Defying Gravity: Disappointing Ratings; Cancel It or Keep It?

Defying GravityABC’s new outer-space drama debuted on Sunday night. Will Defying Gravity be allowed to complete its mission or, like so many shows before it, be lost in space?

Defying Gravity follows the adventures of eight international astronauts as they fly a spaceship named Antares. On a top-secret mission, their lives are being recorded and telecast on Earth as part of a documentary. Despite the fact that the crewmembers wear libido-suppressing devices, there are plenty of romantic entanglements.

The show features the talents of Andrew Airlie, Christina Cox, Paula Garces, Laura Harris, Peter Howitt, Florentine Lahme, Karen LeBlanc, Ron Livingston, Ty Olsson, Zahf Paroo, Eyal Podell, Maxim Roy, Dylan Taylor, and Malik Yoba.

The sci-fi drama’s storyline is strangely similar to the failed pilot for Virtuality that aired a month ago. Defying Gravity is a Canadian series that’s co-produced by CTV, Omni Film Productions Limited, and Fox Television Studios. Filming has been completed on all 13 episodes of season one and Defying Gravity is currently airing in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States.

Should Defying Gravity be cancelled?

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The show has been pitched as “Grey’s Anatomy in space” but unfortunately it hasn’t attracted the same level of viewership for ABC. Defying Gravity debuted on Sunday with a pair of episodes and was outperformed by competition of predominately repeats. The first hour attracted merely 3.83 million viewers and only a 1.1/3 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic. The second hour dropped to 3.56 million while the demo numbers stayed the same.

Defying Gravity moves to its regular timeslot of 10pm this Sunday night. Based on these numbers and the expected drop in ratings for the show’s second night, it’s very doubtful that ABC will continue to air the series for very long.

One has to wonder if ABC really expected the series to last very long anyway. As of now, the network has only scheduled some of the 13 episodes. By the time that Brothers & Sisters returns for its fourth season, at most only nine episodes of Defying Gravity will have aired.

Whether ABC intends to move the show to a new night (normally Saturday but there’s college football coming) or pull it altogether remains to be seen. Either way, with numbers like these, it’s inconceivable that the show will be coming back for another year on ABC.

What do you think? Should the show have a future or should ABC just pull the plug and cancel it already?

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253 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. A. Lawson says

    Having just watched the “final episode” I am gutted to find out this series has been cancelled. It got of to a slow start but kept getting better. The final episode was superb. The men in suits are only bothered about ratings and advertising revenue and would rather have dross like big brother and the x-factor. The reason this series didn’t take off was because of poor scheduling. Because it didn’t IMMEDIATELY attract milliions of viewers, the morons in charhge decided that it wasn’t worth continuing. Shame on them. What future for TV with these morons in charge?

  2. matt brown says

    Again a good show gets cancelled, it always takes a time for a series to set up its story, but this show got better and better. it was put on at a daftly late time on bbc 2 , while all these crap “best of the noughties shows” get prime time. either there r alot of idiots watching reality tv or all tv excecutives think were all idiots.
    the characters were superb and special effects not over the top which is always difficult on sci-fi’s, lets,hope it gets another chance.

  3. jackie taylor says

    We have only just seen the series, as it has only now been aired in Europe – and we are distraught that it is being cancelled after the Venus landing. We adored this series, which just kept getting better and better with each episode, – and I really want to know what happens next. Is there any chance that it will be continued, has there been enough interest around the world. If not, shame on ABC for axing the best sci-fi since the demise of Star Trek.

  4. says

    How is it that a Network finds itself unable to market a show? They seem to push the drivel. Are the networks telling us that ‘quality’ is a harder sell? Does the cliche’ “No Pain, No Gain” ring a bell? How about the NIKE mantra “Just Do It!” Keep the series on. Give us something of quality to watch. Erase the “boob tube” stigma. Give us quality. Give us another “West Wing, Frasier, Boston Legal, etc.” How is “Big Brother” still on? Who are these network “executives” making decisions on what is or what isn’t entertaining?

  5. John says

    How could they cancel Defying gravity????
    There is a serious lak of good scifi and they simply cancel a masterpiece?!!
    So sad!

  6. Jim says

    It’s a great show! I dvr’d all the epsiodes and watched when aired. I just went back to see if I felt the same and I really miss this show. What could they have been thinking, bringing this show out in summer. It would be great if someone picked it up. How do we get it picked up? Star Trek was cancelled and reinstated after a letter writing campaign. email campaign maybe? to who?

  7. pot smoker says

    I agree 100% with Jacinda, I watch tv online only, and by the time I found this great series it was already canceled.
    More and more ppl I know watch the tele on line because is convenient. I watch my series when I want, not when the corporate world thinks I want to watch it.

  8. Jacinda says

    See the thing is, a lot of ppl no longer watch a whole lot of cable. We watch our TV on the internet. For example, I am in University and my roommate and I are cutting costs by cutting out cable and landline telephones. So how can CTV and ABC know that we aren’t watching the show? Also, it needs more advertisement. My parents are TV watchers but never really saw any commercials for this show which is a huge bummer because I know they would have been super interested in it. Not to mention that starting a TV series in August is a little lame. most people are still on summer vacation and not really caring about shows at the moment. Had it started in September, once people were getting back into the daily routine of their lives, reception may have been better. This show is good. In fact it’s great. If they kept airing it, I would for sure keep watching it online. If they finished the show and came out with the DVD, I would absolutely buy it. I’ve heard this new show V (a remake) is starting up. How long will it last with CTV and ABC’s nasty habits of cancelling great scifi shows? Keep it going, it will get better! The last few episodes after Episode nine are awesome and keep you on the edge of your seat. You won’t be able to stop watching them. Play them. Give the series a chance!

  9. Christopher Edmondson says

    I typed:
    “I hope Defying Gravity makes it to a second episode, and then more, as it grows on the viewers, and the second season starts off with the charater Zoe not dieing on Venus.”

    Of couse I ment season i.e.

    “I hope Defying Gravity makes it to a second *season*, and then more, as it grows on the viewers, and the second season starts off with the charater Zoe not dieing on Venus.”

  10. Christopher Edmondson says

    I really enjoy this show, and look forward to each episode here in Britain, as it is an intellegent scripted well made sci-fi program that stands out from the dumbed down rubbish that passes for TV entertainment, of course just for that reason the short sighted studio suits had to cancel it, and maybe attempt to kill off a main and central character on Venus.

    If they were going to have a sci-fi program that deals with the human element of a long duration space flight, as opposed to the technolgy element of the same concept in the BBC’s Space Odessy in which the shows idea originated, and was based on, then it is just asinine to cancel it just as it was getting into its stride. They might as well have not commision Defying Gravity, if they intended to cancel it after one season.

    If Defying Gravity’s first season had any faults it was in to may flashbacks, and a slow story, but now the characters backgrounds have been established somewhat, the second seasons scripts could be tigtened up, and more emphasis can be devoted to the space elemet of the 6 year mission, and how people in a spaceship on a long flight cope.

    I hope Defying Gravity makes it to a second episode, and then more, as it grows on the viewers, and the second season starts off with the charater Zoe not dieing on Venus.

    But then the studio suits usually are two short sighted, about quality sci-fi programs that stand out, and don’t care about anything except dumbed dow rubbish that passes for TV entertainment.

  11. Leslie says

    Please keep the show! I was disappointed when STANDOFF that had the lead actor from DG on it, was cancelled. I was happy to see him on this new series. I hope this series will continue.


  12. Gene R5 says

    Please bring back this wonderfully visual experience with great actors and an intriguing story line. Believable individuals with all their personal problems and their talents mixed together with a mysterious entity.
    Remember Star Trek; I do, I liked it and I followed it for many, many years. The quality sets are as beautiful as the characters in this show. Bring it back it will be a success, I guarantee.

  13. Sarah says

    I truly hope the show is not cancelled. It’s imaginative, informative, the characters are strong and well-developed and I’ve found it to be thoroughly addictive (especially as I’m currently studying with the intention of one day hopefully becoming a planetary geologist!)
    As I live in Australia, the show is not aired here, so it is only by good fortune that I’ve been able to download the series so far.
    Please don’t dumb down your audience any further by perpetually delivering low-brow drivel. Television needs more shows like Defying Gravity to inspire and motivate people to something more than pure mediocrity. I have no doubt that D.G. will be seen in years to come to have more ‘realism’ than most of the mindless idiocy of reality shows that are used nowadays to prop up network ratings and essentially do a disservice to the broader intellect of humankind.
    (To the producers) Don’t give in on something that is of quality substance, just because you’re looking for a quick return on your investment. Not everyone is so dim-witted that they can’t see through the blatant financial strategies employed here (and everywhere for that matter). It should be looked upon as an obligation to continue programming like D.G., as the children watching good quality programs now will either be running (and overhauling) the networks, or will be part of the broader bureaucracy endeavouring to close them down for crimes executed in the past. It’s your choice – what kind of reputation and legacy would you prefer to have?

  14. blu says

    i couldn’t agree more. this has been a great ride. love this show. it took two years for mash to find it’s audience. they want their cash and they want it now. it’s all about the money, not the art. i hope canada picks it up and runs with it. pooh on abc

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