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A Very Disappointing Ratings Start for ‘Minority Report’

A Very Disappointing Ratings Start for 'Minority Report'

Well this is not a good sign! Unless these figures turn around very quickly over the course of the next few episodes, “Minority Report” could be a new TV series with an early death.

According to Nielsen data, the freshman Fox series drew a very disappointing 3.09 million viewers during its premiere from 9-10pm last night, despite a lead-in from “Gotham” (8-10pm).

How disappointing is that? Compare to the premiere ratings of a somewhat similar series in “Sleepy Hollow” whose very first episode drew over 10 million viewers! That’s a remarkable difference. 

Also, other new series premiering last night, like NBC’s “Blindspot” which aired from 10-11pm, drew close 11 million viewers.

“Minority Report’s” main competition at 9pm was “Scorpion” on CBS, which scored 11 million viewers. 

Even at the other end of the scale, “Gotham’s” very first episode last year drew over 8 million viewers.

So, if it’s not clear yet, 3 million viewers for a premiere episode for any broadcast TV series is just not good, and doesn’t bode well for its future, if only because, on average, most new series perform their strongest during their premieres (interest is at its peak), and tend to gradually fade as the season progresses, eventually settling in a tight range. So this 3.09 million premiere figure could mean that it’ll only get worse from here for “Minority Report.” 

Go back a couple of years to another futuristic inter-racial buddy cop crime drama series in “Almost Human,” which starred Michael Ealy and Karl Urban. Its 2013 fall season premiere episode drew 9.1 million viewers. However, by the middle of the season, it was averaging around 6 million viewers, and Fox canceled it soon after that, not renewing it for a second season. And that’s for a series whose lowest numbers came half-way through the season and were almost 3 million more than “Minority Report” scored for its first.

That’s too bad! I watched last night’s premiere, and, as I shared on Twitter, I was entertained enough that I said I would return for episode 2, and possibly beyond that. It’s not a series that’s going to win Emmys, but I don’t think it was made with that possibility in mind. It’s a relatively fast-paced, light and enjoyable series that’s set in the world set up in the original 2002 film (itself based on a short story of the same name by Philip K. Dick). It doesn’t try to be anything more than what it knows it is. And it works – so far anyway. The performances are credible, including co-star Meagan Good, and the visual effects look expensive (in a good way of course). I should note that I’ve only seen 1 episode, so my opinion is based on just that. I can’t say more until I actually see more.

But a bad start for the series unfortunately; and unless word of mouth is strong over the next few weeks, encouraging others to check out upcoming episodes of the series, given how anxious TV executives have become, with itchy *trigger* fingers, as pressure to produce instant results seemingly grows, thanks in part to increased competition in terms of original scripted series, “Minority Report” could be one of the first to go.

So if you’re a fan, and you want it to stick around, I suggest you start campaigning however you can.

I should note that this would be another TV *miss* for Meagan Good (assuming it doesn’t last). In 2013, the premiere episode for “Deception,” the NBC series she starred in, drew just 5.5 million viewers, which quickly dropped to the low 3 million range halfway through the season, and was eventually canceled by the network. Although, quite frankly, there’s little she could’ve done to save that series, because it just wasn’t a good show overall (it all starts in the writing). But “Minority Report” looks like a much better series to me (thus far).

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