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While this past Sunday night had the entire country abuzz over Kanye’s Grammy antics and The Walking Dead’s intense midseason premiere, things were far, far more quiet for HBO, where Girls, Togetherness and Looking put up positively dismal numbers. How bad was it? It was the worst rated broadcast of Girls in its entire run.
Sunday night’s episode “Cubbies,” in which Hannah once more makes some pretty big life decisions, only brought in 406,000 viewers, according to HeadlinePlanet, which makes it the least watched episode ever. As far as the key demographic goes, it pulled in a shocking 0.2. I actually thought the entirety of this show’s fanbase fit squarely in the 18-49 demo, but I guess I was way off.
More people presumably ended up catching the Girls repeats that weren’t airing opposite Walking Dead and the Grammys, but it’s never a good sign when a show’s already shrinking central fanbase puts it on the backburner for more water cooler-worthy programming. There’s a strange disconnect between the online love for Girls and the show’s ratings, which weren’t that great before this past weekend, either. Though it has the occasional spike, Girls ends up bringing in around 650,000 to 800,000 viewers a week. Not that the Emmy winning series has to worry about ratings at HBO, which already renewed the show for Season 5, but it’s still not a badge of pride or anything.
HBO’s woes didn’t end with Hannah and Adam, either. Togetherness, which aired during the second half of The Walking Dead, brought in 271,000 viewers with a 0.1 demo rating. (That’s probably the average number of people who used to watch Mark Duplass’ movies when he first started out.) Then, once Better Call Saul started up its record-breaking broadcast after Walking Dead, the latest episode of Looking premiered to only 192,000 viewers, also with a 0.1 demo rating.
When Game of Thrones is in season, Sunday nights at HBO are standing room only, with everyone positively rabid to see what’s kicking in the world of Westeros. But Girls just doesn’t get that kind of fervor over how Shoshanna is doing in her job hunt. And though the Grammys won’t be back again until next year, The Walking Dead will be competing with Girls for the rest of the HBO series’ fourth season. Its ratings will probably see a slight increase in the next week or so, but will it ever be enough?