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The second season premiere of Fox’s “Dollhouse” was down sharply in the ratings compared to its series opener and resumed about where the show left off — as Friday’s lowest-rated program on a major broadcast network.
Only this time, “Dollhouse” had some company. The series premiere of Fox’s comedy “Brothers,” which served as a lead-in for “Dollhouse,” was equally abysmal.
While over on CBS, the debut of “Medium” in its new time period (and network) retained most of its “Ghost Whisperer” lead-in and ranked as the most-watched show of the night despite dropping considerably in its new time period.
CBS started with “Ghost” (8.6 million viewers, 2.2 preliminary adults 18-49 rating), down 12% from last year. “Medium” (8.8 million, 2.0) matched the debut of “Ex-List” in the slot, yet fell sharply — 33% — from its debut on NBC on Monday nights last season. “Numbers” (7.9 million, 1.7) was down 19% from last year. Overall, these are somewhat soft for CBS’ block, though the network did win the evening.
ABC was second in the demo, picking up some additional sampling by re-airing a few of its premieres, along with “20/20” (7.1 million 2.3), which won 10 p.m. and ranked as the night’s highest-rated show (a tad depressing, that).
NBC aired the 20th season premiere of Dick Wolf’s “Law & Order” (6.3 million, 1.3). Judging by the rating, this show is ready for pasture. The procedural was also down 41% from its Wednesday night debut last season. “Dateline” (5.8 million 1.5) was modest and “The Jay Leno Show” (5.7 million, 1.5) hit a new low, now creeping into the upper region of Leno’s “Tonight Show” average and matching ABC’s repeats of “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town” in the demo.
And then there’s Fox. Nobody expected “Brothers” (2.8 million, 1.0) to open and it didn’t (mixed reviews, weak promotion, terrible time slot). “Dollhouse” (2.6 million, 1.0) was down 41% from its first season premiere, basically picking up where its finale ended.
As stated time and time again, once a heavily serialized show like “Dollhouse” starts to decline, it’s almost impossible to reverse — the same mythology that keeps some fans tuning in each week discourages new viewers from leaping in (or previous fans from giving the show a second chance).
On the CW, the premiere of “Smallville” (2.5 million, 1.0) took a hit being moved to Fridays, down 45%. CW points out this is the network’s best performance in the time period in more than a year, though naturally if you burn off the (presumed) final season of one of your highest rated shows on the lowest-rated night of the week, that’s what you get.
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The Flight Attendant