Identifying 'Life of Kylie''s Ratings Failure
The huge success of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" has logically spawned several spin-off shows.
The latest E!/Kardashian spin-off show is focused on the life of Kylie Jenner. The show was perceived to be highly anticipated by fans who wanted to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the unfiltered life and personality of the real Kylie Jenner. "Life of Kylie" was well promoted by E! (ads for the show were everywhere in print and online) and yet the show has undeniably underperformed. According to ShowBuzz, Life of Kylie's second episode dropped from .51 to .44 in the 18-49 market.
So what happened?
Anyone who keeps up with social media and trends is well aware that Kylie Jenner's persona and brand are both popular and lucrative. Kylie's beauty products and endorsements are successful. The expectations for "Life of Kylie" were in a sense set by the Nielsen ratings performance of "Rob and Chyna," another spin-off of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." What's interesting to note is that Rob Kardashian and Black Chyna are perceived to be less popular and less of a commodity of the Kardashian brand than Kylie Jenner, yet they produced double the ratings. So in this instance we can see no direct correlation between having a highly popular social media presence and producing high TV ratings.
Another key factor why "Life of Kylie" was set to fail from2 the beginning was that E! positioned it to go up against one of the most popular shows on television, "Game of Thrones." Although, at first glance one might make the assumption that because "Game of Thrones" is such a different show, it wouldn't likely affect "Life of Kylie." But, as "Game of Thrones" soared in t ratings,during the same time slot, "Life of Kylie" plummeted.
Perhaps, the failure of "Life of Kylie" serves to underscore that no matter how popular a lead is, TV ratings operate independent of them.