Last night was the premiere of NBC’s much-hyped new series, Kings. Though the series has an impressive cast and big production values, few viewers tuned in to watch. Based on the initial ratings, will interested viewers get a chance to see the whole season?
Kings is a modern retelling of the classic David and Goliath story. It’s set in a modern world that closely resembles our own, except for the fact that what looks like the United States is ruled by a king. Kings is billed as an epic story of greed and power, war and romance, forbidden loves and secret alliances — and a young hero who rises to power in a modern-day kingdom.
It stars Ian McShane, Christopher Egan, Susanna Thompson, Michael Patrick Crane, Allison Miller, Sebastian Stan, Eamonn Walker, Dylan Baker, Wes Studi, Joel Garland, Jason Antoon, Sarita Choudhury, and Macaulay Culkin.
The two-hour premiere got off to a rocky start last night, to put it mildly. The first half hour attracted a poor 6.5 million viewers and a 1.6/5 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic. By the time the last half hour had aired, only 5.5 million were still watching with a 1.7/4.
Those numbers placed the debut firmly in fourth place among the big networks. It performed significantly worse than Celebrity Apprentice had the week before and proved to be the network’s second worst premiere of the season, behind last week’s Chopping Block.
NBC has committed to 11 more hours of the series which are set to begin airing next Sunday night. With a complicated premise and a little-watched premiere, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which even fewer people will tune in next week. With so few viewers, NBC will have little choice but to make a change in their schedule. What’s likely to happen?
In the past, NBC probably would have simply pulled the show from the schedule and opted to leave a bunch of unaired installments sitting on the shelf. In these tough economic times however, that’s not a very viable option. As was the case with Crusoe, they’ll likely move the remaining episodes to Saturday nights to burn them off.
No matter what they decide to do with the existing episodes, unless viewership radically improves, it’s impossible to imagine that the series would be renewed for a second season. Long live the king? It appears, not so much.
Image courtesy NBC.