Glee: Premiere Brings Mixed Ratings, Keep It or Cancel It?

GleeFOX’s much-hyped preview of Glee aired in a coveted position, following the second-to-last American Idol of the season. In that plum timeslot, how well did Glee perform do? Will the musical comedy stick around?

Glee follows the administrators and the members of a formerly top show choir at a fictional Ohio high school. A young teacher (Broadway’s Matthew Morrison) offers to take over leading the group to try to return them to their former glory. Other castmembers include Jayma Mays, Chris Colfer, Amber Riley, Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Dianna Agron, Mark Salling, Jessalyn Gilsig, and Jane Lynch.

The series debuted to an average of 9.6 million viewers with a 3.9 rating among adults 18-49. Those numbers sound okay on their own but, when you dig deeper, it’s a different tune. The show’s American Idol lead-in attracted 23.8 million viewers with an 8.6 rating in the demo. About half as many people tuned in to watch Glee and then, by the second half hour, another three million tuned out.

Should Glee be cancelled?

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FOX execs have to be disappointed considering the great Idol lead-in and all of the promotion that the network has poured into it. The show has already secured a spot on FOX’s Fall schedule as the network’s only new drama. It’ll definitely be back. But, if the debut is any indication of the show’s future, you have to wonder, for how long?

According to FOX spokesperson Joe Earley, the network is pleased with the show’s average performance. He tells the Hollywood Reporter, “The measurement for success last night was never about the demo rating… We’re definitely happy with the way Glee performed, we knew how tough the competition was going to be, last night was a marketing experiment and we got almost 10 million people to see it, which is fantastic. We could work all summer long marketing the show and not get those many people, and certainly not in the fall.”

So, what do you think? Worth keeping or should it be cancelled?

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124 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Ashley says

    GLEE IS AMAZING! When I heard that it was by Ryan Murphy, writer of Nip/Tuck my favorite show ever, I had to watch it and I was so not disappointed! I am in love with this show. I keep them on my DVR and watch them over and over and over again. Don’t Stop Believing is my ringtone :)

    Thank you Ryan Murphy for not disappointing, especially since this is the last season of Nip/Tuck. I have something else to look forward to every week!

  2. says

    i do not watch shows about high school b cause they all suck…but i could not stop watching this show…so of course fox will cancel it

  3. Brandon says

    Fox has an extremely bad habit of canceling shows and I hope they don’t cancel this one because if the pilot is any indication of the remainder of the season it’s a winner. Fox needs to stop the bad habit of axing shows. I have started to like many shows on fox, but because of the cancellation rates I’m afraid to attach myself to a show and later be let down that Fox yet again will cancel a good show. I liked this so much that I too listened to journy again and even got a ringer

  4. Rebecca says

    So the stats show that ADULTS from 18-49 gave it a rating of 3.9. why don’t you actually ask the TEENS who will be watching the show….

  5. Emily L says

    It’s INCREDIBLE!!! I would be devastated if it was cancelled. The first fresh, intelligent, and funny show i’ve watched in a long time. The only one who isn’t a good singer or actor is the one Asian back up girl. Everyone else is fantastic.

  6. Matt says

    I don’t usually post comments about shows or really anything for that matter. I wanted to write one this time because for the first time in a while a show really impressed me. I know there will be opinions galore and many out there won’t care for this series and that is just fine. Opinions keep everyone sharp and thinking. I am really impressed with Ryan Murphy’s work. One of my favorite shows and actually the only series I continued to watch was Nip/Tuck. When I heard Ryan Murphy was attached to this series I was instantly intrigued. I felt the pilot was simply enjoyable. The cast was diverse and talented and the overall direction had the Murphy touch which, as always, was great. I have been reading several other reviews and I am finding that people are taking this show, like many others, way too seriously. I guess that is common these days which is a shame. I am guilty of this too, but sometimes we need to put aside all the political and social criticism and just see these forms of entertainment for what they are. I also just wanted to note, the performance at the end, as non realistic as many out there put it, was what really hooked me. The rendition of the classic “Don’t Stop Believing” was one of the best I have heard. Anyway that is my take. I hope anyone that watches enjoys it.

  7. Linda says

    Gosh… surely they have some way of knowing that programs are recorded on TiVo/DVR, etc. and watched later?!?! 98% of the programs I watch have been previously recorded on my TiVo. I loved Glee — and yes, I just watched it yesterday on TiVo.

  8. Linda says

    Please KEEP it!! My family, from 20 to 52 years old, all enjoyed watching Glee. There were some very funny moments, as well as some great singing! We really hoped that it would be a new summer program, since so many other programs have ended their seasons.

  9. James says

    I found Glee to be a unique take on a genre that can easily fall into cliche. The writing was sharp , the cast very talented , and the pilot episode had moments that inspired genuine glee. Given the least common denominator taste of the general public , I can’t help but believe that these factors will ensure it’s certain and expeditous doom.

  10. Scott says

    I watched Glee with trepidation (like another poster, because I love Jane Lynch) and will not miss an episode from here on out. What a tremendous debut from a talented young cast! Well done, Ryan Murphy!

  11. Stacie says

    I love this show! I have watched it twice now on and am sure I will watch it again (and have added Journey’s Escape CD to my CD collection in my car!). This show actually made me nostalgic for my high school drama days in the 80’s and the musical numbers are terrific. Jane Lynch (as the cheerleading coach) is hilarious and is always a main reason to watch whatever show she is a part of. I really hope this show makes it- I haven’t enjoyed a new show this much in a long time.

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