TV Ratings: REVOLUTION Scores Highest Network Drama Debut in 3 Years, BOARDWALK EMPIRE Returns Strong, THE OFFICE Has Worst Premiere Ever

     September 22, 2012


At long last, Collider is finally starting up a weekly TV ratings feature.  Each week we’ll be posting a rundown of how your favorite shows are doing on both cable and network television.  Things are a bit light this week since the Fall 2012 TV season is still getting started, but here’s a brief look at the highlights:

  • The new J.J. Abrams-produced genre series Revolution launched to 11.7 million viewers, making it the highest rated network drama debut since ABC’s V back in 2009.
  • HBO’s Boardwalk Empire started its third season with 2.9 million viewers, on par with the season two premiere.
  • Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy’s new sitcom The New Normal was down 12% from last week with 6.2 million viewers.
  • The Office kicked off its final season with its least watched series premiere in the show’s history with 4.28 million viewers.

Hit the jump to check out the ratings for the week of September 16 – 21st, and be sure to leave your feedback in the comments concerning our latest feature.


boardwalk-empire-steve-buscemi-season-3Showtime’s long-running comedy series Weeds finally came to an end this past Sunday, capping off eight seasons with a two-part series finale that proved to be quite the critical disappointment.  Ratingswise, the finale set a season high with 864,000 viewers at 10pm and 1.28 million viewers for the night (counting repeats).  That’s up 55% from the season 7 finale, but short of the 1.3 million high from the show’s fourth season premiere.

HBO’s Boardwalk Empire returned strong with its third season premiere, debuting to 2.9 million viewers, which matches the numbers of the season 2 premiere but is a tad short of the 3.01 million who tuned in for the season two finale.  The cumulative numbers from the season premiere’s three airings was 4.6 million viewers, up a bit from the 4.5 million netted from the season 2 premiere.


Revolution tracy spiridakosNBC got off to a great start on Monday with a mega-audience for the new J.J. Abrams/Eric Kripke-produced drama series Revolution.  The show debuted to 11.7 million viewers with a 4.1 rating, making it the highest-rated network drama debut since ABC’s V three years ago, and NBC’s best drama premiere since Bionic Woman (remember that show?).  That said, this is a “look in” audience so expect the numbers to taper off a bit for the show’s second episode.

The new Matthew Perry comedy Go On continues to do quite well, as the show’s third episode this Tuesday scored a 3.3 rating in the 18-49 demo, down 3% from last week for a total of 9.33 million viewers.  The pilot (which premiered in a prime post-Olympics spot) netted a whopping 16.1 million viewers, but audience retention these past two weeks has been quite impressive.

Also on Tuesday, the second episode of the fourth season of NBC’s critically praised character drama Parenthood was down 5% from last week with a 1.8 rating in the demo for 5.04 million viewers.  The episode ended with a rather shocking character development, so it’ll be interesting to see how many tune in for next week’s episode.

Glee and American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy’s new sitcom The New Normal dipped quite a bit this Tuesday, nabbing a 2.2. rating in the 18-49 demo which is down 12% from last week for a total of 6.20 million viewers. Audience retention will be crucial for next week’s episode, but Murphy’s a pretty hot commodity in series television at the moment so I’m sure the show will be given some room to breathe.

parks-and-recreation-season-5NBC Thursday’s comedy block premiered to a sizeable decline, with all returning comedies down double digits.  The Office kicked off its final season with 4.32 million viewers for a 2.1 rating among adults, down a whopping 46% from the 3.9 scored during its previous season premiere.  That makes this the show’s least watched season premiere in history by quite a large margin, which isn’t exactly a great start for the aging comedy’s swan song.

Sadly, the criminally underwatched Parks and Recreation was also down as its fifth season premiere scored 3.50 million viewers for a 1.7 rating in the coveted 18-49 demo, down 19% from its prior season premiere.  On the bright side, the Washington D.C.-set premiere was up from the 3.42 million viewers who tuned in for the season four finale.  The second season of Up All Night was also down, earning a 1.3 rating in the demo, which is 77% down from its 2011 series premiere and 38% down from Parks and Rec’s performance in the same time slot last year.  Maybe NBC will fare better comedywise once 30 Rock and Community return in October…


the-mob-doctor-imageThough NBC had a big new series win with Revolution, we may be looking at our first cancellation with Fox’s The Mob Doctor.  The ridiculously plotted new drama premiered on Monday to a paltry 5 million viewers and a 1.5 rating.  For a look-in audience that’s not exactly a strong start, so expect some crucial decisions to be made if the show’s second episode is down by a significant amount. 

The network had better luck on Monday with the season eight premiere of Bones, which scored 7.8 million viewers for a 2.3 rating in the 18-34 demographic, up 8 and 21 percent respectively from its May finale.  Though that’s a strong start to the new season, it’s still down from the 10 million that tuned in to the season seven premiere and overall viewership for the long-running procedural is a far cry from the 12.37 million high in season five.

Thursday’s episode of Glee scored a 2.9 rating in the 18-49 demo, raking in 7.46 million viewers.  That’s down 6% from last week’s season premiere rating of 3.1 but still a little better than the ratings decline that the show saw last season.  Creatively, the musical series appears to be on an upswing, so we’ll see how things pan out over the course of this season.

That’s it for this week’s TV ratings.  As more shows launch their season premieres over the next couple of weeks, we’ll have more extensive ratings coverage.  As always, any and all feedback in the comments section is much welcomed.