Thursday, October 11, 2012

First Two Weeks, Last Resort

The premiere of Last Resort managed roughly the same low-2's numbers of last season's new dramas in the Thursday 8/7c slot. Charlie's Angels and Missing each premiered with a 2.1, while Last Resort had a 2.2 demo, finishing a distant third behind fierce competitors The X Factor and The Big Bang Theory/Two and a Half Men. In what was a generally dreadful week for almost everything on broadcast TV, I think that was a little better result than simply the difference between 2.2 and 2.1, but it was still clearly something less than a breakout.

The show then dropped by a nearly typical 14% in week two to a 1.9 demo. Another less-than-thrilling number, but it got even farther ahead of last year's Charlie's Angels (1.5) and Missing (1.6) paces. It now finds itself right in the middle of the pack of marginal ABC dramas of week two, including Scandal (2.0), Castle (1.9), 666 Park Ave (1.7) and Private Practice (1.6).

This is the kind of show and the kind of marginal beginning that is perfect to defer to week three. I only wish that I could defer it to week four because tonight brings an atypical vice presidential debate situation. If it can hold at a 1.9 or a 1.8 under these circumstances, I might become something of a believer. A bigger drop and I probably have to lean toward cancellation. I think this show's 1.9 is a better number than almost all those other marginal ABC drama numbers because of 1) a really tough situation on Thursday at 8:00 and 2) more interest from the male gender. For now, I'm buying myself one more week. Defer.

WEEK THREE/PROGNOSIS (added 10/17/2012)
Week three brought a second drop, approximately the same by percentage, to a 1.6 (-16%). As I said, I hate to have to rule based on that number since there was a low-rated debate and no Grey's Anatomy on the evening. However, the severity of this drop makes me a little more confident than I'd have been if it were a 1.7 or a 1.8. The drop to 1.6 is going to be tough to come all the way back from even with everyone back in a normal pattern. It's still not totally over for this show, because even a 1.6 in this particular slot is not quite an overwhelming failure, but I think the odds now favor Cancel.

"First Two Weeks" is my look at... the first two weeks of a new scripted broadcast show's ratings. I also line up all of the premiere and week two drop numbers together.

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