Last week’s season 4 premiere of creator Lena Dunham’s “Girls” took a disastrous -40% nosedive over the previous season — the worst ever premiere for the series. This week, when compared to last season, the HBO show is still sinking. Most dramatically, by near-double digits, “Girls” has lost a huge chunk of its core demo 18-49 audience.
Last year, on January 19, 2014, the second week of “Girls” third season grabbed 799,000 total viewers and 420,000 18-49 demo viewers.
By comparison, Sunday’s episode (also the second week) was watched by 797,000 viewers but dipped to just 380,000 demo viewers. That’s a brutal drop of a little more than -9%. “Girls” did increase its total viewership by +17% over last week’s disastrous premiere. In the demo, though, “Girls” actually went backwards by more than -2.5% when compared to last week.
These are apples-to-apples initial viewership numbers.
The publicity and fanfare surrounding Lena Dunham in the lead up to the season 4 premiere was unlike anything we have ever seen for a cult television show with fewer than a million initial viewers . There is no question that 2015 was being staged as the year Dunham would break out of her small niche and into the stratosphere as a mainstream superstar.
While still on the launching pad, that plan backfired in a spectacular way when Dunham arrogantly stumbled on to the celebrity third rail of Lies/Hypocrisy/Kids in a series of devastating scandals that appears to have sizably diminished her already small fan base.
Last week Dunham hired the top crisis management firm in Hollywood.
John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC