‘The Whispers’: No Decision On Season 2 As Cast Options Expire

ABC is taking a wait and see approach with new drama series The Whispers. Not ready to make a renewal or cancellation call on the series five episodes into its run, ABC and producing studio ABC Studios are allowing the options on the cast of the midseason-turned-summer series to expire today.

Before making a decision, the network is expected to take a few more weeks to sift through ratings data for the heavily DVR-ed series, particularly the important C3 ratings, which reflect commercials consumption within 3 days of original air date. The Whispers failed to get a last-minute boost from a strong Live+same day showing last night, slipping to a season low of a 0.8 in adults 18-49.

With uncertainty over Season 2, I hear ABC and ABCS felt it was too expensive to pick up the cast options that guarantee actors a 13-episode pay, especially as the show’s producers have a creative plan for Season 2 that would expand the scope of the implications caused by the abclogoevents in the first season, which would call for some tweaks and cast turnover. There had been an effort  to get a short, two-week option extension but that did not pan out, with star Lily Rabe, who had been looking to leave the show full-time, as a holdout. Rabe, along with other cast members, were not happy last May when, after the pilot, shot in Los Angeles, was picked up to series, the show was relocated to Vancouver. Moving the show back to Los Angeles is considered too expensive, and I hear the producers already had put a plan in place for Rabe to only do a limited number of episodes in Season 2, which would accomodate her theater and feature schedule.

With the options expiring, the series may lose Milo Ventimiglia, who I hear has been eyed for the lead of USA pilot Shooter. The cast of the show also includes Barry Sloane, Derek Webster, Kristen Connolly, Kylie Rogers and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf, with the network and producers hoping that most of them would stick around and re-join the series in case of a second-season renewal.

Whispers had shown promise in the early going, especially in DVR viewing. The genre-tinged series premiered with a 1.5 Live+Same Day rating among adults 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers in the Monday 10 PM hour LILY RABE, KYLE HARRISON BREITKOPFto become the network’s highest-rated summer scripted premiere since Rookie Blue in 2010. With a strong delayed viewing, The Whispers‘ premiere result shot up +53% to a 2.3 in Live+3, becoming the highest-rated L+3 summer debut on any network since CBS’ Under The Dome in 2013. (In Live+7, the rise was +67% to 2.5). While The Whispers‘ Live+SD ratings have dipped after the solid debut, they had been consistent — 1.0. 0.9, 1.0 — until last night when the show dropped 20% to a low of 0.8. However, the portion of DVR viewing has been increasing. In Week 2, it jumped +90% in L+7 to a 1.9 in 18-49. On average in the Live+3 data, The Whispers grows 64% over L+SD in 18-49. The new drama also adds another 2 million total viewers, drawing an average audience of 6.6 million viewers in L3.

Created/co-executive produced by Soo Hugh, in Whispers, someone or something is manipulating children to do unthinkable things. Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey Darryl Frank of Amblin TV are executive producing with Zack Estrin and Dawn Parouse Olmstead.


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  1. Team Miloon Jun 30, 2015 5:09 pm

    So glad to hear ABC is giving this a chance and believes in it! The show gets better and better every week, can’t wait to see where it goes!

  2. on Jun 30, 2015 5:17 pm

    I think they should just cancel it, there going to lose Lily Rabe + more, so whats the point of a Season 2?

  3. Karlaon Jun 30, 2015 6:53 pm

    The show started out really interesting but has gotten very slow. It’s still interesting (and short) enough that I’ll probably watch to the end, but there’s way too much emphasis on the family/interpersonal stuff for me. Or at least the way it’s done, it’s boring. Rabe’s character is particularly irritating so she wouldn’t really be missed in a different season (or the red-headed wife). Also I’m really sick of the doe-eyed moppets. Kids can be really fun, but not here. The show needs more action and mystery but then it would probably belong on Syfy not broadcast tv.

    • Karlaon Jun 30, 2015 7:07 pm

      One of the best shows currently on is Defiance and the women on that show are a zillion times more fun, smart, and amazing to watch. Those writing the passive, simpering wives on The Whispers could really learn a thing a two from that show.

    • on Jul 1, 2015 1:28 am

      Exactly. they should get on with it. this not Lifetime or Hallmark.

    • on Jul 1, 2015 11:40 pm

      I wouldn’t miss Rabe’s character either. She’s a bit bland, to say the least.

  4. Boom!on Jun 30, 2015 6:57 pm

    Um….sounds like a cancellation to me😏

  5. on Jun 30, 2015 7:05 pm

    Best of the summer shows I’ve seen lately. And it’s doing a hell of a lot better than the rest of the dramas ABC has been launching this month. Hope it picks up viewers as it goes…

  6. verton Jun 30, 2015 7:26 pm

    Wow, it’s still have a chance? A very bad show, my god…

  7. Herb Finnon Jul 1, 2015 1:11 am

    Is is smart not to keep options before make a decision either way?

  8. Kateon Jul 1, 2015 1:19 am

    I would love to see a second season! This show has real potential. I don’t care much for the Lily Rabe/Barry Sloane storyline (so far), but Milo Ventimiglia is awesome in this, hands down.

  9. Buckon Jul 1, 2015 2:06 am

    If it was to get a second season, it would just drift down the aimless path toward certain cancellation that almost all sci-fi/genre shows tend to take. Strong beginnings where viewers begin to fall away (see Resurrection, V, Revolution etc etc etc)

    • on Jul 20, 2015 9:43 pm

      V was given a very unfair disadvantage. The Tennessee Titans pretty much killed that series. The Titans had paid for a contract for their mind numbing talk show to be aired on the same Channel V was to be aired, and at the same time. The Titans show encompassed about 8 states. The entire season of V was pushed back to 1:00 am CST, to allow for the Titans show to air, and since V wasn’t listed in the guide at that time, it was next to impossible to record on DVR. Ratings plummeted when the affected states were left with the option of either staying up until 1:00am to watch the show, or to say “screw it.” The end result was “screw it.”

      I hate the Titans.

  10. Terry (@whitequeen58)on Jul 1, 2015 11:24 am

    I hope that ABC renews “The Whispers”. What a great show, can’t do better than Ray Bradbury for science fiction, and the acting matches the writing. Stellar.

  11. Cathleenon Jul 1, 2015 12:35 pm

    Okay, can we take a minute to ask what the hell is wrong at ABC? First Forever, with a fan base in the millions over several countries, gest axed, now I read this story and it said this show had the highest viewer rating for any Summer show and now they may ax this too? Do those people understand how to read those viewer stats? Do you even know how to follow social media to see how badly you are being criticized for your poor decisions?!

  12. I hope ABC keeps iton Jul 1, 2015 1:04 pm

    I want to know what happens! I like this show. (watching from Hulu)

  13. on Jul 1, 2015 11:37 pm

    With the option to watch shows when it’s most convenient (Hulu, On Demand) of course ratings are going to fall. Gone are the days of being force to watch something at a certain time. They should find a better system to calculate ratings.

    • Bob Johnsonon Jul 2, 2015 7:30 pm

      What about all the people who do not watch live and watch record it, download it in torrent format or watch other ways. I’m sure none of those viewers are counted in for the ratings. Watching live tv is so 1980. I can not tell you a time I have sat down and watched live tv. Its always been some source at a later date or watched months later after it has aired to sit and binge watch..

  14. on Jul 2, 2015 2:32 am

    ABC don’t know what to do. The Whispers is pretty and the story-lines are exhilarating. The show gets better and better every episode and mysterious enough for the viewers speculating theories of their own. It’s better then a lot of other shows I watch and the story-lines aren’t boring nor repetitive.

  15. Cheshyr Pontchartrainon Jul 2, 2015 6:32 am

    I hope it survives, but I don’t hold out hope. TV audiences are too vapid, and network execs demand instant ROI. I fear it will suffer the fate of Surface and First Wave, cancelled just as things get interesting.

  16. Looking for this showon Jul 2, 2015 8:35 am

    This show needs more publicity. I happened upon it by chance. I never heard of it until now. It is an excellent show with great character build up. I hope they renew it!

  17. Melissaon Jul 2, 2015 8:37 am

    I’m really enjoying this show and hope Lily Rabe and Milo V. can continue to do the show full time should they renew. I’m glad ABC seems to understand the progress that’s occurring with our television watching. The antiquated Nielsen ratings system just needs to go already. Advertisers should find an alternative for forcing their products on us seeing as the people are leaning toward online/DVR viewing. YouTube has many videos that can’t be skipped or can only be skipped after a certain amount of time. Maybe if they embed commercials into the shows so we have to watch them (hopefully only at the beginning), it won’t matter what platform we’re using to watch. I tend to watch my shows only online or via Netflix, so I haven’t seen a regular old commercial in years.

  18. Bob Johnsonon Jul 2, 2015 7:33 pm

    Ratings: 7.6/10 from IMDB. If it was not a good show I am sure they would not have gotten this high of a score on imdb

  19. Kellieon Jul 9, 2015 11:44 am

    ABC screwed up by letting the actor’s options expire. By doing so the actors will seek other work. What a shame.

  20. Kellieon Jul 9, 2015 11:49 am

    ABC screwed up by not renewing the actor’s options. The actors will now seek out other work. What a shame. I really like this show.

  21. on Jul 20, 2015 9:32 pm

    It took entirely too long for this show to get interesting. Through most of this season, it was like watching an hour of previews each week. Nobody knew what or who Drill was, and they let it go on that way for far too long.

  22. on Jul 23, 2015 5:45 am

    Its a great show. In Brasil people love it. Hope at least it has a season 2 and finish with dignity.