ABC’s Thursday Night: Two Series Premieres, Two Flops

May 25, 2012  •  Post A Comment

ABC quietly rolled out two new series Thursday night — the network may not have intended to do it quietly, but that’s how it turned out, if the Nielsen overnights are an indication.

The network’s new singing competition “Duets” had a two-hour premiere, and boy did it ever fall short of other recent premieres in the genre. TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the broadcast earned a lackluster 1.7 average rating in the key 18-49 demo. Looking at results for other recent premieres in the genre, NBC’s “The Voice” had a 4.6 on opening night while Fox’s “The X Factor” pulled in a 4.4 average.

ABC’s other new show, the drama “Rookie Blue,” debuted at 10 p.m. and probably would have been happy with “Duets’” number. “Blue” managed only a 1.4, trailing a repeat of CBS’s “The Mentalist” (1.5) but easily outpacing NBC’s dormant “Awake” (0.9).

The night’s top show was Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” with the two-hour season premiere pulling a 2.4 in 18-49 — down 27% from last year’s premiere, but enough to give Fox the overall win on a lackluster night across the board. Fox’s 2.4 average for prime time topped an all-repeat night for CBS, which tied ABC for second place with averages of 1.6. Univision scraped its way to fourth place with a 1.2, while NBC — which went with repeats, other than “Awake” — mired deep in fifth place with a 0.9.

Things flipped around in total viewers, with CBS’s all-repeat lineup winning the night with 7.6 million, ABC second with 6.5 million, Fox third with 6.2 million, Univision a distant fourth with 3.2 million and NBC again in fifth place with 2.9 million.


  1. Rookie Blue is NOT a new series. This marks its 3rd season. I think someone needs to do a little research instead if relying on an internet source.

  2. That being said, I thought they cancelled it. The problem with some of the better shows (predominately on USA and a couple other cable venues) is that their season is too short and by the time they come around again, you forgot about them. I have a long list in my DVR – over 100 shows. I have often tried to figure out if I can safely eliminate any of them but then they pop up again.
    To all TV execs – the word of the day is “Consistency.” You can’t expect great viewership if people don’t know the show is on or when it is on. Look at The Finder – was doing reasonably well, they moved it, ratings dropped, so they fired it. People don’t have to be invested in reality shows (though many become so). If they miss an episode or two, no harm no foul – like a soap opera, you catch up pretty quickly. But really good dramas (except for Law and Order) have a continued storyline you want to keep up with. When the networks move the target or even eliminate it for long periods of time – people have lost interest and moved on. Stop that! When the writing is superb and the acting, directing, and editing are all coordinated and of high quality, give the show a chance. They WILL find an audience. Piers Morgan has 36,000 people watching him and he hasn’t been fired, how can you complain about several million?

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