US TV Viewing Figures Round-Up

One show‘s already been given the chop on US TV this season… and it wasn’t SF or fantasy. That honour went to the Hugh Jackman produced-and-starring Viva Laughlin, which got the chop after two episodes. But few of the current crop of SF shows can afford to be smug. While TV viewing is down in general this season, most of "our" shows are having a particularly difficult time. (All these figures are overnights without the numbers of people who recorded the show for later viewing added in.)

Kicked off the season with an episode that emulated season one levels (14.12 million) before falling in week two to just under 12 million. It’s now settled at around 11 million. On the other hand, it’s still usually number one in its timeslot for the much-coveted "18-49 key demo" (that means it’s watched by people with disposable income). Almost certainly safe from the axe.

Got off to a solid start with 9.21 million viewers, dropped down to just over 7 million viewers by episode three, rallied slightly, then dropped back to 7 million again by week six. The axe is hovering. The show is improving in quality so let’s hope word of mouth lets it build viewers again.

An announcement of it demise could possibly happen between this being written and posted. The time travel drama kicked off with over 9 million viewers but by week six it had fallen to just under 6 million. Which is pathetic really.

You have to remember that Reaper is on CW, which is like the US equivalent of Channel 5, so it never gets huge viewing figures. Having said that, it regularly pulls in fewer than 3 million, which puts it on a par with (or even a smidgen below) the show it replaced, Veronica Mars, which doesn’t bode well. The Reaper must be looming.

Pushing Daisies
Bryan Fuller‘s whimsical fantasy kicked off with nearly 13 million viewers before settling in the mid 9 million region by weeks four and five. If it maintains this level it should be safe for a while, though the fact we can even say that proves how poorly series are doing across the board in the States at the moment (a couple of years back, 9 million would have been in the worrying zone).

Bionic Woman
This one’s running out of steam fast. Let’s hope the widely-reported behind-the-scenes production crew shuffle will help halt a decline from nearly 14 million on its debut to fewer than 8 million by week five.

Regularly hovers around the 5 million mark, which may not sound "super" but this is another CW show, and for that channel it's a Hell of a result. And not bad, either, for a show in its seventh year.

Sadly, a third of the audience switches off after Smallville leaving the show that follows it on CW with figures hovering between 3 to 3.5 million. That’s still not bad for CW, so Supernatural should see the year out (strikes allowing) but there must be a question mark over its continued future.

Ghost Whisperer
Now in its third year, Ghost Whisperer continues to put in a strong performance and has actually seen its audience grow from a season debut of just under 9 million to just under 10 million by it fifth week. One of the season’s winners.

Angel Mark II is yoyo-ing about a bit, rebounding from a season low of 7.3 million to around 8.5 million last week. It’ll be interesting to see what figures it achieves this week, but it seems word of mouth is getting around that this show is improving. Cross your fingers.