It’s safe to say that we’re all fans of Steven Universe here. When you love a show though, it’s quite common to worry about that show being cancelled before its time; Cartoon Network’s history of cancelling some very good shows quite early in their life doesn’t help anxious fans feel any better.
However, it’s also safe to say that our beloved Steven Universe is in no danger of early cancellation. Not only do we have season three confirmed to be in production, which should be plenty of reason not to worry, but Steven Universe has also consistently performed as one of Cartoon Network’s most popular shows. In addition to solid viewer counts, it is also now Cartoon Network’s most Internet-famous show.
So, how do the real numbers look? Get ready to be educated.
Cartoon Network wasn’t on the regular premier schedule during the summer. All of their new episodes premiered in the bomb format, with one new episode of the same show each day for a week, in the months of June and July. Let’s take a look at the performances of each of the summer bombs:
|Viewers (in thousands)|
|Adventure Time (June 1-5)||1,573||1,657||1,295||1,457||1,552||1,507|
|Uncle Grandpa (June 8-12)||1,575||1,332||1,215||1,533||1,231||1,377|
|Steven Universe (June 15-19)||1,980||1,821||1,796||1,732||1,900||1,846|
|Regular Show (June 22-26)||1,657||1,703||1,603||1,591||1,289||1,569|
|Teen Titans Go! (June 29-July 3)||2,278||2,298||2,273||2,220||2,350||2,284|
|The Amazing World of Gumball (July 6-10)||1,663||2,045||1,767||1,750||1,633||1,772|
|Steven Universe (July 13-17)||1,714||1,734||1,827||1,877||1,647||1,760|
|Clarence (July 20-24)||1,422||1,560||1,355||1,590||1,189||1,423|
|Teen Titans Go! (July 27-31)||2,036||2,146||2,260||2,079||2,101||2,124|
There’s no denying that Teen Titans Go! is Cartoon Network’s top ratings earner, but just because TTG is at the top doesn’t mean Steven Universe has to worry about being at the bottom. Not only was it the only other show to get two premier bombs rather than one, but it does quite well for itself. Only The Amazing World of Gumball was able to get higher ratings than one of the Steven Bombs, and even then only by a little.
Internet interest shows an even more favorable picture. Using Google Trends, it’s possible to see how many people are searching for things related to a given topic, such as Steven Universe.
You can see all of the data points for yourself, and if you set the Google Trends display to only show searches for the specific search term (rather than everything related to it) the picture becomes even more favorable to Steven Universe. The graph clearly shows that Steven Universe’s popularity exploded in March 2015 (the same month as the first Steven Bomb). As of July 2015 it actually managed to overtake Adventure Time, which had been in decline since August 2014.
The Wikipedia traffic stats corroborate this great Internet interest in Steven Universe. The main entry for Steven Universe was viewed 5,435 times on Saturday, August 8, and its list of episodes was viewed 10,015 times. None of the other shows even come close (Adventure Time, with 3,010 and 3,184 respectively comes the closest, and Regular Show comes in third with 1,481 and 2,033). Pick any day you like and the story is the same.
Whenever you hear someone say that Steven Universe is bigger on the Internet than any of its fellows on Cartoon Network, they’re not seeing what they want to see in the unmeasurable and ambiguous world of Internet discussion: it’s measurable, and very real.
With surging Internet interest with consistently high ratings, Steven Universe looks to be at Cartoon Network for the long haul. So while we may all worry from time to time (every time ratings come in lower than two million viewers), the future looks bright!