Early ‘Whispers’ Renewal? Series Faces Pickup Decision As Cast Options Expire

Five episodes in, ABC likely will have to make a renewal decision next week on its new drama series The Whispers, which has shown promise in the early going, especially in DVR viewing.

The network has found itself in that predicament because of how The Whispers came about. The drama originally was picked up to series in May 2014 for a midseason launch, with standard cast options until June 30, 2015. That normally gives networks plenty of time to make decisions on fall and midseason series. But in the case of The Whispers, the horror-tinged drama was pushed to a summer run and premiered on June 1. I hear there has been an effort on part of ABC and producing studio ABC Studios to get a short, two-week option extension on the actors until July 15 — but that doesn’t seem to be panning out, at least for now. (I hear star Lily Rabe, who had been looking to leave the show, has been a holdout.) That would make next Tuesday, the day after Episode 5 airs, the deadline to make a decision on Season 2.

I hear ABC brass have been happy with The Whispers‘ performance so far, and sources are cautiously optimistic about a potential renewal. The genre 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 to 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. While The Whispers‘ Live+SD ratings have dipped after the solid debut, they have been consistent: 1.0. 0.9, 1.0, and the portion of DVR viewing has increased. 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. The cast includes Lily Rabe, Barry Sloane, Milo Ventimiglia, Derek Webster, Kristen Connolly, Kylie Rogers and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf.

Once a dumping ground for series that the networks couldn’t find a spot for during the regular season, summer has proved hospitable to shows that would’ve been considered burn-offs just a couple of years ago. Last year, NBC’s drama The Night Shift and comedy Undateable, originally slated for midseason, did well enough in the summer to earn a second-season renewal, which has been followed by third-season pickups for both. And Fox’s limited series Wayward Pines, also once eyed for an in-season run, is doing well for Fox as a summer show.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2015/06/whispers-renewal-season-2-cast-options-abc-1201452254/