Airing against NCAA basketball on CBS and TBS last night, George Lopez‘s sitcom Saint George drew 721,000 total viewers on FX, down 9% from last Thursday and a new series low for the comedy as it approaches the midpoint of its initial 10-episode run. Compared with its series premiere, last night’s fourth episode was down 40%. In adults 18-49, it delivered 401, 000 viewers, down 15% from last week and off 28% from the premiere (see ratings chart below). Saint George hails from Lionsgate TV and sibling TV distribution company Debmar-Mercury and is produced under Debmar-Mercury’s 10/90 model. That means a straight-to-series 10-episode order which, if a ratings threshold is met, triggers a 90-episode back order. Lionsgate/Debmar-Mercuty’s FX sitcom Anger Management, starring Charlie Sheen, is a product of the same model. Its original 10-episode order, fueled by a big initial interest in Sheen post-Two And A Half Men, hit the ratings target and received a back-90 order that is now airing. With four of the 10 episodes of Saint George broadcast, sources indicate that it appears impossible for the show to fulfill the ratings threshold requirement for a back order.
While it has faced an uphill ratings battle itself, Saint George has boosted lead-out Anger Management, which last night drew 556,000 adults 18-49, a 21-week high. I hear Lionsgate/Debmar-Mercury will wait for all the ratings, including DVR viewing, to come in before making a decision and is considering looking for another home for the show that would allow the number of episodes to grow to a syndicatable level. Lopez’s previous sitcom — ABC’s George Lopez — was sold in syndication, where it has enjoyed a successful run. In addition to Anger Management and Saint George, Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury have another 10-90 comedy set up at FX, the upcoming Kelsey Grammer/Martin Lawrence sitcom. The companies also are developing a similar vehicle for Kevin James.
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