam obrien

    Jewell tankard didn’t even know what the average salary for the working woman was, kandi burress had to tell her is was an average of 38,500 per year. Jewell stood there with am awkward dumb look on her face. Obviously someone didn’t do their homework. And the way that oldest daughter acts, my parents would have told me to grow up. You shouldn’t be out buying expensive cars, clothes when you still live with daddy and his checkbook. This is the worst show it think I’ve ever seen. I think when god fed all the people with a fish and a few loaves of bread is a big difference than god wants us to be rich. Ooh you have to be kidding. Cancel this show immediately…