Friday, September 30, 2011
ABC's serialized drama Revenge kicked off on premiere Wednesday with a 3.3 demo, a number that remains (through two weeks) the highest-rated drama premiere of 2011-12. That number was better than many expected and actually eked out a win over CSI in the 10/9c race, though it's still not an overwhelmingly great performance considering its lead-in was the one-hour season premiere of Modern Family, which scored a 6.1 demo.
Week two of Revenge saw a massive lead-in change; the premiere of Happy Endings at 9:30 managed just a 3.1 demo. However, Revenge dropped just 18% from its premiere rating to a 2.7 demo, a typical-ish week two drop that looks a little better than typical due to the lead-in change.
The danger with picking serialized shows is that they frequently keep on dropping well beyond the first two or even three weeks. This feels like the kind of show that could just keep on slowly fizzling out, sort of like a previous occupant of this timeslot for ABC, Dirty Sexy Money. I wouldn't be surprised if it does that. But I don't think there's any compelling ratings reason to pick against the show right now. Even given Modern Family's 6.1 demo start, I'd have put the Revenge premiere over/under at a 3.0 or lower, and given Revenge's premiere numbers and Happy Endings' 3.1 demo the next week, I'd have probably put the Revenge week two over/under at a 2.4 or so. Clearly I didn't have high expectations for the show, but it's exceeded them thus far. So I'll say it makes a season two and hope to be pleasantly surprised when it happens.
"First Two Weeks" is my look at... the first two weeks of a new scripted broadcast show's ratings. I also line all of these numbers up to do an objective analysis in what I call "the system."