If the ratings are any indication, it might soon be time to call the show Dystopia. The first Friday airing of Utopia (0.7/3) saw the freshman Fox social experiment show fall 22% from its last broadcast on September 9. Even on one of the least watched nights of TV, that’s a hit. And it comes following, the Tuesday Utopia debut drawing a very soft 0.9/3 for the new show. That was a more than 50% free fall from Utopia’s September 7 OK debut up against the NFL and NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Granted that 2.0/6 among adults 18-49 was the best unscripted debut of the year so far but subsequent numbers could not be pleasing to Fox execs.
Then again, the Live + 3 numbers that Fox released for the show’s September 7 debut showed a near doubling from the network’s stated DVR expectations for the reality show. Utopia grew 20% in Live + 3 among the key demo to a 2.4 result. Now that could be a one-off with people DVRing the premiere while they watched SNF in real-time. Certainly, reality TV tends not to get much digital afterlife traction – however, maybe Utopia could prove the exception. As well as its Tuesday slot, Utopia is set to air on Fridays for five more weeks.
A new Kitchen Nightmares (0.6/2), on the other hand, was distinctly a whimper in place of a bang on Fox last night – and it was kind of intended to be that way. With Gordon Ramsay announcing back in late June that the show was done, last night’s snuck in final-final episode of KM‘s sixth season was more burn off than send off. In fact, the 9 PM KM was the first time the show has aired since May 16 when that apparent finale got a 0.9/3 on a very crowded night. Last night’s true finale was down 33% from that show and cratering 50% from the last season-ender on May 10, 2013 which got a 1.2/5. Even with Hotel Hell just finished its second season earlier this week and Season 5 of MasterChef ending next week, Fox will still have a lot of Ramsay. There’s at least one more season of MC to come, Season 13 of Hell’s Kitchen just recently launched and Season 2 of MasterChef Junior starts in November.
The CW’s Masters of Illusion (0.4/2) was even with last week. Otherwise on TV last night there were a lot of news mag shows with Dateline (1.3/5 ) on NBC at 9 PM and 20/20 (0.9/3) on ABC at 10 PM. The 2-hour former was up 44% from its 1-hour Joan Rivers tribute episode last week while the latter slide 18% from its look at the career of the comedienne on September 5. Rivers passed away on September 4. All the Big 4 aired the Stand Up To Cancer special from 8 PM to 9 PM last week. Also worth noting is that NBC had Major League Baseball preemptions in the San Fran market, so their Dateline numbers will likely see adjustment in the final numbers. Having said that, NBC won the night both in the key demo (1.1/4) and with total viewers (5.15 million).