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No Nielsen Ratings Glory for BSG Season Four Premiere

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Written By

April 7th, 2008

apollo-bsg.jpgAs predicted, the Battlestar Galactica season four premiere will be bested by about 20 SpongeBob airings. The season four premiere did but a 1.3/2 (Household rating/share) and a 1.1/3 in the 18-49 demo (the good news, I suppose, is that almost the entire viewership was in the demo). , I can't say I understand the phenomenon, but, as they say, it is what it is. Overall, the show drew 2.138 million viewers.

Just another data point of Internet buzz means this: almost absolutely nothing at all. So many things including Monk and Psych on Sunday night (which was generally considered very lousy ratings) beatdown BSG so badly that it's perplexing.

Update: more data -- 1.5+ million 25-54 viewers. 1.4 million 18-49 viewers. Best 18-49 performance since Jan 13, 2006. Best 25-54 performance since October 6, 2006 (season 3 premiere). 606,000 women 18-49 watched -- the best performance the show has ever had by that metric. Chicks dig BSG! (43% of 18-49 viewership was among females). It was the #3 cable program in primetime overall on Friday, and #4 in the 18-49 demo, and #1 in the 25-54 demo.

While I'm a harsh critic of BSG because it set such a high bar with its miniseries/pilot in the wayback, I thought the season four premiere very, very good. But for all the Internet buzz, for the thousands of headlines, for the New York Times coverage to boot -- it did worse than a new episode of Supernatural on the CW, and way, way, way, worse than any airing of Jericho. But, I'm not surprised by that at all. I still can't wait to see who the final cylon is, and because you can never get too much of Tricia Helfer/Number 6...enjoy:

Tricia Helfer as Number 6 on BSG

 
  • Eugenia

    Regarding the economics of the BSG(2003): It’s an “in-house” production meaning NBC/Universal does not pay licensing fees to an outside production company for airing the show.

    Regarding the “vast majority of Americans are not smart enough to follow the show”: That’s a load of garbage put out by Moore and Eick to justify some really BAD writing, particularly in Season 3. Rachel Faith explained it nicely above.

    I couldn’t believe so-called professionals were allowed to put such a disjointed, incomprehensible mess on the air. It wasn’t just one episode either (every series has one or two crummy episodes), it was episode after episode after episode. I’m amazed it got a Season 4.

    I would be easier on the show if it was offered as an entertaining story. If writers and showrunners ask me to think, then I’m not going to overlook incredibly stupid characters, plot holes, out-of-character dialogue, inconsistencies in basic elements, retcons, etc.

  • Eugenia

    Regarding the economics of the BSG(2003): It’s an “in-house” production meaning NBC/Universal does not pay licensing fees to an outside production company for airing the show.

    Regarding the “vast majority of Americans are not smart enough to follow the show”: That’s a load of garbage put out by Moore and Eick to justify some really BAD writing, particularly in Season 3. Rachel Faith explained it nicely above.

    I couldn’t believe so-called professionals were allowed to put such a disjointed, incomprehensible mess on the air. It wasn’t just one episode either (every series has one or two crummy episodes), it was episode after episode after episode. I’m amazed it got a Season 4.

    I would be easier on the show if it was offered as an entertaining story. If writers and showrunners ask me to think, then I’m not going to overlook incredibly stupid characters, plot holes, out-of-character dialogue, inconsistencies in basic elements, retcons, etc.

  • Eugenia

    Regarding the economics of the BSG(2003): It’s an “in-house” production meaning NBC/Universal does not pay licensing fees to an outside production company for airing the show.

    Regarding the “vast majority of Americans are not smart enough to follow the show”: That’s a load of garbage put out by Moore and Eick to justify some really BAD writing, particularly in Season 3. Rachel Faith explained it nicely above.

    I couldn’t believe so-called professionals were allowed to put such a disjointed, incomprehensible mess on the air. It wasn’t just one episode either (every series has one or two crummy episodes), it was episode after episode after episode. I’m amazed it got a Season 4.

    I would be easier on the show if it was offered as an entertaining story. If writers and showrunners ask me to think, then I’m not going to overlook incredibly stupid characters, plot holes, out-of-character dialogue, inconsistencies in basic elements, retcons, etc.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Eugenia (and a belated thanks to Rachel Faith). I’m not really very surprised it got a season 4. I agree with you and I ranted a lot about the quality of season 3, and it was really at Bill’s recommendation that I gutted it out and finally got to the the last couple of episodes.

    I think they thought they were being artistic. It could be I’m simply too plebian to appreciate the art — but if art comes at the expense of making the story and its characters less interesting, it’s too high of a price to pay in my opinion.

    I’m guessing the following assured season 4:

    1. it will still be one of the better rated SciFi shows regardless of the drop off from the early years

    2. I hear the DVD sales are good and coupled with your point that NBCU doesn’t have to pay licensing fees, that all goes straight to the bottom line.

    3.it seems you need a few seasons worth of shows at least for syndication purposes. If there are a total of 19 new episodes left, that would put them at exactly 75 (if you count the miniseries as 2 episodes).

    The S4 premiere has me somewhat optimistic they’ve taken some of the criticism to heart — we’ll see.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Eugenia (and a belated thanks to Rachel Faith). I’m not really very surprised it got a season 4. I agree with you and I ranted a lot about the quality of season 3, and it was really at Bill’s recommendation that I gutted it out and finally got to the the last couple of episodes.

    I think they thought they were being artistic. It could be I’m simply too plebian to appreciate the art — but if art comes at the expense of making the story and its characters less interesting, it’s too high of a price to pay in my opinion.

    I’m guessing the following assured season 4:

    1. it will still be one of the better rated SciFi shows regardless of the drop off from the early years

    2. I hear the DVD sales are good and coupled with your point that NBCU doesn’t have to pay licensing fees, that all goes straight to the bottom line.

    3.it seems you need a few seasons worth of shows at least for syndication purposes. If there are a total of 19 new episodes left, that would put them at exactly 75 (if you count the miniseries as 2 episodes).

    The S4 premiere has me somewhat optimistic they’ve taken some of the criticism to heart — we’ll see.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Eugenia (and a belated thanks to Rachel Faith). I’m not really very surprised it got a season 4. I agree with you and I ranted a lot about the quality of season 3, and it was really at Bill’s recommendation that I gutted it out and finally got to the the last couple of episodes.

    I think they thought they were being artistic. It could be I’m simply too plebian to appreciate the art — but if art comes at the expense of making the story and its characters less interesting, it’s too high of a price to pay in my opinion.

    I’m guessing the following assured season 4:

    1. it will still be one of the better rated SciFi shows regardless of the drop off from the early years

    2. I hear the DVD sales are good and coupled with your point that NBCU doesn’t have to pay licensing fees, that all goes straight to the bottom line.

    3.it seems you need a few seasons worth of shows at least for syndication purposes. If there are a total of 19 new episodes left, that would put them at exactly 75 (if you count the miniseries as 2 episodes).

    The S4 premiere has me somewhat optimistic they’ve taken some of the criticism to heart — we’ll see.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Eugenia (and a belated thanks to Rachel Faith). I’m not really very surprised it got a season 4. I agree with you and I ranted a lot about the quality of season 3, and it was really at Bill’s recommendation that I gutted it out and finally got to the the last couple of episodes.

    I think they thought they were being artistic. It could be I’m simply too plebian to appreciate the art — but if art comes at the expense of making the story and its characters less interesting, it’s too high of a price to pay in my opinion.

    I’m guessing the following assured season 4:

    1. it will still be one of the better rated SciFi shows regardless of the drop off from the early years

    2. I hear the DVD sales are good and coupled with your point that NBCU doesn’t have to pay licensing fees, that all goes straight to the bottom line.

    3.it seems you need a few seasons worth of shows at least for syndication purposes. If there are a total of 19 new episodes left, that would put them at exactly 75 (if you count the miniseries as 2 episodes).

    The S4 premiere has me somewhat optimistic they’ve taken some of the criticism to heart — we’ll see.

  • Marc

    When the network primetime average for SCI FI is under 1.2 million for the year to date, 2.1 million viewers is a no-brainer to be very good. Each show’s success also depends on how much they cost to air/produce.

  • Marc

    When the network primetime average for SCI FI is under 1.2 million for the year to date, 2.1 million viewers is a no-brainer to be very good. Each show’s success also depends on how much they cost to air/produce.

  • Marc

    When the network primetime average for SCI FI is under 1.2 million for the year to date, 2.1 million viewers is a no-brainer to be very good. Each show’s success also depends on how much they cost to air/produce.

  • Marc

    When the network primetime average for SCI FI is under 1.2 million for the year to date, 2.1 million viewers is a no-brainer to be very good. Each show’s success also depends on how much they cost to air/produce.

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