Gotham's season 4 ratings have hit an all-time low for the FOX series. In the age of cord-cutting, and more entertainment options being available than ever before, the expectations for TV ratings have changed considerably. A decade ago, it was common for the biggest hit network shows to post numbers exceeding 5.0, while today it's common for all but the most successful programs to regularly come in below a 3.0.
Even taking that overall downward trend into account, Gotham's ratings drops each season have been fairly precipitous. Gotham season 1 averaged a pretty healthy 2.2 in the ratings, only to see season 2 fall to a 1.4 average. Season 3 continued the slide, averaging a 1.1 when all was said and done. Thankfully, this number still enabled Gotham to crack the top 10 scripted shows on FOX, albeit just barely. That factor presumably played a part in the network's eventual decision to renew Gotham for season 4.
Related: Gotham Season 4 Premiere Review
Unfortunately, Comic Book reports that Gotham's season 4 ratings have already set a new series low, with only two episodes having aired. The season 4 premiere - entitled "Pax Penguina" - earned a 1.0 rating, with 3.2 million total viewers tuning in. That sets a new record for lowest rated Gotham premiere. As if that wasn't bad enough, this week's follow-up episode, "The Fear Reaper", dropped to a 0.8 rating, with only 2.8 million total viewers. Those are the lowest numbers in the history of Gotham's run.
Making matters worse is that, from a statistical standpoint, ratings are more likely to decrease than increase, as the season goes forward. If that happens, Gotham could very well end up falling into CW-level ratings territory by next year. A 0.6 average may be enough to get Supernatural renewed, but Gotham is a higher-profile show, carrying a bigger budget, and airing on a more prominent network. If Gotham drops that far, one wonders if FOX will see fit to bring the series back for season 5.
On the other hand, with Gotham season 4 set to rapidly advance Bruce's fateful transformation into Batman, there's a chance that Gotham's story may not even need a season 5. Of course, even if season 4's finale ends up serving as a logical end point for Gotham, that doesn't necessarily mean producers would say no to doing another season if FOX decides it wants to order one.
Gotham season 4 airs Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.
Source: Comic Book