Lone Star: New FOX Drama Series; Cancel or Keep It?

Lone StarLast night FOX premiered their new drama series about a conman. But, how did Lone Star do in the ratings? Was it a big winner or did viewers feel tricked?

Lone Star revolves around Robert Allen (James Wolk), a man who’s living a double life in order to con investors and swindle an oil tycoon family. The only trouble is, he truly loves both of the women he’s connected to as part of the cons. Others in the series are Jon Voight, Adrianne Palicki, Bryce Johnson, David Keith, Eloise Mumford, and Mark Deklin.

Last night, the new TV show got off to a very poor start in the ratings. Lone Star averaged a meager 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic and just 4.1 million viewers. It ranked a distant fourth in both categories.

What do you think of Lone Star?

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The premiere lost more than half of its lead-in audience from House. What’s more, 22% of people who started watching at the beginning of the episode, tuned out halfway through the show. That’s a strong indication that they won’t be back next week. Even if they did, these numbers are terrible.

TV show supportSo, it looks like Lone Star might just be the first cancellation of the new fall season. Unless the ratings have a dramatic turnaround, those who like the show will be lucky if FOX lets all 13 episodes air.

But what did you think? Is Lone Star worth watching? Why aren’t more people watching? Should FOX try to save it or should it just be cancelled already?

Canceled and renewed TV show

73 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Answer for George says

    As to the excuses for not being around for Christmas, there could be weather problems that prohibit him from flying. That is just 1 possible excuse. The guy is a conman and therefore should be able to come up with more excuses that we will never see, since the show has been canceled.

    • Jan says

      Could be weather problems, but they’d have to be for real. How do you suppose the conman would arrange this if the weather was nice and travel is not delayed? Could he plant bogus weather reports in her cable TV box that comes into her home? He travels mainly around in TX. Winter weather isn’t usually that extreme there. You are grasping at straws.

    • Jan says

      If the original A.H. had thought more like this, there might not have been a Nazi Germany or Nazi Youth. I don’t appreciate you connecting my name and views with such a despicable person in history. Speak your own mind from now on.

  2. Jan says

    Thank you, Brad Roberts for your sound wisdom, insight, and concern for America and how our youth are influenced as they grow up. There was a time in history that people gathered to watch Roman gladiators fight prisoners to the death. Is the next generation of Americans headed that direction? We don’t need entertainment that is such a bad influence, offers such poor role models, and has such low standards for how people ought to live. Cancel the show. I’m not from the mid-west and I agree with Mr. Robert’s point of view. If you can’t come up with story lines that are good, have believable characters, and promote honesty, integrity, and fidelity, you need to find new writers with ideas who can.

  3. tony says



  4. ann says

    Was bored one night… caught it on hulu like almost all the shows nowadays…. who needs to sit down on time to watch a show anymore? My thoughts before watching the show: really? how stupid… a double life… seriously? (don’t watch t.v. so didn’t see any campaigning for the show besides some ads online, still hated the whole idea) But know what? It wasn’t bad. About two-thirds of the way I kind of felt bad for Bob… James Wolk did a good job selling his character and the situation he was in because of how he was raised by his father. The second episode where double crossing and background checking ensues that’s when I wanted to watch the third episode… but oh wells… i’m not mad or upset if FOX doesn’t air more. Still this show would only had lasted one or two seasons even if it didn’t get cancelled. For those who have an issue with this show’s premise… it’s just a t.v. show… for entertainment. Sometimes you just go along for the ride or jump. Perhaps this show would have been better off not on television network but cable t.v. or premium channels where shows that don’t appeal to mainstream viewers thrive… that is with a few tweaks it would have done okay.

  5. Mike McCormick says

    Somebody save this show! I watch maybe 3 hours of TV per week and this was the only thing this season that engaged my intellect rather than just my emotions.

      • George says

        Andrea, you’re so defensive about this show even in the face of an irrefutable showing of its absurdity that one would think it’s your sick puppy (or you’re Kyle Killen’s alter ego or girl friend, which under the circumstances wouldn’t surprise me at all). Here’s the point: I have posted my challenge to complete my hypothetical dialogue on a number of sites, and not even you, nor anyone else, has made any attempt to complete the dialogue. That speaks volumes about this show. Moreover, your bit about knowing women who’ve living with cheating husbands is beside the point for at least two reasons. First, I’m willing to bet not a single one of those situations involved the man actually being married to two women, and cheating with both of them. Trust me, honey, everyone has their breaking point, and that’s a deal breaker for every sane woman in America (other then committed bigamists, which neither of Robert’s women were). You have simply zero evidence of any another wife (outside of Utah) knowing about and tolerating their husband being married to another woman. Second, your point that some women are “afraid to be alone” has no application here. If you actually kept your eyes open while watching the show, you would know that both women in Robert’s live were unbelievable attractive (on top of being self-assured and self-confident) and there’s no reason to think either one of them would ever fear being “alone” without a man in their lives if they wanted one. So get real. Finally and most importantly, you’re kind of missing the whole point. Robert is sold to us as a pretty darn smart guy. Smart guys understand the concept of “impossible” and are smart enough (ESPECIALLY if they’re con men) to anticipate the “impossible.” It’s impossible and unimaginable how to respond to the conundrum I raised. Your solution is to suggest that one of the women would stick with him even if she found out. But that’s one solution smart, head-over-heels-in love Robert would hardly count on to resolve the otherwise impossibility of explaining to his newly betrothed why he had to miss spending Christmas etc. Supposedly smart-as-a-whip Robert, knowing that there was no rational way to explain things away to his two different wives, would have known not to marry both of them in the first place. Saying that he was in love doesn’t help explain the situation – it makes it that much more inexplicable – if he was in love, then he would presumably not want to put himself in an impossible position vis a vis Christmas day, etc., and that would have a high likelihood of exposing his fraud to one or both of his wives and jepardize their loving relationships by driving them away. Plain and simply, a smart in-love guy like Robert would never marry two women in the first place, because he would anticipate the impossible position it would put him in, and he would never rely on your “solution” to solve the problem. Bottom line – this show’s basic premise, in a pathetic effort to grab people’s attention, stretched the bounds of credibility far, far beyond the breaking point.

      • Simon says

        Andrea, I won’t get in the middle of your fascinating exchange with user George, but I must question two things you say in your last message. First, you said that Robert’s Midland wife and family think he’s a traveling salesman. That seems to support, not undermine, George’s position – I highly doubt there’s a traveling salesman in the whole country who works on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. Second, you say that Robert had “been married to the first wife for years already.” What’s your evidence for that? I watched both episodes and never heard that. To the contrary, Cat was married to someone else before Robert, and Robert’s only in his mid-twenties and has been moving around for years, so it just doesn’t jive to say they’ve been married “for years.” Anyway, even if there were married for a few years, I just don’t see how that even begins to resolve the fundamental problem with the show’s premise that user George has highlighted. Actually, it’s kind of irrelevant.

  6. George says

    I’ll be honest – there’ve been eight words gnawing at me about the show’s basic premise that the protagonist would be married to two different women. Those eight words are: Christmas Morning, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, and Valentine’s Day. I’ve been married for 10 years, and trust me – there’s no man alive, not even the world’s best con man – who can convince his new wife that there’s some good reason he must be away from her on a couple of those days, much less miss a couple of those dates year in and year out for the the entire duration of the marriage. Maybe you could play the traveling-on business card for Valentine’s Day when it falls on a weekday, but every few years it falls on a Saturday or Sunday – so how’s that gonna work? It’s not. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is trying to con you. Which basically makes the show itself a con job.

    • says

      When I was a kid, there was a real life case of a man who was married to two women for more than a decade. One of his wives went on Oprah or Phil Donahue. (I know, I’m dating myself.) And I asked myself those same questions, about the holidays as well as other special occasions, but a real live man actually got away with it!
      She and the other wife only found out after he died, so he was never punished.

      • George says

        Andrea, With all due respect, your response is a cop out. For one thing, it’s hard to respond to some vague story without any details about something you saw on TV decades ago. Who knows – maybe the producers hyped the story, and the guy was actually separated from one of them, or else one of them was institutionalized, or of sub-par intelligence, or a devout Moslem to whom Thanksgiving and Christmas meant nothing. More to the point, your story was from decades ago, when some women played more subservient passive roles. Be honest with yourself – given everything you know about the two smart modern apparently Christian women in Robert’s life, is it really conceivable to you that Robert thought he could convince each one of them that for some reason he could not spend Christmas Eve, or New Year’s Eve, etc. with them? Come on – how exactly would that conversation go. Given what you know about the characterizations of the two women in question, you cannot honestly tell me that it’s credible in any way that they would have accepted the absence for their new husband from Christmas Eve/Morning and New Year’s Eve. Understand that if you remain married for several years, Robert would have to miss multiple Christmas Eve’s New YEars’ Eve’s and Thanksgiving. I’ll bet you simply cannot describe to me a single credible conversation that Robert could have by which he could explain away his absence on Christmas Eve/Morning. I dare you. Thought so – you can’t.

        • says

          I don’t see how what I said is a “cop out”. It happened, simple as that. And many people are none too bright, which unless your one of the mindless masses cannot be much of a surprise.

          I have personally known five different women who must have known they were being cheated on by husbands and boyfriends, because everyone around them certainly knew. Four are still with their beloved jerks even after having it thrown in their faces! People — women especially, believe what they want to believe, usually because they fear being alone.

          As far as, “I’ll bet you simply cannot describe to me a single credible conversation that Robert could have by which he could explain away his absence on Christmas Eve/Morning. I dare you. Thought so – you can’t.”

          I’m not a writer on the show, so I don’t have to. But I would like to see if they can pull it off, since I actually like the show, and you obviously do not.
          We are BOTH entitled to like or dislike whatever we please.

      • Simon says

        Hey Andrea, Maybe in your example the husband was a train conductor or airline pilot or emergency room physician (or told his wife that he was one) – in other words, some job where it is commonplace to work on holidays. The trouble here is that Robert had no such job – there is nothing about his job or lifestyle that he could use to justify not spending Christmas Eve/Morning or New Year’s Eve, etc., with one of his wives (especially given the portrayal of the women at issue – there’s nothing we’re told about either one of them that makes it at all conceivable that they would accept their new husband disappearing on Christmas Eve/Morning or New Year’s Eve, et).

        • says

          I don’t remember what the real life man did for a living, but if a real live person could do it for over a decade a reasonnably good writer should be able to work it out for a tv show.
          They should be able to come up with enough excuses for at least two seasons. His Midland wife and her family think he’s a traveling salesman, and he’s been married to the first wife for years already. But we’ll probably never find out if the writers could do it.

          To tell the truth, I’m just sick of what is usually on tv. Every show seems to be just a copy cat of another show. Like Lone Star’s competition The Event. It has Flash Forward written all over it. I want to watch something different. At least this is something new.

  7. Ari says

    I agree with Chad Brewster. The posters for this show (which show each mostly-naked woman straddling him from behind) were a complete turn-off. They looked like ridiculous cologne ads. I saw them and thought, “That guy looks like a jerk.” And then I thought of that also-cancelled show with Christian Slater leading a double life and then I got bored.

  8. Nicky6236 says

    I thought at first that this show was going to be good; it has a great premise and it sounded interesting, and a very good looking star, but it didn’t live up to my expectations, so I don’t blame FOX for canceling. In fact, I can’t even believe it’s airing tonight! Why can’t they instead air a rerun of last Tuesday’s season premiere of Glee instead. That was FANTASTIC and could see that very episode over and over unlike this crazy show! Besides, this guy is much better in the movie You Again, and he has much more potential as a movie star. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE cancel this show! No one’s feelings will be hurt! Mine sure won’t!!!

  9. Chad Brewster says

    I don’t blame people for being offended by the show’s supposed premise because the advertising for this show completely missed the mark. I see all these billboards depicting the protagonist with two women and the headline reads: “The perfect con.” As if he’s maliciously deceiving these two women and is proud of it. The real premise is that he’s the product of a very dysfunctional upbringing in which he’s been a pawn in his father’s con games since he was a young child. It’s a lot like how in the series Dexter, Dexter witnessed his mother’s murder as a child and that’s why he’s a serial killer. The Lonestar protagonist has lived a double life as long as he can remember, so the fact that he falls in love with two women because of this double life is not that hard to understand–in the same way that we don’t fully blame Dexter for killing people. He seems to genuinely think he can be a good husband to both women, all while using the company he was going to con to instead save everyone’s investment in his father’s con. I think what he’ll find is that by trying to love two women, he will end up hurting them both and most of all himself. He would have hurt them by going through with the con, too, so this is a story of a man trying to redeem himself mid-con. I hope tonight is not the last episode.

    • says

      I totally agree with you! I was one of the people who tuned out halfway through, but I saw the entire first episode on Sunday and I could not wait to see episode two. And I loved it even more!

      Fox is foolish if they cancel now. Word of mouth is always better than any crappy ad campaign. And that was one crappy ad campaign they launch. Several of my friends and family and even Facebook friends, who saw it, enjoyed Lone Star too!

  10. Brad Roberts says

    And just what type of message are you trying to send to America’s youth? It seems that in your world that lying, cheating, and cheating on your spouse are acceptable behaviors in Hollywood but they are not in the midwest. And what is this with super-stud James Wolk rolling around in bed with two different women? Is it truly necessary to insult your audience with cheap thrills? You may want to trying writing for an intelligent audience that can appreciate a storyline that is not stolen from “The Edge of Night.” So far, the only quality choice you have made is in the casting of Mr. Jon Voight. This master thespian performs rings around the ‘beautiful people’ who are cast only to attract the couch potatoes who have nothing better to do than oogle the curves of the Texas Beauties. (How many of the actors are actually from Texas?)

    And your time-slot leaves a great deal to be desired. The last time that I knew of children going to bed at nine p.m. was when I was 9 years old–and that was four decades ago! If you want this program to succeed, you would be well advised to schedule it opposite “Two and a Half Men.” What with Charlie Sheen rarely showing up for taping, you have a slim chance this way.

    Remember: your product is supported by your audience who buys merchandise from your advertisers. Have you inquired of the money-makers who pay your bills what they think of “Lone Star”? You might be disappointed.

    Good luck…you’ll need it!

  11. OneViewingOnly says

    I gave this a try and understand why few watched it and lots turned it off party way through the episode. I doubt very much that week 2 will be any better.

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