ABC Sinks With ‘Titanic’ — Network Settles for Fourth Place, Including a Series Low for a New Drama; Front-Runner CBS’s New Show Opens to Soft Numbers

Apr 16, 2012  •  Post A Comment

ABC’s “Titanic” miniseries was an anchor for the Alphabet Network’s Sunday night lineup — and not in a good way — with the final installment airing at 9 p.m. to a last-place 0.9 average rating in viewers 18-49, TVbytheNumbers.com reports. That was hour four of the four-hour series, and if this is the first you’ve heard of it, you’re not alone.

James Hibberd writes of “Titanic” in EW.com: “The four-hour telecast from ‘Downton Abbey’ creator Julian Fellowes launched Saturday night to a rating that about tied rivals airing crime drama repeats. Titanic had 4.1 million viewers and a 0.8 rating on Saturday, and slightly more (4.2 million, 0.9) for its final hour on Sunday. Reviews were pretty soft, with some criticizing the show for over-stuffing with too many characters and soft-peddling the tragedy (somewhere, James Cameron is smirking, ‘See? Not as easy as it looks, is it?’).”

On Sunday night, “Titanic’s” final scramble for the lifeboats helped sink another show, ABC’s new drama “GCB,” which followed at 10 p.m. with a 1.5 in 18-49, a series low and a decline of 21% from last week.

For what it’s worth, CBS eked out a narrow win for prime time in the 18-49 demo, averaging a 1.8 rating to Fox’s 1.7, NBC’s 1.6 and ABC’s 1.3. The margin was greater in total viewers, where CBS finished prime time Sunday night with an average of 9.7 million to 6.5 million for NBC, 4.8 million for ABC and 3.8 million for Fox.

But CBS probably wasn’t feeling like celebrating the win, as the series premiere of “NYC 22” at 10 p.m. managed only a 1.5 average rating in 18-49 — tied with ABC’s poor showing for “GCB.” The CBS show did have a sizable margin over its ABC competitor in total viewers, 8.9 million to 4.5 million.


  1. They launched a miniseries on a Saturday night? When the networks have all but abandoned the night for the past 20 years?
    Frankly, I’m surprised they got THAT many viewers, considering I never saw an ad for the project anywhere. Clearly, they threw this program away…

  2. And there was like zero publicity for the “event.” ABC must have decided that it wasn’t worth their time, so they exiled it to the Saturday graveyard. If they had cared for it at all, don’t you think that they would have aired it in two successive two-hour blocks?
    Actually, this is the sort of programming that should have made it to A&E or PBS.

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