Does "make something a hit" mean "make something a success" or "make something canceled" here? (I used this link https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/make+a+hit)

Transparent, an Emmy winner, was watched by 1.49 million people between Sept 21. and May 2 according to data cited by Variety. Even Man in the High Castle -- Amazon Prime Video's highest-rated show at the time (the 2016 TV season) -- only lured in 3.44 million viewers during the entire TV season.

Those numbers would make High Castle a hit by cable standards, and canceled if it aired on a network. Transparent wouldn't have made a second week on a network, and it would be an iffy proposition on any major channel.



High ratings (called "numbers" in your second paragraph) make a show a hit (that is, they indicate a show is very popular).

Your sentence is saying that one-and-a-half million viewers mean a show is a "hit" on cable, but that same number would be a failure as a network show. This implies more people watch network shows than cable shows.

I'm not an expert in television viewership numbers, but I can contrive an example. Let's say the average number of viewers of a network show is five million, and the average number of viewers of a cable show is one million.

If you and I create a new show that gets 1.5 million viewers, would that be a success, or a failure? The answer depends on whether the show is being aired on cable or on regular network television. On cable, our show would be considered a hit (it has 50% more viewers than the average show), but on network television, that same viewership number would be considered very low, and thus the show would be regarded as a failure and it would likely be cancelled (in other words, taken off the air at the end of the season).

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