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Sound & Sight

Carl Hoover

Tribune-Herald entertainment editor Carl Hoover riffs on movies, theater, media and, well, other stuff.

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Glance at 'Fixer Upper' ratings explains Magnolia crowds

Glance at 'Fixer Upper' ratings explains Magnolia crowds


The wave of humanity, estimated at 70,000 people, that flooded downtown Waco last week — specifically, the part of downtown containing the Magnolia Market at the Silos — only goes to show why advertisers play hardball when it comes to the reach of national television.

I checked the ratings of "Fixer Upper," the series that has made national celebrities of Chip and Joanna Gaines, to get a sense of its viewership these days and found some interesting context.

The Nielsen ratings numbers on for March 7, the most recent date for the cable network survey, found 3,244,000 viewers for "Fixer Upper." That made the Waco-centered program second to Tuesday's top-rated cable show, "The O'Reilly Factor," which had 3,648,000 viewers.

"Fixer Upper" was more widely viewed than than the news/political coverage of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" (2,753,000), "The Rachel Maddow Show" (2,527,000) and "Hannity" (2,394,000). The Gaineses even beat out "WWE Smackdown" (2,738,000).

Granted, cable viewership still lags behind that of the major TV networks. While "Fixer Upper" had an impressive audience of more than 3 million viewers, NBC's "This Is Us" had more than triple that, with 11 million viewers and CBS' "Bull" with 10.3 million. ABC's "Fresh Off The Boat," however, wasn't too far ahead of "Fixer Upper" with an audience of 3.68 million.

Three million viewers is roughly one out of every nine Texans, more than the metropolitan areas of San Antonio, Fort Worth or Austin.

If two out of every 100 "Fixer Upper" viewers decided to visit Waco, that would add up to around 70,000 people — the power of national television math.

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