Despite a slew of negative reviews from critics last year, ABC’s midseason drama, October Road, attracted an average of 10.2 million viewers for its six episode season. The series typically lost a large percentage of viewers from its Grey’s Anatomy lead-in but it was enough to earn Road a second year. Now that the second season has finished airing, will there be a year three?
For whatever reason, October Road hit a slump in its sophomore year. Prior to this month, the series had been averaging fewer than five million viewers. ABC had ordered 13 episodes for year two with the option of expanding it to 22 episodes if needed. With the writers strike and the disappointing ratings, the network didn’t feel they needed any more.
Last month, ABC announced that several of its series had been renewed for the fall season and, not surprisingly, October Road was absent from the list. If network executives were waiting until March to see the performance of the final three episodes, the show’s cause wasn’t helped. March 3rd’s episode attracted only 5.3 million viewers and a 2/5 rating/share of the 18-49 demographic. This week’s two hours averaged a dismal 4.7 million viewers and a 1.8/5 rating/share. Compared to last season’s finale, that’s a loss of almost 50% in total viewers.
There is talk that the CW and Lifetime are interested in continuing the series should ABC let it go. CW could certainly use the ratings as none of their present programming comes close to attracting Road’s viewership. On the other hand, Road would fit well with Lifetime’s other programming.