Merlin: Premiere Gets Less-Than-Magical Ratings; Keep It or Cancel It?

MerlinNBC debuted their new fantasy-adventure series, Merlin, last night. Did many people tune in to watch this new take on an old tale? Will it be allowed to run its course or has the magic tale failed to excite viewers?

Merlin stars Colin Morgan as a young sorcerer who arrives in Camelot, a city where magic has been outlawed by King Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head). While there, Merlin learns that he has an important part to play in the future of Camelot and residents like Prince Arthur (Bradley James), maid Guinevere (Angel Coulby), and seer Morgana (Katie McGrath). Others in the cast include Bionic Woman’s Michelle Ryan, Richard Wilson, and John Hurt as the voice of The Great Dragon.

Though many British shows have been remade for American audiences over the years, Merlin supposedly marks the first time a UK drama has aired on a major US network in over 30 years. But, how long will it last?

Last night, Merlin debuted to an average of just 5.35 million viewers for its two-hour premiere, putting it in second place behind CBS reruns. The supernatural show was also in second place for the 18-49 demographic with an average of a 1.4/4 rating/share.

Should Merlin be cancelled?

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That performance certainly isn’t a magical one for the network and the ratings will very likely decline for subsequent installments. Considering that it’s Summer and that NBC hasn’t spent much money to acquire the series, it looks very likely that the network will air all 13 installments of this season.

While the show’s future on NBC isn’t certain, Merlin will continue on nevertheless. The series has been a hit for BBC One and they commissioned a second season last December. Production is expected to begin soon and will film on location in Wales and France. Unless ratings pick up, it seems doubtful that NBC will be buying it.

What do you think? Should Merlin be cancelled before season one even finishes? Will NBC make the second season available to network viewers? So, cancel or keep Merlin?

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214 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Quinn says

    @sci fan I’ll grant you that the first episode is terrible and Arthur is a jerk. It gets better towards the end if the first season and the 3rd and 4th series are very good. It gets really funny and accurate. Even to the point of Arthur’s death :( You kind of have to watch season 2 to really get into it…

  2. linda says

    l love the show please don’t cancel it. my husband and l watch it all time. The acto rs and actress are brillant ,l hope they, the produce continuesthe show. Oct. 20 ,10

  3. Mom says

    I love to watch the show with my two boys…we DVR it and watch it just before they go to bed. It makes a great good night story. Keep up the good work. I agree with Nicole whole heartedly.

  4. Nicolle says

    I cannot fully describe how great a pleasure it has been to behold a story told so well. The scripts are well written , the actors/actresses are brilliant, and the values bestowed upon the viewing audience of strength, honor, and unbelievable courage is inspiring. I hope BBC continues to produce this series and more like it in the years to come. “Merlin” is undeniably the best television series airing at this time.

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