FOX has thrown away the key on Alcatraz. The J.J. Abrams thriller has been cancelled after one season and 13 episodes.
Alcatraz follows the investigations of police detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Doctor Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia). They work to uncover how 340 inmates and guards disappeared from the infamous prison in 1963 and why they’re now reappearing looking just the same. The show also features the talents of Jonny Coyne, Parminder Nagra, Jason Butler Harner, and Sam Neill.
Fueled by a lot of promotion, the TV series was launched in January and drew good reviews and strong numbers. The two-hour premiere attracted a 3.3 rating in the all-important 18-49 demographic with 10.05 million total viewers. Opposite some tough competition from CBS, Alcatraz was in second place in its timeslots.
In week two, the demo slipped 9% to a still respectable 3.0 rating with 9.03 million. Week three dropped another 7%. That wasn’t positive but not horrible either but the ratings just kept falling.
The two-hour season (now series) finale was in fourth place in the timeslots and averaged a disappointing 1.6 demo rating with 4.76 million total viewers.
The first season of Alcatraz ended up averaging a 2.2 demo rating with 6.74 million viewers — and those numbers would have dropped lower had there been more episodes.
On our FOX report card — which ranks the network’s shows based on demo averages — Alcatraz has a “C” and that just wasn’t good enough to get a renewal.
What happened? It would seem that Alcatraz just wasn’t compelling enough to keep viewers returning week after week. Plus, for the first time in quite awhile, all three of the major networks had really strong programming on Monday nights. Two of the competing shows — The Voice and Dancing with the Stars — are reality competitions and many viewers feel compelled to watch them “live” rather than catch them online or via DVR recordings.
All 13 episodes of Alcatraz have aired and the last episode left viewers wondering what would happen next. Unless the producers decide to share what they had in mind for season two, we’ll never know the answers to the show’s mysteries.
What do you think? Why do you think Alcatraz failed to hold onto a bigger audience? Did FOX make a mistake by cancelling the series? What will you miss about it?