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. ajward says

    if you cancel this show i swear i will never watch another nbc show in my life. i love this show so much! and its fun to curl up on the couch with my dog and cat and watch this show, great story lines and good plot, keeps the audience coming back for more, the writers did a lot of research on Arthurian legend (which i study) to come this far please keep this show on!

  2. JenB says

    Please do not cancel Merlin. This show is exactly the escape everyone needs. Everything on TV now days is far to serious and depressing. I don’t want to watch people stressed over the day to day issues we all face. Merlin is the perfect escape from the norm. It does exactly what TV is should do, entertain and transport you somewhere else. NBC bring Merlin back.

  3. Palma Bourgoin says

    My husband, I, and my Grandaughters love watching this show together each Sunday night. Please do not cancel it! If you do you will disapoint many families who are always trying to find a show that whole families can enjoy together.

  4. Charlie Souza` says

    Love the show . I was dissapointed when football took its place. Is it on anywhere else? I love Football too but I was really looking forward to the magical show every week.

  5. Joe says

    Considering all the thoughtless junk that is shown on TV it would be a shame to cancel a good show like Merlin which has attracted a faithful audience.

  6. Cathy, NJ says

    Please don’t cancel Merlin – my 12 year old niece adores it and watches it religiously with her parents, who also enjoy it!

  7. Marge says

    A true family show is hard to find these days and Merlin fits that bill. It would be a real shame to deny families with children the opportunity to watch TV together. Please do not cancel this show.

  8. Fiona Frith says

    Please keep Merlin on TV it is a wonderful show and it is so different from the rest of the shows that our on today. This is a keeper Please Please don’t cancel this show.

  9. says

    KEEP THIS SHOW ON ALL AGES LOVE IT MY MOM HO IS 86 IS UPSET THAT FOOTBALL HAS TAKEN ITS SPOT PLEASE KEEP THIS ON NOT ALOT OF SHOWS ON TV ARE WORTH WATCHING ANY MORE ALL COPS OR MSI ALL SO MUCH ALIKE SO PLEASE KEEP THIS ON ON THE AIR SHERI AND MARGRE

  10. Rosine, NJ says

    Please do not cancel Merlin. My granddaughter is about to replace Harry Potter with Merlin as her favorite and that’s really saying something in favor of not cancelling Merlin.

  11. JLR, KC says

    This is one show I looked forward to this past summer. It had intrigue, passion, fun, tragedy, loyalty and mystery. The special effects were better than good, and I have grown attached to the characters. Kudos to the BBC! I sincerely hope a US network will wake up and bring good, clean TV back to those of us who are starving for change.

  12. Mike says

    Mike, NJ
    Not only does our daughter love Merlin better than Harry Potter, more importantly, Merlin is the only current prime time show that we watch together as a family! Please be sure to schedule season 2 of Merlin ASAP. We are on the edge of our seats wanting to know what happens in season 2. Thank You

  13. says

    Hey, don’t touch Merlin, for goodness sake it was so much fun and we need fun.
    Merlin is enchanting, Arthur is fun, the King is great as ruling Camelot – don’t touch it.
    Please, my wife and I look foward to this program so much. We love the dragon the best.
    It better be there in the Fall or there will be some angry and disgusted people !

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