The end of Penny Dreadful on Sunday saw the Showtime series facing off against the season’s penultimate episode of HBO blockbuster Game of Thrones and the down-to-the-wire Game 7 of the NBA Finals. All of which is to say, with 551,000 total viewers and 175,000 in the 18-49 demo for a 0.1 rating, the 10 PM offering of the John Logan created show about some of the 19th century’s greatest fictional figures had a hard time gaining traction.
Traction, that is, over last year, when the Eva Green-led ensemble drew in 746,000 viewers for its July 5 Season 2 ending and battled neither LeBron James and Stephen Curry nor the spillover of George R.R. Martin’s creations. Down 26% in its audience from 2015, the 10-10:55 PM ET episode titled ‘The Blessed Dark” actually was up 23% in viewership from its own penultimate “Perpetual Night” episode that ran right beforehand and faced GoT directly. The first part of the two-hour Season 3 and series finale also snagged a 0.1 rating among the demo. In contrast, the 9 PM GoT had 7.6 million viewers and 4.8 million in the demo for a 3.8 rating, which was steady with the week before.
While a season-finale low for Penny, the June 19 finale was basically steady with the Season 3 opener of May 1, which had 540,000 viewers. That ‘The Day Tennyson Died’ episode had been available online since April 24, a preview tactic that many Showtime premieres have employed in recent years. The season viewership high this year was the 722,000 who watched the “No Beast So Fierce”
episode on June 5.
(SPOILER ALERT) Logan and Showtime president David Nevins both insist that the Emmy-nominated Penny Dreadful is over for good with the death of Green’s Vanessa Ives character in the closing minutes of the finale. However, never say never, because both also say they are also open to discussion down the line.