"Many people ask me about the "low" TV ratings of Kösem and a few people posted about it before. So I feel the need to post about it.
First of all, there are over 260 Turkish TV channels in Turkey including the local, regional, national and international ones. 28 of them are at least national channels that everyone in Turkey would have on their satellite or cable TV ( I counted them ). Around 15 of these channels are kind of entertainment channels that have their own series. There are 80+ new Turkish TV series that still continue like Kösem. With the old TV series that ended and are broadcasted again and the foreign TV series like Game of Thrones, the number goes up to a zillion.
In short, there are lots of channels and series and the battle for the ratings is very cruel. TV channels are ruthless in their ways to get more ratings.
How are the ratings counted?
There isn't a single rating type. There are a few of them like AB, ABC+, DE and Total depending on the income, education and age of the viewers. There are many dynamics and criterias that affect the ratings.
The most important rating types and what TV channels and advertisers care is the AB and Total ratings.
A/B Rating: AB audience are the wealthy and/or highly educated people
D/E: People with the lowest income
Total Rating: All viewers
Some TV series are made especially for AB viewers whereas some of them are made for the Total audience. A TV series that get the first place in AB ratings make a lot of income via the commercials. On the other hand, a TV series that get the first place in total ratings but let's say 20th place in AB ratings gets many people's attention but doesn't make as much income as the series which gets the first place on AB ratings.
For instance, Ferrari would advertise in a show which gets the top place on AB ratings and Fiat would advertise to total audience. And Ferrari would pay much more than Fiat to advertise for the top AB show. And Ferrari's commercial would be watched only by AB people (Approx %9 of the nation). That isn't a lot but that would be a targeted advertisement to the targeted audience.
Kösem is the most expensive Turkish TV series ever with its $US60M budget for the first season. It is the big gun of Star TV. It is a show that's made especially for the AB audience to cover its high costs and make a big profit. After all it is a commercial poduction.
Star TV decided to pull its big gun on Thursday evenings, prime time (8PM-12AM), a day when it is too difficult to get high ratings. Because there are many shows that night on different channels like Kurtlar Vadisi, a mafia series on it's 13rd season or there is a UEFA cup match every other week on Thursday evenings. There is almost no way for a TV series to beat an international soccer match in Turkey.
So is Kösem doing well rating wise?
Yes and no. It's been on Top 5 of the AB ratings list every Thursday and it even got the first place 5 of the 14 times it was on TV. On the other hand, it gets 10 or 20 something place in Total ratings. It is really interesting. How can a show that's on top in AB be on 20s place in total ratings? Well, it shows that Kösem gets the attention of highly educated and/or wealthy people big time and it doesn't really interest other kinds of people that much. As long as the show is on top in AB ratings, it isn't in danger and it can continue. But it still needs to get a little better place in total ratings to attract more people. If the ratings go down to a dangerous level, the TV channel may change the day or the hours it is aired. I heard that Kösem is planned to have 4 seasons and I don't think it will end any time soon.
Here you can see the ratings day by day: http://www.acunn.com/reyting-sonuclari?tarih=2015-11-12
As stated many times before, Kösem is a fictional TV series inspired by history, NOT a documentary. It is a show about the harem life. The producers depict the life in the harem in the way they wish to show. There are lots of differences between what happened in history and in the series. I'd say %75 of the series is fictional. It is not a history lesson. It doesn't teach history. On the other hand, it can make history more interesting for people and make people open books and read more about history of Europe, Asia and Africa. As most of the period dramas or movies based on novels or real stories, Kösem is simplified too. There were more characters, Şehzades and Sultanas, battles and Paşas in history than in the series.
But still, there is a big opposition against Kösem in Turkey. Many people think that it is madness and they show Sultans as people who spent all of their time in the harem with women eventhough they spent most of their time on the battlefields. Some people believe that they show the Turkish history in a wrong way. Many campaigns have been started on change.org to stop Kösem even before it started. Here are some of them:
A campaign against Kösem that's been signed by 95k people: https://goo.gl/S6Rxib
All campaigns against Kösem on change.org:
Some members in the group think that it is insulting to call Kösem a soap opera. I don't know why. I'd like to call it a period drama. What kind of series do you think is Kösem?"
I wish we had at least one period drama in this country.
but then... we never had Yeşilçam.
different subject: i might start using mailchimp.