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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 }

Laurie September 22, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Please KEEP Merlin! The show encompasses a balance of moral justice, fantasy, intriguing complex characters and more. I personally look forward to watching the second season and am eager to see how he will continue to learn and grow within himself and his powers.
“Keep a good thing going”


sandy September 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm

merlin is very refreshing from the humdrum shows. given half a chance on primetime it is a sleeper that will perform better than some of the best out there now. try it on prime time. give it a chance to prove itself. nbc will be glad it did.airing it in the summer was not a great time. I hit on it by accident and loved every episode. the characters are great. don’t give up after a summer showing. It is a show for everyone .


Tom and Cindy September 21, 2009 at 6:35 pm

We love this show. Please don’t cancel it. There are so few shows on TV we look forward to watching.


Red and Ruth September 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Please DO NOT cancel Merlin!! This is one of the only shows that my wife and I watch, together and we love it and look forward to it. I am not normally into this type of story. My wife is and she loves the fact that it has me hooked! Keep it, bring it back or whatever is necessary.


Bertha and Tim September 20, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Please keep Merlin!! It is the best show on Sunday night. My husband and i always looked forward to 8pm for this show. It is the best family program around..


Leah September 20, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I think that Arthur is very hot and if NBC cancels “Merlin” I will be horrified!


Ciara September 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I absolutely adore “Merlin”! If NBC cancels it I will boycott them. I think everyone else should too. “Merlin” is the best show on television now, way above all of the other crappy shows! My family and I watch it every week. DON’T CANCEL MERLIN NBC! I WILL BE VERY UPSET! :(


Arnetta September 20, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Please,please,please don’t cancel Merlin. I only watch three shows a
week and Merlin is one of them. So, may I say again please,please,please DON’T
CANCEL MERLIN!!!!!!!!!!!!


Julie September 20, 2009 at 11:39 am

DO NOT CANCEL MERLIN!!! In case you haven’t noticed, all the comments are from parents who are having a hard time finding good, clean, quality programming for their kids and thenselves to watch. We are all getting sick of the ‘reality’ programs! They are no more ‘reality’ than the man in the moon! And not at all appropriate for children to watch. No wonder NBC is the only channel that I only watch just ONE show- Merlin! Listen to your viewers for once–we are tired of sex, violence, vulgar lnguage, crime, etc. You used to have more family oriented fare… I’ll bet you had a lot more viewers!


Mary & Ed September 20, 2009 at 10:24 am

It wascdifficult to view at the time aired but we watched on line and was delighted. Please retain Merlin so I can continue to view it on your website.


GLORIA September 20, 2009 at 3:25 am



ruben September 15, 2009 at 9:25 pm

please don’t cancel Merlin,it is by far one of the best shows on television to date,i really look forward to watching it every Sunday evening,please bring it back…………


Chris September 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Please bring back Merlin, it is the most refreshing show on. I do not like reality tv and find Merlin an nice change


Christine H September 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Please don’t cancel Merlin! I’ve missed it terribly the last two weeks….my whole family watches it TOGTHER!


Bella September 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm

PLEASE! whatever you do! dont cancel Merlin! I look forward to it every sunday! PLEASE!


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