- The NBC reality show ‘World of Dance’ is in it’s third season.
- The ‘World of Dance’ overall winner receives a $1 million prize.
- The ‘World of Dance’ Season 3 World Final airs May 5 at 8:00 PM Eastern on NBC.
World of Dance began in 2017 when it was a surprise hit for NBC. Sure, it had a lot of help in that the network created it as a ‘lead out’ show for America’s Got Talent but to its credit ‘WOD’ held on to a lot of the eyeballs that ‘AGT’ served up and maintained viewership in the low to mid 7 million range for much of the season. The Season 1 finale on August 8, 2017 drew a 1.9 rating and 8 share with 8 million viewers.
World of Dance is produced by Jennifer Lopez and she also serves as one of the judges along with Ne-Yo, and Derek Hough (not to be confused with former Los Angeles Dodgers knuckleball pitcher Charlie Hough). For the first two seasons, Jenna Dewan served as what the British would call the ‘Presenter’ but she left prior to Season 3. I’m not really sure who Jenna Dewan is or what she did to get famous but she was married to Channing Tatum at one point. Her IMDB bio helpfully lists her as a ‘actress, former model and dancer’ as if simply listing her resume as ‘actress, model and dancer’ would undercut her credibility. She’s a lovely woman and to her credit has worked in films and TV consistently for the past decade. Her dancing career appears to be primarily as a backup dancer and music video eye candy. She’s toured with Janet Jackson, Ricky Martin and P.Diddy and done videos with Justin Timberlake, Mandy Moore and Missy Elliot. My favorite line in her bio informs us that she has ‘toured alongside some of the greatest in music entertainment’.
I’m assuming that musical entertainment is to the dance arts what sports entertainment (Vince McMahon’s nomenclature for ‘pro wrestling’) is to legitimate athletic competition. I’m sure she’s a nice enough person but objectively speaking it appears that her best career move was marrying Channing Tatum. One interesting tidbit from her bio is her height–she’s just 5’2″ and you’ve got to admire her tenacity as I’m imagining that it’s tough to break in as a dancer when you don’t have the traditional lithe dancer build. To bring her narrative to a close, she has split with the aforementioned Mr. Tatum and has traded up in terms of acting chops–she’s now involved with Tony Award winning actor Steve Kazee who from the right angle looks like a poor man’s Keanu Reeves. World of Dance is now hosted by Scott Evans making the lengthy discourse about Jenna Dewan a complete non sequitur. Here are some photos of Dewan which have made me realize that whatever skills and/or experience she might have is of little relevance.
One of the more appealing components of World of Dance is that the format is reasonably ‘free form’ which in the tightly regimented world of reality TV is a big deal. There were originally three categories within which dancers would compete internally at first, working their way down to a single finalist. At that point, the group winners are pitted against each other to determine the overall champion. For Season #2, the producers added a fourth category–‘Junior Team’–and rebranded the “Team’ category as ‘Upper Team. Currently, the divisions are ‘Junior’ (groups of 1 to 4 up to age 18), ‘Upper’ (18 and above with groups of up to four members eligible), ‘Upper Team’ (18 and above with groups of five or more) and ‘Junior Team’ (under 18 with groups of five or more).
As an oddsmaker, my opinion about the show (or whatever else I’m setting numbers on) is largely irrelevant but in this case you’re going to hear it anyway. The expansion of the ‘Junior’ (under 18) presence on World of Dance in retrospect looks like a complete ‘Cousin Oliver’ move. It was a good idea to have an ‘adults only’ team component but it probably wasn’t necessary to double the number of pre-teens on the show. As a grown man of rather sophisticated tastes I find it unseemly to be exposed to so many prepubescents wearing leotards. There’s little to suggest it was a good ratings move (more about that in a moment) but I’m sure it made World of Dance a big hit among the demographic who can’t live within a certain distance of an elementary school.
DECLINING RATINGS AND AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE
The biggest drama involving World of Dance this season is happening off screen–will NBC renew the show for another season in the face of precipitously declining ratings? It’s essentially the same viewership erosion that has happened to every reality show franchise only it has happened to World of Dance in record time. I try to preface every discussion of TV ratings with the disclaimer that the ratings drop might have more to do with the changing landscape of broadcasting post digital revolution than anything else. Reality shows are one of the few programming categories that can consistently aggregate several million viewers a week for the legacy TV networks so they usually make decisions about their cancellation very deliberately. The website TV Series Finale closely monitors cancellation decisions and they suggest it ‘could go either way’ though in an editorial discussion about the future of the show opine that they ‘suspect it will still be renewed’.
If ratings are the salient criteria in the survival of World of Dance I’d suggest that the producers and on air talent start polishing up their resumes. In season 1 which began in May 2017, the show debuted with a 2.4 rating/9 share and 9.71 viewers. For the rest of the season, the ratings ranged from 1.6 to 1.8 and the viewership between 7 and 7.5 million. In season 2 which began in May 2018 the debut episode had the best numbers of the year posting a 1.7 rating/7 share and 7.17 million viewers. By episode 5, the weekly ratings were between 1.0 and 1.2 with a viewership in the low to mid 5 million range.
Season 3 began in late February of this year and as with previous seasons the debut episode has popped the best numbers with a 1.4 rating/6 share and 6.26 million viewers. Episode 2 did a 1 rating/4 share and 4.18 million viewers but World of Dance hasn’t broken a 0.9 rating since. The viewership has exceeded 3.5 million only once but has been in a very tight range of 3.25 to 3.5 million. If there is a silver lining to this ratings freefall it might be that the remaining audience is holding steady. Episode 5 had 3.33 million viewers, Episode 6 3.24 million, Episode 7 3.24 million and Episode 8 3.27 million.
There are now just four contestants remaining with the ultimate winner banking a cool $1 million. Here are the odds for the World of Dance Season 3 World Final:
‘WORLD OF DANCE’ SEASON 3 WORLD FINAL BETTING ODDS
TO WIN ‘WORLD OF DANCE’ SEASON 3
The Kings -180
Briar Nolet +300
Ellie & Ava +500
WILL NBC RENEW ‘WORLD OF DANCE’ SEASON 3 FOR ANOTHER SEASON?
EPISODE 11 (MAY 5, 2019) KEY DEMO (18-49) RATINGS
Over 0.7 +180
0.7 or Under -210
EPISODE 11 (MAY 5, 2019) KEY DEMO (18-49) SHARE
Not 3 +300
EPISODE 11 (MAY 5, 2019) VIEWERSHIP
Over 3.25 million -150
Under 3.25 million +130
The previous three TV ratings propositions will be graded using data reported at TV By The Numbers.