Tonight marks the final episode of The Defenders for the season. How likely is the CBS freshman series to be back next fall with season two?
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 TV show stars veterans Jerry O’Connell and Jim Belushi as well as Jurnee Smollett, Tanya Fischer, and Gillian Vigman.
For its premiere, the series 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 now-cancelled, The Whole Truth.
Unfortunately, The Defenders’ audience slowly eroded over the course of the season and by January had hit a new low of a 1.5 rating in the demo and 6.81 million viewers. CBS switched the series to Fridays in February and, not surprisingly, the ratings got worse. On Fridays, Defenders has averaged a 1.3 demo rating and that’s worse than what now-cancelled Medium was getting in the same timeslot.
If you look at the season averages, The Defenders is one of CBS’ worst performers. Though the network has not officially cancelled it yet, it is hard to imagine that CBS execs would consider renewing it for a second season.
What do you think? Should The Defenders be cancelled? Why do you think the series hasn’t attracted a bigger audience?
Image courtesy CBS.