Reality series Castaways is just wrapping its first season on ABC. The show follows 12 people as they attempt to survive while stranded on a group of islands in Indonesia.
The series is essentially a test, examining the human need for companionship, and takes place under extreme circumstances.
Viewers follow different people from different paths of life, and get to learn about their struggles both on the islands but also, through flashbacks, at home in their comfort zones.
While on the island, the contestants learn that they are not alone and that there are other people “stranded” just like them.
The show has been a refreshing take on reality television and, given the reception from some fans, it’s possible that it could return for a second season. However, the ratings and number of people tuning in have both slowly dropped during the course of the first season.
The premiere episode had 3.1 million viewers, as it aired right after The Bachelorette. But as each episode continued on, the viewership fell. Already by the second episode, it was down to 2.7 million. By episode 7, the number tuning in had dropped to 1.49 million.
The ratings also worsened. The premiere had a 0.7 rating in the valuable 18-49 demographic, meaning 0.7 per cent of American adults aged 18-49 — a prized group for advertisers — were tuned into the show in the average minute it was on. This had fallen to 0.5 by episode 7.
It’s hard to say whether Castaways will be renewed for Season 2 at this point. While it started out with reasonably high ratings, the drop has been slow and steady meaning the chances of a renewal may be slim.
However, the 10-11pm timeslot can be a tough one for ratings, especially for new shows. It can also take more than one season to build up a fanbase for a show. ABC will obviously take both those factors into account when considering whether Castaways should be canceled or renewed.
Castaways season one finale airs tonight on ABC at 10/9c.