For the most part, FOX has really been struggling this season. When it comes to new shows, Empire is a hit and Gotham’s doing okay but Utopia, Mulaney, Gracepoint, and Red Band Society were dismal failures in the ratings and have already been cancelled. How’s Backstrom doing? Will it survive to see a second season?
On Backstrom, an offensive, irascible yet brilliant detective (Rainn Wilson) is brought back from exile to run Portland Police Bureau’s Special Crimes Unit. The rest of the cast includes Genevieve Angelson, Dennis Haysbert, Kristoffer Polaha, Page Kennedy, Beatrice Rosen, and Thomas Dekker.
With American Idol as a lead-in, the series debuted on January 22nd with a 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 7.98 million viewers. That was an okay start but there wasn’t much serious competition on the other networks.
In week two, Backstrom had to start competing with Scandal on ABC and the ratings dropped more than 30%. In week three, NBC’s The Blacklist moved to Thursdays at 9pm and Backstrom dropped another 30% or so once again, falling to a 1.0 in the demo and 3.64 million.
In week four, the FOX series bounced back to a 1.2 in the demo and 4.39 million. Last week’s installment took another big tumble and Backstrom landed at a 0.9 in the demo and 3.54 million.
It’s pretty clear that, while Backstrom may have some devoted viewers, it’s not priority viewing for most people on Thursday nights. It’s pretty consistently in fourth place in its 9pm timeslot and is now FOX’s lowest-rated drama.
With numbers like these, it’s hard to imagine that FOX will renew Backstrom for a second season. FOX has some serious schedule problems but this show doesn’t seem to be a solution. There are eight episodes left in the season (only five are scheduled) so Backstrom has some time to prove itself with better ratings. This seems unlikely but sometimes miracles do happen. Backstrom could certainly use one.
But, what do you think? Do you like Backstrom? If you ran the network, would you cancel or renew this series for a second season? Would you change anything to attract more viewers?