How Will TNT's 'Falling Skies' Rate in Its Return?

Categories: Cable TV

Written By

June 16th, 2012

Update: Falling Skies drew 4.461 million viewers and  million and a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating in its season premiere, down from last year's premiere that drew a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating and 5.9 million viewers.

TNT's Falling Skies returns Sunday night at 9pm ET with a two-hour season premiere. The show is TNT's highest-rated scripted drama with adults 18-49 and yet last summer the show drew more negative comments for the highest-rated scripted show on a cable network than I've ever seen. We're used to seeing such negative commentary about high-rated reality shows and competitions, but not so much with scripted fare.

While the Dallas premiere drew more total viewers (6.863 million) than the Falling Skies premiere, Falling Skies bettered Dallas by 33% with adults 18-49 in its premiere.  Of note while most of the scripted fare that aired the Sunday before July 4 last year took hits due to a three day holiday weekend, Falling Skies was mostly impervious.

TNT has had almost a year to run repeats of the show and give it more exposure so all other things being equal I wouldn't be surprised if it ties or sets series highs. But all other things are not equal. With the NBA season running longer due to the fall lockout, Falling Skies will have to go up against game 3 of  the NBA finals on ABC. It will also have to go up against the end of golf's U.S. Open which could draw big ratings if it's close and Tiger Woods is still in the mix.

One red flag - at least several critics like the first few episodes of season two much more than season one. If I'm Turner head of programming Michael Wright of course I'd want good reviews, comments of praise on the Internet and good ratings. But if it's a "pick one" situation give me the good ratings!

Below is a poll for season two ratings and the season one historical ratings to aid in your prognostications.

Falling Skies Season One 18-49 Ratings and Viewership:


Date 18-49 Rtg L+SD Viewers (Millions)
Sunday, June 19, 2011 2.0 5.905
Sunday, June 26, 2011 1.5 4.200
Sunday, July 03, 2011 1.4 4.066
Sunday, July 10, 2011 1.4 3.901
Sunday, July 17, 2011 1.4 4.269
Sunday, July 24, 2011 1.4 4.068
Sunday, July 31, 2011 1.5 4.312
Sunday, August 07, 2011 1.9 5.703
Sunday, August 07, 2011 1.9 5.541

Note: last year TNT counted the two-hour premiere as only one telecast for Nielsen purposes but counted the two-hour season finale as two telecasts.

  • Pete

    Sports won’t hurt it. I’d say 2.2

  • Jason50

    I hope this season is a much better improvement than last year. I think they have new writers this year so I’ll give it a few episodes. Last season was far from great, I can’t believe Speilberg put his name to it. After directing and producing war epics like Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, and the Pacific you would think Falling Skies would have the same vibe and grittiness to it. Instead the first season had too much fighting between the humans and not the aliens, family bonding(as well as all the girls flirting with the son), and too much down time with the group living at the school. Just doesn’t have the right atmosphere as the other Speilberg works as well as movies like Terminator and Aliens.

  • FattyMcFatso

    Falling Skies is no better and no worse than all the rest of the sci-fi stuff currently making the cable and network TV rounds. Nothing is particularly good, but most of it is decent enough to watch and waste an hour on. Except FRINGE which is the bottom of the barrel and perhaps the biggest embarrassment to the genre since … ever.

    Alphas isn’t exactly a bad show, but it just feels a bit boring and uneventful 90% of the time.

  • One @ FattyMcFatso


  • One @ FattyMcFatso


  • Vanessa S.

    I really enjoyed Falling Skies last year and I’m looking forward to it this year too. Incidentally, I’m also a fan of Alphas. And a good many other sci fi shows.

  • ChrisA

    Can’t wait!!!
    Plus I think this season is going to be better than last season. Last year I read an article that there were going to hire new writers for season 2 which they will concentrate bringing more on the characters and plot.

    I predict 2.0-2.5
    If it goes higher the better.

  • GB

    Dear Nicole the TNT Hater,
    We know how much you love USA and love to hate on TNT. Guessing you didn’t know Falling Skies did better in the network coveted 18-49 demo than any other cable show except for The Motorcycle dudes and The Zombies. So if you want to continue to bash TNT at least get your frickin facts straight.

    As for how it will do tonight. Guesstimating 1.7-1.8 … lil’ lower than last because it’s up against hoops. It will get bigger and bigger and you will get angrier and angrier. I wonder when exactly TNT pased on one of your shows or are you just a shill for

    Have a nice Sunday hanging on every frame of Falling.



  • Crazy Eye Broyles (AJ)

    With Tiger flopping at the Open, I’ll say a 2.2 although basketball could be a problem. The Darantula vs LeFraud is a big deal around here.

  • Fake Me Out

    What can I say? I really wanted to like this show last year but the writing was a train wreck and a few of the casting choices left me wondering … why? One lives in hope that this season will see an improvement. I don’t really care about the SFX … I like 50’s Sci-Fi and old school Dr Who so SFX while nice doesn’t replace good writng.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say the rating will be somewhere between 0.5 and 5.0 … :) … and watch Continuum if you can.


  • FattyMcFatso


    I dare!
    It’s really not!
    I will never burn!
    You cannot silence me!

    My conception of quality sci-fi is working correctly and producing accurate results. But you should consider adjusting your CAPS button.

  • Crazy Eye Broyles (AJ)

    I forgot the Bostrich. He is a big deal around Dallas as well since he is from here. Continuum is a pretty cool show. Still sad there is no new Stargate series on my TV. :(

  • steve

    with what going up agaisnt im going 1.8

  • Fennerbender

    It was an okay show last season and got better towards the end of the season. The two-hour thankfully was a continuation of the better part of the last season.

  • Coffee Steve

    Just watched the 2 hour premiere, it was great, hope it does well, like to see it stay on the air. We enjoyed Terra Nova as well, but its in the history books now.

  • Derrick

    its up against the NBA finals, i think it will get lower than expected.

    DVR ratings may bring it up though

  • Richard Steven Hack

    TvFreak: No, I don’t consider Doctor Who science fiction, it’s fantasy. I’m not sure there is any decent sci-fi on TV these days, except for Alphas. I missed all the Battlestar, Babylon 5, FarScape and Stargate stuff – and Lost – so I can’t comment on those.

    Basically the last sci-fi show that really held my attention – and in fact got me watching TV again – was “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” – until Freidman totally screwed it up in season two. Even then, it had a lot of good things about it. It could have so much more than Friedman had the vision to understand.

    “V” wasn’t too bad, although it was very slow to get down to the war – which is probably why it got canceled.

    The Event was awful in so many ways I can’t list them all.

    I agree the mechs are the best special effect on Falling Skies – that’s not saying much these days, as you correctly point out.

    But the aliens are just hideously bad. The rest of the show has huge problems with writing, plausibility, acting (except for Cunningham and Carter), directing. All the characters act like idiots (again, except for Cunningham and Carter’s characters.) It’s just bad all around.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Actually, there may be a new decent sci-fi show on TV now, even though it violates my “no time-travel” rule.

    Continuum, the new Canadian show with Rachel Nichols, has so far been pretty reasonably done. It remains to be seen how it will develop, but so far it’s holding my attention – and for more reasons than just Rachel.

  • Jason50

    After watching the first two episodes of season 2 I can say it’s an improvement to last season. Tonights episodes were at least better than anything from last season, hope the rest of the season continues to improve.

    Just to add my two cents:
    Alphas- Good show, not really sci-fi(more superhero) but best scripted show on Syfy IMO.
    Fringe- Still a fun show, this past season not as good as the previous two.
    Continuum- Not a bad show, agree with RSH that so far it’s holding my attention.

  • KarenM

    It wasn’t bad but not great either. The characters have potential but are cookie cutters. If it wasn’t for Pope there would be no conflict really. Oh, and, kill all of Tom’s kids off! ;)

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