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Legend of the Seeker Viewing Up Slightly, But...

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Written By

March 10th, 2010

Is this the final season Legend of the Seeker?  We don't know yet, but at this point I think that's the most likely outcome.  I wish I had better news for you, and it's just my opinion.  Time will tell.

No Legend of the Seeker has not been canceled yet, not in the sense that its second season will be pulled off the air.  All the season two episodes will air.  But the Tribune Station Group has confirmed it won't be picking the show up for a third season from ABC Domestic Television which syndicates the ABC Studios produced Seeker.

As for season 3, no decision has been made yet.  ABC is still hoping to find a replacement for the Tribune stations.  I wouldn't get hung up on the last couple of weeks of ratings below.  It was versus the Olympics.   Besides, Tribune wasn't happy with the numbers for the whole season, not just the last couple of weeks.

Also note that the most recent ratings for the weekend of 2/27-2/28 was the weekend before the news about the Tribune Stations Group not picking up the show for a third season came out.

Show Date R= Repeat HH rating Live+SD Viewers (000)
Legend of the Seeker 7-Nov-09 1.7 2,580
14-Nov-09 1.5 2,240
21-Nov-09 1.6 2,504
28-Nov-09 1.6 2,408
5-Dec-09 2,300
12-Dec-09 2,671
19-Dec-09 R 1.4 2,108
26-Dec-09 R 1.4 2,101
2-Jan-10 R 1.4 2,020
9-Jan-10 1.5 2,278
16-Jan-10 1.5 2,343
23-Jan-10 1.6 2,447
30-Jan-10 1.7 2,581
6-Feb-10 R 1.4 2,019
13-Feb-10 1.7 2,624
20-Feb-10 1.5 2,111
27-Feb-10 1.5 2.226

Losing the Tribune stations is a fairly big deal in that not only do they need to replace around 20 markets, they lose the top 3 markets (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) plus the WGN America superstation which is available in more than 70 million homes nationwide.

Finding a replacement isn't the hard part.  The hard part will be finding a replacement who is willing to pay what ABC wants to get paid.   Tribune decided that based on what it was paying, and the ratings for the show, that it wasn't a good business decision to keep paying for the show.  That doesn't make it impossible to find a new home, it just makes it very difficult unless ABC is willing to slash costs a lot.  My guess is ABC won't do that.

Could it move out of syndication to another broadcast network or cable network?  Anything is possible, but it doesn't seem very likely at all.

My friend Jennifer Godwin at E! Online  (who probably ain't gonna love this post) suggests CW is the perfect network for Seeker and that it would fit nicely at 9pm after Smallville on Friday nights.

Sorry Jen, that's not gonna happen. The CW doesn't dabble in scripted shows that aren't produced by one of its parents networks (CBS and Warner Bros) anymore.  Every scripted show on the CW now comes out of either CBS or Warner Bros.   That way, the CW itself can lose a lot of money (which it does) but its parents are still happy because they wind up making money once the DVDs, international revenue, etc. are factored in.

But Seeker is produced by ABC Studios, so ABC would get the bulk of the international licensing and any DVD revenue, not CBS or Warner Bros.

Another reason I don't see CW as an option is that in several markets, including New York and Chicago the local CW affiliates are owned by the Tribune Stations Group.

Some will suggest Syfy is the perfect fit and from a programming point of view  I'd agree.  But, if ABC couldn't make the finances work for Tribune, it seems very unlikely that it could make them work for Syfy.

What will happen? We probably won't know the show's fate for certain for at least a couple of months, and perhaps even  longer.

 
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