Back in the 1960’s, CBS had a successful courtroom series starring E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed. Now, CBS has premiered a very different legal TV show with the same name, The Defenders. The first one ran for four seasons. Will the new version outlast it or be quickly cancelled?
The Defenders follows a pair of lawyers operating out of Las Vegas. They’ll do just about anything for their Sin City clients, often taking on cases no one else will touch, and try to keep their sanity while doing it. The new TV show stars Jerry O’Connell, Jim Belushi, Jurnee Smollett, Tanya Fischer, and Gillian Vigman.
In its first week on the air, The Defenders dominated its timeslot with a 2.9 in the coveted 18-49 demographic and 12.2 million total viewers. That put the new show in first place in both categories and essentially doubled the performance of ABC’s new law show, The Whole Truth.
On the downside, Defenders did lose 27% of the demo audience from lead-in Criminal Minds. It also lost viewers during the hour but that wasn’t huge. In the same timeslot, last year’s CSI: NY scored a much better 4.0 and 15.06 million.
Ultimately though, The Defenders had a solid premiere (especially if you compare it to Whole Truth). If they can retain or grow the audience, CBS should be quite happy with this new drama. They certainly can use it since some of their returning dramas have been around for quite some time and have been showing audience declines.
But, what do you think? Did you tune in? Is The Defenders a show that you’d watch week after week or would you rather see it cancelled?
Image courtesy CBS.