Black Box: Season One Ratings

Black Box on ABC ratingsABC gave Black Box a straight-to-series order and ordered 13 episodes without seeing a pilot first. They held it until late in the season (typically not a good sign) on Thursdays at 10pm as a replacement for their hit show, Scandal. Will Black Box live up to expectations? Will it be a ratings success and earn a second season or will it be cancelled instead? Stay tuned.

Black Box revolves around a beautiful and brilliant neuroscientist (Kelly Reilly) who’s hiding the fact that she’s bipolar. The rest of the cast includes Ditch Davey, David Ajala, Terry Kinney, Ali Wong, David Chisum, Laura Fraser, Siobhan Williams, and Vanessa Redgrave.

The ratings are typically the best indication of a show’s likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings (particularly the 18-49 demo), the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available — usually the next day, around 11:30am EST/8:30am PST. Refresh to see the latest.

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8/7 update: ABC has cancelled Black Box after one season.

Final season averages: 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 4.41 million total viewers.

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Note: These are the final national numbers (unless noted with an “*”). These are different from the fast affiliate numbers which are just estimates of the actual ratings and are reported on by most other outlets. The final nationals are typically released within 24 hours of the programming or, in the case of weekends and holidays, a couple days later.

What do you think? Do you like the Black Box TV series? Do you think it should be cancelled or be renewed for a second season?

Canceled and renewed TV show

472 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. says

    ok I can appreciate what you are saying but at least it was entertaining. I did think however that a lot of that bipolar that she was exhibiting was a bit much but that is tv you cannot believe everything you watch anyway. I guess I am a woman and I liked the romance part of it.

    • I. J. Davidson says

      The “romance” part of it? More like the “psychotic” part of it. These days it takes a lot less misbehavior than Catherine Black demonstrated to get in hot water in the medical community. With her shenanigans, Black wouldn’t have lasted a year at the position she was supposed to have held. Lots of doctors have messy, chaotic personal lives; no one cares as long as you leave that personal life at home when you come to the office. Black didn’t. – It doesn’t matter how smart you are. Smart people are a dime a dozen. As Professor Dumbledore said, “It is not our abilities that make us who we are; it is our choices.” You have to function within the framework of the larger medical community. And another thing: Catherine Black was supposed to be a renowned medical researcher.She was way too young for that; the sort of reputation she was supposed to have comes to medical scientists only when they are older, in their fifties or sixties at least, and have accumulated a large body of distinguished work. Black was at the age when her research would have been called “promising.” But it was laughable how the show’s creators clearly had no clue whatever what constitutes biomedical research. Gathering a grab-bag of odd cases, which is what Black was doing, is not research. The show’s creator allowed herself to be hoodwinked by the example of Oliver Sacks, the doctor who wrote “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat” and other such books and was the doctor in “Awakenings.” If you look at Dr. Sacks’s curriculum vitae, you’ll see he hasn’t done any real research since the 1960s. His books aren’t neurological research; they’re not even neurology. They’re books for a general readership about a neurological subject. Doctors read Sacks’s books for the same reason everyone else does: Entertainment. – But I digress. To achieve what Catherine Black had already supposedly achieved, intelligence isn’t enough. It takes perseverance. You have to be a plugger. And you have to be able to GET ALONG WITH OTHERS. Take my word for it: Someone whose moods are so volatile, whose thinking is so disorganized, and whose behavior is so erratic, could never marshal the personal resources necessary to get ahead in the field Black was in. P.S. One more thing: Neurologists and neuroscientists NEVER, EVER call the brain a “black box.”

      • Anonymous says

        All right I guess you said it all. I have worked with doctors for a long time and you are right there is a lot of education involved to make a true professional. It was just entertaining that is all. I know a lot of it was not researched enough to make that series. If there is one thing I do know I highly respect the medical profession and all the education that goes along with it. You are constantly learning with new advances in medicine. I applaud all physicians for the service they give to mankind. Thank you for letting me voice my opinion.

  2. MaryAnn Dean says

    I really.liked the show. When it was cancelled I kept thinking why did the show leave you hanging. Maybe the ratings were low but I thought the show did not get a fair rating being it ended so abruptly. As an advocate of watching a program about mental illness (specifically bipolar disease) I thought a lot of people were made aware od this devastating disease. Some other programs on TV are really not worth watching but I felt an educational learning experience from this one. Forget about the other doctors I am specifically talking about the actress Kelly Reilly. I really would like to see it come back. Thanks for letting me give my opinion.

    • I. J. Davidson says

      MaryAnn, as a physician, I give you fair warning: If you EVER find yourself in the care of doctors as irresponsible and incompetent as Catherine Black or any of the other “doctors” on this you-should-excuse-the-expression television show, you should run away. Very fast.

  3. Angel Yanez says

    Black Box getting canceled is more then upsetting… Here we FINALLY had a show with intellect, fire and an actual platform with purpose. Bringing mental illness to light was only one of the show’s great accomplishments but to shine the light brighter by casting a female character as a brilliant, successful, and acclaimed doctor was even better… (being a beautiful and sexy actress along with that was just a viewer’s perk). But as I started to state in beginning; to have shows continue to stay on air that do nothing but embarrass and insult the networks and even more, their viewers … such as The Bachelor or Big Brother actually makes things VERY clear, they don’t deserve to have a great show.

    • I. J. Davidson says

      As a neurologist, I can tell you that every single thing you think about Black Box is wrong. I had a chance to read the scripts for the first two episodes of this travesty before production began because I had a chance to be a technical advisor on the show. When I read them, my heart sank. This show had as much believability and verisimilitude as I Dream of Jeannie compared to the real space program. Not only did the creators ignore realism, they WENT OUT OF THEIR WAY to thumb their noses at it. And the characters of the doctors weren’t inspiring, they were about as offensive as it’s possible to get unless you’re talking about the Nazi doctors during the Third Reich. Neither of the two medical “advisors” on the show was a neurologist. One was a fourth-year medical student at Harvard who had the ear of the show’s creater, who for some crazy reason took him seriously . I read his comments: He was clearly HOPELESSLY out of his depth. It would be like hiring a 3rd-year law student to be the technical advisor on The Good Wife. The great physician William Osler said, “Medicine is learned by the bedside and not in the classroom. Let not your conceptions of disease come from words heard in the lecture room or read from the book. See, and then reason and compare and control. But see first.” The other doctor was a BURN SPECIALIST. He may have been a good burn specialist, but he didn’t know much about neurology. – I begged and pleaded and implored the show’s people to change things. I told them the two scripts I read were so bad they couldn’t be fixed. In fact, the whole premise of the show was so bad it couldn’t be fixed: Best thing would be to tear up the scripts and go back to the drawing board. They ignored me, of course. I warned my contact on the production staff that the show would be a disaster, and counted the ways. Later on, she told me that every calamity that I had predicted had come true and THEN some. I am exposed to Gray’s Anatomy because my wife watches it. Let me tell you: As abysmally bad as Gray’s Anatomy is, it looks like a DOCUMENTARY compared to Black Box. He also said, “He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.” The show’s producers either ignored, or never knew, this truth.

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