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How Caitlyn Jenner’s ‘I Am Cait’ Fared on E!: The Ratings and the Social Impact

E! reality series opened to 3.9 million viewers, but has settled at 1.7 million with one episode to go

“I Am Cait” scored big numbers for E! when the reality series debuted earlier this summer. Since then, however, the show has come back down to a more modest threshold — but maybe we shouldn’t care about that at all.

The highly anticipated series premiere — which pulled in 3.9 million total viewers and 2.3 million from the key 18-49 demographic — was the most-watched reality-show launch in the main demo across all of cable this year. By Sunday’s penultimate episode, “Cait” had slipped to 1.7 million total viewers, with 1 million from the main demo — the same it settled to with Episode 5.

Those numbers are all Nielsen’s live ratings plus three days of playback.

It’s not all bad news, however. “I Am Cait” still currently ranks as the No. 6 new series across ad-supported cable this year, averaging 1.3 million viewers in the key 18-49 demographic. Among just women in that age group, “Cait” is a Top 5 show on all of cable. The same could be said for younger females, 18-34.

Plus, the show’s cultural reach has transcended its numbers. “I Am Cait” has been universally praised for its earnestness and the responsibility it took to properly educate viewers on trans issues as it followed star Caitlyn Jenner. If anything, criticisms of the show have been that a sense of character and conflict were missing, which viewers became used to from the very differently motivated “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” Therefore, a show that does much good cannot solely be measured by set-top box tune-in. But we have those, so …

Below are the individual episode results, all in L+3 numbers
Episode 101: 3.9 million total viewers, 2.3 million in 18-49 demographic
Episode 102: 2.1 million total viewers, 1.3 million in demo
Episode 103: 2 million total viewers, 1.3 million in demo
Episode 104: 2.1 million total viewers, 1.2 million in demo
Episode 105: 1.7 million total viewers, 1 million in demo
Episode 106: 1.7 million total viewers, 1 million in demo

Season 1 of “I Am Cait” wraps up Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on E!