News Briefs: How Long Will Once Upon a Time's Ratings Stay Awesome?

By Tim Surette

Oct 25, 2011


... ABC's fairytale spectacular Once Upon a Time debuted Sunday night and kicked all sorts of ass in the ratings, even though it was up against Sunday Night Football and the World Series. More than 12.79 million people tuned in, which earned the show a 3.9 rating and the highest numbers of anything that wasn't sports. High-concept shows tend to fall off the cliff in Week 2, so we'll be keeping a close eye on the ratings next week. [TV By the Numbers]

... In other ratings news, the viewing public's love affair with Jersey Shore might be fading. MTV's reality smash had its first finale drop-off, with Thursday's Season 4 closer pulling in 6.6 million viewers—that's down 1 million from last year's Season 3 finale. It's the first time Jersey Shore has seen a year-to-year ratings drop for a finale. I blame Italy. This season was booooooooooring. Put these guys on the moon or something. [EW]


... Don't be surprised if one of the Pan Am planes crashes later this season. Steven Maeda, a former producer on Lost, is joining ABC's Pan Am as a showrunner while the freshman drama awaits word of its fate (rumor has it that ABC will renew the show despite slumping ratings). Maeda also served as showrunner on Lie to Me and Miami Medical. [Deadline Hollywood]

... The co-showrunners of Starz's Boss, Richard Levine and Lyn Greene, are leaving the new series, which debuted on Friday to positive ratings and has already been renewed for a second season. Not sure this makes sense, but the only thing I can think of is that they served as mentors for creator Farhad Safinia, who is new to television, and are leaving so Safinia can take over. Either that, or Starz found out that they are crab people... from outer spaaaace! [Deadline Hollywood]

... Soon the cable dial will hold 10,000 channels' worth of original programming and we'll have to start outsourcing TV recaps to Korea. The latest addition: Nick at Nite is getting into original comedy with the comedy pilot Daddy's Home, which stars Scott Baio (Happy Days) as a former actor who got famous for playing a TV dad who becomes a stay-at-home dad himself. It's nice to see Nick at Nite and TV Land feed so many actors whose careers are withering away. [Deadline Hollywood]

... NBC has bought a project called 1600 Penn, about a dysfunctional First Family who lives in the White House. Is this REALLY the first time someone has thought of this? [Deadline Hollywood]


... Alan Ball is working with HBO again on Wichita, a drama about real-life abortion doctor Dr. George Tiller, who was killed by a pro-life advocate. Come on, Mr. Ball! Couldn't you have chosen a project with more potential for controversy? [THR]

... Tom Hanks is also working with HBO, where he's putting together a half-hour project called Players about college athletes. [THR]


... Perfect-in-every-way actress Aisha Tyler (Archer's Lana Kane) has joined CBS's The Talk as a co-host, making the show 1 percent tolerable. She's smart, hot, funny, hot, funny, and hot, and one day she and I will make babies together on a tropical island full of monkey butlers who will help us care for our home. [TV Line]

... DirecTV exclusive Damages will add Jenna Elfman to its cast next season, in a move I'm not sure what to make of. She'll play an employee at an investment bank that's engaging in shady activities. Jenna Elfman on one of TV's most hardcore dramas? Glenn Close will eat her face off! [Deadline Hollywood]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • headclub Oct 28, 2011

    Most original pilot since Lost. Kudos OUAT!!

  • doctorwho747 Oct 27, 2011

    @JDintheOC it is not like the old serials where if you miss it then tough s**t. You said you built 3 computers then you should know that you can watch ANY show serialized or not online at the channel websites. Also like vikingwu said Castle, Supernatural, The Mentalist are shows that are both serialized AND stand alone stories. Supernatural still does this : S1 and 2 Yellow eyed demon, S3 trying to save Dean from going to hell, S4 trying to stop Lucifer from getting free, S5 trying to stop the apocalypse, S6, Sam's soul, Eve, the war in heaven, and now S7 The Leviathons, On Castle not just the love story but the Beckett's mother murder conspiracy which is the series arc. The Mentalist had Red John, so only SOME episodes have stand alone wrap ups so really what shows are you watching? As for Enterprise which I loved, it was the first 2 seasons of the usual stand alone eps with the Temporal Cold War every now and then is what wore the audience because many thought it was too recycled of earlier ST. the third season had the season long Xindi arc was when it became truly great, it did NOT go on and on it concluded with possibly the best action and suspense of any ST show. but because of S1 and 2 people had already lost interested. Then S4 which was a series of 2 or 3 parters was also amazing, if they had done what they did with S3 and 4 earlier I think it would have gone on longer. It saddens me that people these days seemed to have lost something called an attention span. Apparently anything longer than a 42 minute tv episode story they freak out and decide to b***h and hate on shows and get them canceled ie: Flashforward, Jericho, The Event, Twin Peaks, and most of all Firefly

  • vikingwwu Oct 27, 2011

    Apparently JD has decided to remove his posts from the thread. Interesting choice. You weren't required to respond to people who disagreed with you if that's what you're referencing by "3 days!"

    I agree with Doctorwho (good show by the way) - I think the thing that pained me most about JD's original comment was that people don't want to invest any time or thought into television (which is all ready a brain drain). So instead of getting quality scripted shows we get tons of procedurals with recycled plots over and over and over again. For those who really enjoy television and like what it can provide (I really like many season long shows better than I like movies) in terms of character development its maddening!

    Jericho had by far one of the most interesting stories I've seen made for television. And Firefly... well, they just don't get much better. I'd say Nathan Fillion is about 75% responsible for my watching of Castle.

  • JDintheOC Oct 27, 2011

    3 days!

  • Loooooooooooost Oct 26, 2011

    HAHAHAHa!! Tim, you are my favorite here. Nearly every article made me chuckle, while Scott Baio made me lol! (which I don't normally admit to) And poor, poor Jenna. Doesn't stand a chance on that show.

  • DancyWhite Oct 26, 2011

    You may try to change your life now even the life before is well. But many people want to have another new found, a new kind of dating feeling. ------sugarmingle-M------ is a great pl-ace for sugar daddy or sugar baby to get to know each other, and talk about work, sports, life, relationship, or more. I can assure you that your will be happy here.

  • Writerpatrick Oct 26, 2011

    No it's not the first time someone thought about a dysfunctional First Family:

  • vikingwwu Oct 26, 2011

    Actually Castle tends to have an overarching plot to each season, which is one of the only reasons I continue to watch it. This is true for Supernatural as well, which goes between Monster of the Week episodes and the overarching plot (last season it was, "What on Earth is Castiel up to?"). So, your definition of having a "carrot dangled in front of [your] face" is hazy at best. Also, I agree with Kavselj. Shows that don't make any progression in terms of character development (which is what carrots do) are bland and boring and unbelievable. Why anyone would want to watch the same thing over and over again without any deviation from the central characters is beyond me - something akin to reading the same page of a book over and over again.

  • JDintheOC Oct 29, 2011

    Just what do you think the purpose of the guest cast is?

    A book doesn't have a rotating cast of characters.

  • vikingwwu Oct 27, 2011

    By using your "generation," I was responding to an insinuation that I somehow seemed to have less insight into this topic because I wasn't familiar with seeing Saturday Serials. That is all.

  • vikingwwu Oct 26, 2011

    Growing up during a time when Saturday Serials existed is largely irrelevant to the discussion of baiting an audience to tune in every week. Radio broadcasts were doing it long before. How does this affect the discussion other than to provide a history for storytelling? Castle baits viewers with the prospect of Beckett and Castle finally telling the truth about how they feel about one another. It is a thematic development which keeps viewers tuning in and is indeed a "carrot." Just ask the producers of other popular television series' which saw their shows demise after the two central characters relationship was fulfilled. It is a carrot and it does keep people coming back to the show week after week. LOST was perhaps (with the exception of the last episode) one of the best television shows ever written and produced. Just because you did not want to invest the time in keeping up with it doesn't make this untrue to millions of people. Moreover, we currently live in a time where DVR's exist and television shows can be bought on DVD and you can watch entire seasons of television shows on Hulu or Netflix (for a small monthly fee, cheaper than having cable actually). We no longer live in a time where if you missed last week's episode of Enterprise and sit down to tune in you won't have a clue what's going on. Technology got smarter. The audience got smarter and able to tune in when they wanted. Then television shows got smarter. People can finally watch whatever television shows they want to (with a few exceptions) however and whenever they want. So, sitting down and watching television now can be as enjoyable as reading a good book. I don't see how that is a step in the wrong direction - just something your generation didn't grow up with.

  • bkyle2429 Oct 26, 2011

    The original Charlies Angels was not dumb, second the reboot was not bad at all just a little different an upgrade in Bosley(no offense to david Doyle) and using not so angels instead of Police Officers, and finally a new Location

  • ArjunaJenning Oct 26, 2011

    I'm in on Once Upon A Time. Next to Homeland, its the best new show television. Albeit I haven't watched the Ringer or The Secret Circle, oh well.

  • kavselj Oct 25, 2011

    Which is pretty much every show excluding the numerous police procedurals. Your TV schedule is a definition of bland and boring then :P

    On the other hand, you can always wait till whole season airs and then grab it on DVD/BluRay and watch it in a week.

  • ionee24 Oct 26, 2011

    Although you have to keep in mind that would keep you out of the "team wars" as they unfold: Lannisters vs Starks, Eric vs Bill, Huddy vs Foreteen, Sixers vs Terra Nova, Pukcberry vs Klaine, Stelena vs Delena, etc.

  • ArjunaJenning Oct 26, 2011

    ...and the "water cooler" talk.

  • ionee24 Oct 25, 2011

    I'd say Once Upon a Time is a PG 13 True Blood, so it should stay on the air for at least 5 seasons, just like its darker "older brother".

  • MichaelZeiger Oct 26, 2011

    Never thought about it like that. Highly agree.

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