Three Rivers and Cold Case: Up in the Ratings; Enough to Save Them?

Cold CaseFreshman medical drama Three Rivers and veteran Cold Case have been struggling since the start of the season. Last night, there was an increase in viewership. So, does that mean that they’re safe?

Three Rivers revolves around a group of physicians and their support staff who help needy patients get life-saving organ transplants. The series stars Alex O’Loughlin, Katherine Moennig, Daniel Henney, Justina Machado, Christopher Hanke, Amber Clayton, and Alfre Woodard.

Cold Case follows a team of Philadelphia police detectives who work to solve long-unsolved murders. The venerable drama features Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino, John Finn, Jeremy Ratchford, Thom Barry, and Tracie Thoms.

As many fans of these shows are well aware, the series have been struggling in the ratings.

The first six installments of Three Rivers averaged a poor 1.8 in the 18-49 demographic and 7.93 million total viewers. Last night, the numbers bumped up a bit to a 2.0 rating and 8.45 million viewers. While that’s an increase of 10%, the numbers are still not good. The series is unlikely to be saved from cancellation but word is that the network is considering ordering up to five additional installments.

The situation is similar for Cold Case. While the veteran crime drama will still likely air a full season of 22 episodes, it’s very unlikely to return for 2010-11.

Likely because they have nothing to lose, CBS execs are changing up the schedule a bit for next week, says THR. Cold Case will air at 9pm and Three Rivers will get the 10pm slot.

In the past, Cold Case has performed well with a strong lead-in and this change will give it a better lead-in with The Amazing Race. The 10pm timeslot is a bit less competitive so that might help Three Rivers. Or conversely, the move might confuse viewers and both shows could sink lower in the ratings.

What do you think? Is this a good move for Three Rivers and Cold Case or more like “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titantic?”

Canceled and renewed TV show

44 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Elaine says

    I have tried to DVD Cold Case but do not know how to change the time to catch the beginning and end. How are you doing that?

  2. D.Heagerty says


  3. Judy Morrill says

    I love Cold Case. I’m not crazy about Kathryn Morris. Her hair is always terrible & the way she dresses. Please! And, she’s far from pretty. Other than her, I love it & it’s one of my favorite shows. Please save it!

  4. Diane says

    That is always the problem with channel 2 on Sunday – the shows do not start on time. The amazing race is so stupid – they should axe it all together. I hate that and the Survivor shows but that is just me. Channel 4 already cancelled a great drama called Trauma because they put it on Monday night. That show is awesome but instead we are stuck with Dancing with the Idiots and CSI Miami. I like all the CSI shows except Miami. The executives on the TV channels really need to get their act together. I am still pissed over Moonlight being cancelled although I love Three Rivers.

  5. Natalie says

    Love Three Rivers. I am sure a lot of new viewers that tuned in to see Mandy Patinkin were looking forward to the next episode of Three Rivers at its regular time. Those new viewers looking for Three Rivers at 9 pm will be disappointed. The word of schedule change doesn’t always get to all viewers.

  6. Nancy H. says

    I DVR Cold Case because I work every other weekend…the football games always screw up the timing, and I sometimes will miss the ending. I’m sure other people feel that way just waiting for the darn thing to start, and catching it til the end. Sunday schedule following football has to affect viewing numbers.

  7. says

    Here’s hoping that the switch in time slots will help Cold Case stick around longer, because the show is still going strong. I thought the most recent episode, “Read Between The Lines” was as good as anything they’ve ever done, and thought Zeb and Donalyn were excellent characters.

    I also really liked that they played MC Lyte

  8. Sharon says

    I agree with Elaine. I like Cold Case and also Three Rivers. BUT one can never count on when the show is going to start. My husband too got fed up and stopped watching Cold Case. When the shows are running late, I watch only one because I don’t want to get to bed that late on Sunday nights. I wish they would change the day the shows are on.

  9. Elaine says

    I never gave 3 rivers a try because it never started on time. This last Sunday it may have been on time because Cold Case was on time. I complained last week about Cold Case always starting late and this weekend it was on time. I think BOTH shows should be aired on another night. I can’t see how any show can survive , that is almost never aired on time. You should know that time is precious for must families. My husband gave up on Cold Case because it was always late. Most people do not want to get upset on Sunday evening because most people are thinking about Monday Morning. If anyone else agrees with this statement, please send a message, maybe we could save the show.

  10. Rob says

    I think football has been killing both. Unless you just never change the channel after watching a game you have no idea when either one will actually show, which could be 30-45 minutes late typically.

  11. KenMay says

    “Or conversely, the move might confuse viewers …”.
    If they (the networks) did a better job telling viewers about such time changes the viewers might not get so confused.

  12. Diana Goodrich says

    I enjoy “Three Rivers” and hope you keep it in production. It is a first-class medical emsemble show with intelligent writing that should have legs due to the numerous regulars. I want to see where it will go and I expect other viewers feel the same way.

    Please keep it up — it is worthy of your network.
    Diana G.

  13. annabelle says

    I love THREE RIVERS. The networks need to give new shows a chance before sending them to death row after only a few weeks.

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