The series premier of Steven Universe on Cartoon Network scored a disappointing 1.861 million viewers, according to TV By The Numbers.
Airing Mondays at 8pm/7 CT, Steven Universe failed to meet or surpass Cartoon Network’s previous series opener, Uncle Grandpa, which premiered to 2.164 million.
The lukewarm reception for Steven Universe’s debut is worrying, given its heavy promotion and because it’s the first Cartoon Network series made by a female creator: Rebecca Sugar.
With Sugar’s history as a former Adventure Time storyboard artist–who delivered the most memorable and record-breaking episodes for the series, the animated channel’s hopes for Steven Universe were high.
With the show receiving favorable reviews, it’s unsure why only a few tuned in to Steven Universe.
Similar to Nickelodeon’s recent ratings fatigue, the problem may lie in Cartoon Network. It was only two months ago that Netflix was being accused of lowering Cartoon Network’s ratings by 10 percent. And this Monday’s Adventure Time–which lowest recorded ratings from season five was 2.310–scored 1.916 million viewers that night.
Whatever the cause, fans of Steven Universe can only hope Cartoon Network will be patient with the series until it finds its footing.
The first episode of Steven Universe is available for free on iTunes.