The Following Finally Begins, Last Resort Finally Ends, Nikita Earns A Season High – This Week In TV Ratings

Jamie Wotton writes for Bleeding Cool

Things are beginning to shake up as the networks try to bring themselves into a strong Spring season, and as they start to have an idea at what the Fall crop of pilots will bring.

Monday saw the premiere of FOX’s much-anticipated new drama The Following, starring Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy, a former FBI Agent and James Purefoy as a twisted serial-killer who thinks reading Poe makes him smart. It did well, very well, and scored a 3.2 demo – the second highest prem of the season, after Revolution. Having a watercooler show following – ugh – Bones meant that show jumped up a bit too, to a 2.3.

This signals the beginning of the second half of the season for FOX. The network often has a lot to change up come a new year, and this year more than any other, it needs to prove itself after its dismal season start.

The Carrie Diaries earned a 0.5, down from the week former. Just like The LA Complex, The CW can’t launch an actually good teen-drama for anything.

Tuesday is one of the last nights of FOX’s current comedy line-up, as it is. With FOX stopping the production of Ben And Kate early – completing 15 out of the ordered 19 episodes – it seems determined to make New Girl a strong asset again. And… I think it might work. I actually don’t think its impossible. New Girl scored a 2.1 this week, a good number for something surrounded by the likes of The Mindy Project (1.5), Ben And Kate (1.2) and Raising Hope (1.7).

Without The Voice in front of them, NBC’s originally strong comedies have fallen massively, bringing Go On to a 1.3 and The New Normal to a 1.2.

Arrow garnered a 1.1 on Wednesday, as a low night settled in. Modern Family hit a season low at a still-very-high 4.1, then Nashville scored a decent 1.8.  Even Suburgatory scored a 2.3.

The series finale of Last Resort on Thursday scored a 1.2, up from last week. There are many reasons a show like Last Resort got cancelled – its about freaking submarines, its writing is… not the best, but above them all, being on ABC was probably its downfall. ABC will eternally struggle to launch a show that isn’t a comedy when its dramas are so overrun by Shonda Rhimes. Last Resort isn’t a Grey’s Anatomy lead-out, Last Resort isn’t a Modern Family lead-out. It’s too different. It’s too weird. But you know something? I think we may see a turning point soon…

Right now, Joss Whedon is directing the SHIELD pilot, due to premiere this Fall on ABC. Whedon’s shows have a strong reputation among men, but in terms of ratings, they always skew more female. It’s strange to think it, but there’s nothing more alluring to the ABC demographic than hot men and women running around solving crimes in the Marvel Universe.

And when it launches, and it will launch successfully – assuming its 1) Not awful, and 2) Not hidden away on the schedule –  it could lead to shows like Last Resort being produced as a lead-out. Shows that aren’t conventionally ABC, because a hit like SHIELD, just like Lost, means there’s a lot of leeway in compatibility.

Where was I? Thursday? Parks and Rec did its normal 1.7 – should still be a keeper for a sixth season, The Office scored a 2.0, and 1600 Penn a long-dead 1.3.

On Friday, with literally everything else on repeats and Fringe gone, Nikita hit a season high at 0.5. Yay!

Little aired on Sunday other than Animation Domination on FOX, all of which was mostly down. The Cleveland Show scored a 1.2, Bob’s Burgers got a 2.0, Family Guy won a 2.8 and The Simpsons was flat with 2.4. Earning a series-low, and a definite cause for alarm, is CBS’s lawyerdrama The Good Wife which hit at 1.4. So far the network has kept the show alive because of critical acclaim, but I think a 1.4 on the Eye is too low, even for that reason.

I’ll see you all next week, with more numbers, speculation and excitement. If there’s something more fun than TV ratings, I don’twant to know it.