All Along The Watchtower

films . videos . television

Friday, September 29, 2006

Now I'm worried...

The new season of Veronica Mars hasn't started yet and already I'm worried the show may not make it past the initial order of 13 episodes for the year.

Why is that? you ask.

Because the ratings for the season premiere of Gilmore Girls tanked Tuesday night.

Looks like "Gilmore Girls" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino may get the last laugh. The show's seventh-season debut copped an audience of 4.5 million on the new CW network Tuesday night -- down nearly 2 million viewers compared with last fall.

Sherman-Palladino, you'll recall, took a hike at the end of the show's sixth season when Time Warner division Warner Bros., which produces the show, would not agree to give her and her husband, "Gilmore Girls" exec producer Mr. Amy Sherman-Palladino, a multiyear contract.

The CW noted yesterday that in addition to premiering against tough competition, "Gilmore Girls" had switched local stations in nearly a third of the country because of its move to the CW network.

Which is great, except that the CW's reality series "America's Next Top Model" managed to equal its best debut audience ever when it premiered last week, although, because it's a former UPN series, it had moved to new local stations in nearly two-thirds of the country.

Mars fans were counting on Gilmore Girls to deliver a solid lead in and hopefully have our favorite show hang onto and build on those good numbers. But if Girls is struggling, that means the ratings for Mars could be even lower, thus leading to the axe coming down sooner rather than later.

Honestly, the fact that Gilmore's ratings have dropped is not a shock to me. As I watch, I see parallels between GG and Lois and Clark. Back in season three, Lois and Clark got the leads together, had Lois figure out Clark equals Superman and then spent a good third of the season breaking the two up, having them get back together in typical bad romantic comedy fashion. Then for sweeps, the producers and ABC decided to rush a wedding into the storyline and created the five-part wedding arc that was a complete disservice to the characters and an insult to the fans. The show's rating tumbled, esp. in the wake of the wedding that didn't happen. Lois and Clark tried to pick up the pieces but it was too late as a lot of fans got disguisted with the show and tuned on. Even a late fourth season return to quality didn't gain back fans and the show was eventually cancelled.

I hate to say it, but the same pattern is emerging on Gilmore Girls. The giant "screw you" by Amy Sherman Palladino to end the season has turned off fans and many may never come back. Even TV Guide critic and Gilmore fan Matt Rousch last week recommended watching Friday Night Lights over Gilmore Girls.

But back to my point--Veronica was in need of a good lead-in. We thought Gilmore Girls might be it. But now it doesn't look good. Which is a shame because Veronica Mars is one of the best shows on TV.


At 8:16 AM, Blogger AG said...

4.5 million is still more than double what VM got all last season. Oh, snap!

I hate that the critics are hammering GG over the numbers. 4.5 million is a totally respectable number for a CW show (I think 7th Heaven got half of that) and people are still trying to figure out the CW. Some markets don't even have it anymore. Some the station has changed. It's my understanding that Dish Network isn't even carrying the CW. Don't fret, my pet. If VM holds even half of the GG audience, and it won't be up against Lost, things will be A-OK.


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