The ‘Arrow’ Season 5 Premiere Had A Huge Decline In Ratings

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Season 5 of Arrow kicked off last night on the CW, but it was one of many broadcast shows to suffer a ratings decline. It opened with 1.9 million viewers at a 0.7 demo rating according to TVLine, which means the show is down 36 percent from the premiere of Season 4 in its key demo.

That demo is adults aged 18-49, and accounting for all viewers, it’s down over 29 percent as well. This is bad news for CW overall, which came in seventh last night for ratings with only Arrow and Frequency, which also premiered last night to a decent 1.4 million viewers.

This certainly continues a downward trend the show has been suffering since last season, despite strong showings from other CW shows like The Flash. And it doesn’t help that the CW no longer offers their hit superhero shows on streaming services like Hulu, instead keeping the content on their own app. Assuming this has mitigated their streaming numbers a bit, it could be a while until streaming viewers get used to relying on the new platform or decide to switch to live viewing instead.

Critically, the show is doing more than fine, collecting many positive reviews. The obvious problem, though, is the lack of noise the show seems to be making online. Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t have a consensus the morning after the premiere aired, with only six reviews counted so far (all fresh ratings). And it’s possible many viewers simply aren’t aware that show is underway again. Or they just don’t see a reason to jump back in for year 5.

Source: TVLine

Jon Negroni

Jon Negroni

I write and I know things.

  • Carl

    I haven’t watched it yet. Got it on my DVR, I’ll get to it today.

  • Chris W

    Funny, it was probably the best episode since season 2.

  • Hinscher

    Was way better than Flash season premier. Flash’s was worthless. The whole flashpoint was basically moot. Like basically the only consequence is a super annoying one. Basically continue to refuse to let Iris and Barry be together.

    • Darthmanwe

      I’d hold off on that. The second episode teaser showed a whole lot more consequences, and definitely more impactful.

    • SAMURAI36

      You do realize that “Flashpoint” is not contained in just one episode, but will play out over the course of this entire season, yes?

      • Chris W

        And likely every other show in the CW-verse.

  • adam greene

    I tried to watch it on the CW site last night, but it wasn’t up. Waited until it was, player glitched. I had to finally stream it from a third party site. It’s awful that people have to do that, but if they are making it impossible for me to watch on my TV (no cw app on gaming consoles? WTF), and their site is wonky, then i can’t give them my ratings even if i WANT to.

    • Jon Negroni

      Hopefully they’ll wise up and fix things with Hulu. Or at least fix their own streaming app, which I’ve had plenty of trouble with as well.

  • SAMURAI36

    Okay, so I’m noticing a trend here… I love how the writers here waiting to show AoShit’s rating till after the DVR ratings came in, but didn’t do the same thing with the DCTV shows.

    Yeah, no bias there.

    • Jon Negroni

      Untrue. We posted both the initial ratings for AoS and the delayed stats for AoS. And the plan is to do the same for Arrow.

      And both those articles were done by different writers anyway. I’m just reporting what Nielsen released, not because of any opinion I have about the show.

      https://heroichollywood.com/agents-of-s-h-i-e-l-d-premiere-ratings/

      https://heroichollywood.com/delayed-vieweing-gives-agents-s-h-e-l-d-huge-ratings-surge/

      • SAMURAI36

        Okay, I see the first article. Didn’t see it before, otherwise I would have commented on it.

        That said, the original article still tries to paint AoShit’s low ratings as a positive, with the title of the article reading:

        ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ S4 Premiere Ratings Are Good

        With the article itself reading:

        But it has also been a change that some were concerned with as to how it would possibly affect the ratings. Well, the ratings are in for the Season 4 premiere and the numbers are actually solid.

        Those numbers are nowhere NEAR being remotely solid, especially for a major network show, that’s connected to a MAJOR franchise. AoShit had better ratings last year, and it was still on the chopping block. Moreover, there were other shows on ABC that were cancelled with better ratings than AoShit in the past couple of years.

        But none of this is reflected in either of those AoShit articles. Both writers just went out of their way to make the show look like a success, when it’s anything but.

        And then, we have this article, as well as the Flash article, making mention of their low ratings. Which wouldn’t be so bad, if the same point hadn’t been highlighted for AoShit.

        I get that there are different writers for each of these articles, but all of this just reeks of collective bias. Just sayin’.

        • Axxell

          LOL! If anything reeks, it’s your fanboyism…I’m laughing my @$$ off at your childish tantrums, pathetically crying because no one believes Agents of SHIELD is a failure or “on the chopping block” as you’ve been regurgitating about for half a decade…with 3.9m season opening for AoS, vs a sh¡tty 1.9m for Arrow. You’re not fooling anyone…

          That’s not bias…that’s reality. Don’t cry because people choose facts over your DC superiority fantasy…as with film, Marvel owns DC on TV.

          Can you dispute that? Mmm, didn’t think so.

        • Jon Negroni

          I don’t understand why you think there’s a collective bias when you know full well I’ve been harsh with AoS and called it’s ratings out for being unsustainable. With this article, I’m not making any sort of judgement call. But I am pointing out that shows across the board are suffering from weak ratings this season, not just Arrow.

          • SAMURAI36

            I’m not talking about you specifically. I get (and even appreciate) your objectivity. But I pointed out the bias between ALL these articles.

            You’re writing for a site, not just under your own auspice. Most sites or news companies seek to have a level of solidarity in their reporting. Nobody expects Fox News to have anything other than a conservative slant in their reporting. Imagine Anderson Cooper coming in and fair and balanced stories on Fox during his days off.

            Do you guys hold bullpen meetings or something? Because it just seems like nobody is on the same page. Seems like some writers are phoning it in, while others have an axe to grind.

          • Jon Negroni

            All writers here need to write news stories with objectivity, but we also want to lend our two cents when appropriate and useful. And with editorials, it really is just the opinion of the writer, as it should be.

            To answer your question, we do communicate consistently, and the goal is to never present opinion based purely on negativity (the internet has enough of that). We’re working on making sure the content here lives up to the actual optimism of the readers, at least as much as possible. So even presenting bad news is from the perspective of people who don’t want that bad news to exist.

            That said, I’ve recently taken a leadership role here as DC editor, so if we miss that standard for any reason, let me know.

          • SAMURAI36

            All writers here need to write news stories with objectivity, but we also want to lend our two cents when appropriate and useful. And with editorials, it really is just the opinion of the writer, as it should be.

            Iv’e seen this whole “op/ed” subject get abused on here before. As a journalist, writers don’t get to say “so-n-so sucks”, just because that is their opinion. You still have the burden of fact-checking. Especially when you’re reporting on something as concrete as ratings.

            Nor is it good form to say “AoShit’s ratings are good”, when they are clearly not. I provided more info about this in the comments section, than the original writer did in his article.

            To answer your question, we do communicate consistently, and the goal is to never present opinion based purely on negativity (the internet has enough of that).

            I guess I should pose the question directly to you then (since you’ve yet to directly address it thus far): do you think the other guy’s article about AoShit’s ratings being “good” is accurate, yes or no?

            Because you stated earlier yourself:

            But I am pointing out that shows across the board are suffering from weak ratings this season, not just Arrow.

            Do you see that other article as a direct contravention of your article?

            Because to the keen reader (I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll re-state it for conversation purposes; I myself have an academic background in journalism), it looks like none of you guys are on the same page.

            We’re working on making sure the content here lives up to the actual optimism of the readers, at least as much as possible. So even presenting bad news is from the perspective of people who don’t want that bad news to exist.

            Hmm, I’d say that’s a strange goal to have, but okay. Especially when alot of the writers here are just copy/pasting news bites from other sites.

            That said, I’ve recently taken a leadership role here as DC editor, so if we miss that standard for any reason, let me know.

            Oh wow, cool!! Good to know. Looking forward to seeing a consistent direction getting established.

          • Jon Negroni

            To answer your question, I believe the writer for that particular AoS article was technically accurate, even though I disagree with his assessment. He makes the argument that the ratings were solid from the perspective of a typical show airing at 10pm, and that it performed better than some expected.

            While I think that’s more optimistic than warranted, it’s still a rational argument, and he was transparent in pointing out that the show is down overall from last season.

          • SAMURAI36

            While I think that’s more optimistic than warranted,

            This was the point I was trying to establish. Glad you see it the same way, diplomatic phrasing notwithstanding.

            He makes the argument that the ratings were solid from the perspective of a typical show airing at 10pm, and that it performed better than some expected.

            That’s actually NOT accurate. AoShit’s ratings are far lower than other shows at the 10PM spot, almost by half, on other days of the week.

            Chicago PD, Code Black, Designated Survivor, Blacklist, and several others each more than double AoShit’s ratings on the same timeslot, though at different days of the week, and that’s before the adding in of the +1. Some of those bring in as many as 7M viewers on live TV (without DVR).

            This is why I say (and you seem to agree) that folks are trying to paint a pony as a race horse when it comes to Marvel.

          • SAMURAI36

            Here is a different take on the exact same reporting.

            http://comicbook.com/marvel/2016/09/21/ghost-riders-agents-of-shield-debut-draws-middling-rating/

            Everything from the article itself, to the comments section is vastly different from here.

    • In Brightest Day

      This site has been hugely supportive, far more than is warranted IMO, of the DC cinematic universe, not sure I buy the “Marvel bias” argument.

      • SAMURAI36

        See my comment below.

        • In Brightest Day

          I see it, I’m just not sure it’s accurate to paint this site as biased against DC when it would be easy to bury them for BvS and Squad, given the awful critical reception.

          • SAMURAI36

            With one or two exceptions, this site has been negative regarding the DCEU.

            But you’re not really refuting any of the points that I made in my response below.

          • In Brightest Day

            We’re just gonna have to disagree. The boss round these parts has certainly been nothing but positive about it.

            As for the wording, sounds a lot like semantics.

          • SAMURAI36

            LOL, “The Boss”. Someone who hasn’t written here, or even shown his face on here, and has defected to a totally different website altogether. Is that the “boss” that you’re referring to?

            And “semantics” is at the very core of journalism. A turn of a phrase can lead readers to a totally different school of thought.

          • Axxell

            Reality is negative regarding the DCCU…

  • Oliver Jonas Queen

    I am a huge GA fan and a supprter of this show since Season 1 but I WILL NOT WATCH as long as Felicity is a part of it. Last season that character single handedly KILLED 4 seasons worth of interest and momentum for me and many others. Ditch Felicity and bring back Black Canary and MAYBE we’ll tune in again-maybe.

    • SAMURAI36

      Felicity is a part of it, but in a totally different way now. And Black Canary IS coming back.

    • Catherine Osborn

      The black canary sucks. Felicity belongs with him their the perfect couple. They need to keep her dead!!!

      • Chris W

        You’re a master troll.

  • Darthmanwe

    Shame, it really was a return to form for me. It showed shades of returning to that Season 1&2 excellence.

  • GREGalicious

    Too little too late. I knew I wasn’t gonna watch.
    The Flash was brilliant as always tho.

  • Jessica C.

    Only people still watching are the ones too dumb to understand they are watching a Batman in green hood show. Real comic fans have long left this show to rot.