Pearl Thusi's International Stardom By Numbers


It would be easy to downplay South African actress Pearl Thusi's international star cred judging by the lukewarm attention she is getting here at home, but looking at the numbers around her American show Quantico — that would be a mistake! 

Thusi joined the cast of the American network ABC's show on its second season in 2016. While the ratings for her debut season on the show dwindled a bit, same day ratings in the later part of the season were less than half of the premiere’s, the show is still dubbed a hit.

The second season of Quantico averaged a 0.73 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 2.80 million viewers, with the highest rated episode pulling 3.6 million. ABC's channel average viewers pull is 9.1 million.

The ratings are typically the best indication of a show’s likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings (particularly the 18-49 demo), the better the chances for survival in the highly competitive US market.

Compared to season one, Quantico is down 41% in the demo and down by 36% in terms of total viewers. Of course this is cause for concern that the show may get cancelled but its international numbers might just give it a reprieve. March 20 episode got a 34% season bump up in ratings which may serve as a sign that viewers would be keen for another season.

That said, what gives Thusi her international star cred is the reach the show has all over the world. Quantico is shown in 200 territories all over the world and is one of the most pirated tv shows online. Thusi might not be getting the talkshow interviews, magazine covers and international media attention her co-star Priyanka Copra is enjoying but she is getting noticed all over the world. 

Given that her character, human rights lawyer turned CIA recruit Dayana Mampasi, had some pivotal storyline arc in the episodes leading to the finale of season 2, it is likely that millions of people around the world will have taken note of our South African star. 


Needless to say, much like Trevor Noah, Pearl Thusi has found her stepping stone in Hollywood and if played right, this could be the beginning of a lucrative career for her state side.  Let's be real, hers is not going to be an easy climb like Charlize Theron because she is a black woman in Hollywood but she can make it work. 

She is also likely earning some good money, big money by African standards ... I mean her co-star Priyanka Copra is said to have earned $11Million in 2016 with her various projects. Pearl might not be earning anywhere close to that but even $10 000 per episode would be a good starting point. According to Variety, the Empire young stars earn about $20 000 per episode so the $10k figure for Thusi might not be that far off the mark. 

Thusi is still playing off the Quantico gig as just another job ... which is sweet and admirable that she is down to earth about her new found dibs, but next time you see her around Jozi just know that she is a big deal now. She probably can't walk around Europe or Australia without someone recognising her. 

That is an international actress! 



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