Caitlyn Jenner's docu-series, I Am Cait, has been reported to be "struggling" by Hollywood trade journalists, but according to a source inside E!, the view is that "the ratings are fine." Another source said the actual number of the most highly prized viewers each week "nearly doubles."
The debut episode turned in what by all accounts was a gold medal performance, attracting 2.7 million viewers. Entertainment Weekly reported the show's second episode drew roughly half the audience of the premiere: only 1.292 million viewers. Forbes reported the third episode lost even more viewers, with just over 1 million tuned in. As recently as Sunday, another Forbes article described the ratings as "low."
But as The Advocate has learned from sources at the E! network, the overall ratings aren't in such a sorry state. "The live/same day ratings do not tell a complete story in regards to I Am Cait viewers," Christel Wheeler told The Advocate via email. "It's a much sexier story to say that ratings are in free fall, which is completely untrue.
Officially, E! told The Advocate that I Am Cait is one of this year's top five new TV series across all of cable, among those most highly desired viewers aged 18 to 49, behind AMC's Better Call Saul, Discovery Network's Naked & Afraid XL, HBO's Ballers, and Spike's Lip Sync Battle. And for context, E! says Jenner's show is ahead of its major competition on the other entertainment networks, including Black Ink Crew on VH1 and The Game on BET.
With this kind of information at its disposal, you'd think E! would be jumping at the chance to renew I Am Cait for a second season, but there's no official word yet on whether that is in the offing. Jenner's friend and I Am Cait adviser Jenny Boylan shared her own opinion on the matter: "I'd be shocked if there wasn't a season 2," Boylan says, "but then nothing shocks me anymore."
I Am Cait is available free online and on E! Sundays at 8 p.m.