Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First Two Weeks, Terra Nova


The hugely hyped "dino-drama" Terra Nova premiered on Fox with a 3.1 demo and 9.22 million viewers for its two-hour premiere. While this is a pretty good number for a self-starting drama premiere, it was below most of the lofty expectations set by (among other things) the hype, the Spielberg pedigree and the huge premiere from fellow Fox newbie New Girl. As such, it was widely labeled a disappointment.

In week two, the show shrank to an hour of runtime at 8/7c and it again averaged that same 3.1 demo. I think that's a 0% drop, right math majors?

This is a show (much like fellow Fox newbie The X Factor) where it's kinda tough to separate the expectations from the reality. Most people thought it'd be bigger; I guessed a 4.2 demo. So it was definitely valid to call it a disappointment relative to those expectations in week one. But week two was very good news for this show relative to week one (if not relative to the initial expectations). The tricky part of prognosticating this show is that there are some big issues outside of ratings in the mix, like reportedly huge production costs and difficulties with production schedules. That means the show's probably gonna have to do better than the average new show. But how much better? I can't imagine a network would greenlight a show in 2011-12 that has to be a megahit just to stay on the air, but maybe that's what they did with Terra Nova. I'll say it makes season two; the solid if underwhelming week one followed by the perfect hold in week two look pretty good from where I'm standing. But am I standing in the right place...?

"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."

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