'Flashpoint' heat leads to Season 2


CBS has renewed its summer drama series "Flashpoint" for a second season after the show hit a season high Thursday night.

The co-production between CBS Paramount and Canadian broadcaster CTV had modest ratings but clawed out of the summer doldrums against steep odds to post a relatively impressive performance.

During the past two weeks, "Flashpoint" hit season highs, with Thursday spiking 18% in the key adult 18-49 demographic to earn a 2.6 rating/7 share and 9.7 million total viewers.

The show was launched on low-traffic Friday nights, with CBS' higher-profile summer scripted effort "Swingtown" landing the coveted Thursday spot. As "Swingtown's" ratings declined, CBS swapped the shows, and "Flashpoint" held its own during the week.

During the Summer Olympics, "Flashpoint" weathered NBC's ratings storm without losing much ground. After the Games, "Flashpoint" began climbing in the ratings even as other networks' continuing summer fare declined.

" 'Flashpoint' shows that the summer can be a great place to launch shows and experiment with different forms of programming, including international co-productions," CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl said. "It's great to go into next year with another proven performer on the bench ready to go."

The show's success gives CBS the sort of property that all broadcasters have long sought: a low-cost scripted summer series. But given "Flashpoint's" solid performance, CBS is leaving the door open to bringing the crime drama back as early as midseason. (partialdiff)

Also on Thursday, the CW's string of good news continued, with the Season 4 premiere of "Supernatural" (4 million, 1.7/5) hitting its best number since the show's network debut two years ago. The Season 8 debut of "Smallville" (4.3 million, 1.8/6) fared less well, down 10% from its premiere-week bow last year. (partialdiff)