The Good Place just descended to The Worst Place in its ratings history. Season 3, Episode 7 aired Thursday, Nov. 1 and dipped to a series low rating of .7 in the advertiser-loving 18-49 demographic. Since it’s still ratings — not overall viewers — that tend to matter most in keeping network shows alive, fans of the Kristen Bell comedy may be right to worry.
Remember back in 2016 when The Good Place debuted to 8 million viewers and a 2.3 rating? Good times. That was a special day/time episode, but the first season averaged just under 5 million viewers. Season 2 averaged just under 4 million. Now, after seven episodes of Season 3, it’s looking like the season might average under 3 million. Why is this show losing one million people each year? Is Trevor stealing them all for The Bad Place?! There has definitely been a dip this year, and you can’t blame it all on sports. (But the more we can blame on football, the better. #sorrynotsorry)
Granted, as TVLine noted, the Nov. 1 episode’s 2.73 million total viewers actually marked a four-week high (although not by much). It’s also worth noting that The Good Place airs in a very competitive timeslot. It shares its 8:30 to 9 p.m. time with Young Sheldon, which is currently airing Season 2 on CBS. That comedy is doing a lot better across the board — with 11 million viewers and a 1.7 rating. It helps to follow The Big Bang Theory, while The Good Place follows Superstore. (Still love you, Superstore, but your 3.2 million viewers and .9 rating aren’t helping too much.)
There’s also Grey’s Anatomy over on ABC. Even after 15 seasons, Grey’s is still popular, picking up nearly 7 million viewers and a 1.6 rating across its 8-9 p.m. timeslot.
And you have to give some blame to The Good Place itself. The show is still forking brilliant, and both Episode 5’s “Jeremy Bearimy” and the Jason-centric October 25 episode “The Ballad of Donkey Doug” were filled with that perfect mix of humor and heart. You never know when another big twist is going to turn this show on its head. But … it doesn’t feel like Must Watch Live TV. At least, maybe not until the finale when fans may expect another mind-blower.
So that’s probably why it does decent business on DVR with Season 3 adding about two million viewers each week through that delayed viewing. (Full disclosure: I am one of the DVR viewers. Feel free to punish me with my own house filled with hideous clown art.) The Good Place is also popular via streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, which also offer delayed viewing.
All this isn’t to say there won’t be more of The Good Place after Season 3. NBC could still give us more — if the writers, producers, and cast have more to give for Season 4. But we know Kristen Bell, for one, is very busy — with her new Veronica Mars revival coming to Hulu, plus more Frozen on the way.
For now, fans can support The Good Place by watching Season 3 as it continues Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. And check out everything playing in our fall TV schedule.