Last night, ABC premiered their new Happy Town TV show. Despite the cute name, the series isn’t a happy go-lucky sitcom but is actually a dark murder-mystery drama. Most importantly, will ABC be happy enough with the ratings to keep it on the air?
Happy Town takes place in a small Minnesota community called Haplin that, years ago, was plagued by unsolved kidnappings. Now, a horrific murder puts everyone on edge once again and uncovers deep feelings and resentments. Has the mysterious “Magic Man” returned to claim more victims? From the creators of October Road, this series features Sam Neill, M.C. Gainey, Geoff Stults, Lauren German, Amy Acker, Steven Weber, Ben Schnetzer, Sarah Gadon, Jay Paulson, and Robert Wisdom.
After receiving mostly moderate to negative reviews, Happy Town debuted to weak numbers. Per the overnights, the ABC premiere attracted a disappointing 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and just 5.23 million viewers. That put the series in second place in the demographic and third place in total viewers.
Those numbers also represent a loss of nearly 40% in the demo from lead-in Cougar Town and a 20% loss in total audience. What’s more, last week’s disappointing Ugly Betty finale did better with a 1.8 rating and 5.56 million. On top of that, a sizable amount of the Happy Town audience tuned out before the first episode was even over, likely meaning they won’t be back next week.
A new show typically loses at least 10-15% of its audience in week two and Happy Town hardly has any viewers to spare. As you might have guessed, none of this is a good sign for the show’s future.
Eight episodes have been filmed and hopefully, ABC will air them all. If the ratings fall as expected however, the network could pull the series early. Unless these ratings get a lot better, it’s highly unlikely that ABC will want to go back to Happy Town next season.
But, what do you think? Is Happy Town worth watching or should it just be cancelled now? If you watched, what did you like or dislike about it?
Image courtesy ABC.