As we approach August, let’s take a quick look at the ratings for the summer’s new dramas (while noting that True Blood is leading the way among all dramas). The Last Ship over on TNT (which I’ve heard described as The Stand, for morons) is leading the way among new dramas on Sunday nights this summer, with about 4.5 million viewers (and a 1.1 in the demo).
The Strain is next, with about half the viewers (2.1 million) of The Last Stand, but it’s close in the demo (1.0). Of course, FX doesn’t care about overnight ratings. They’re more interested in the Live + 3 Days ratings, where The Strain is doing considerably better, but then again, so are most of these dramas. While overnight ratings do not necessarily reflect an accurate number of viewers, they are a good gauge of where the shows like in relation to one another. I will also note that overnight ratings have dropped considerably since the premiere for The Strain (Ken doll vampire, notwithstanding). If the ratings hold at this level, I would expect The Strain to get a second season.
Meanwhile, HBO’s The Leftovers comes in at 1.6 million viewers (and a .8), which isn’t terrific, but it’s also held steady since the premiere. It’s arguably the most talked about show this summer — good or bad — so HBO is not likely to cancel it, especially when Girls, another show that sparks conversation, gets less than half of the viewers of The Leftovers. The Leftovers is also about even with The Newsroom last season, which was picked up for a third season).
Halt and Catch Fire, over on AMC, is not even rating in the top 100 Sunday shows, so we don’t know what the demo is (it’s under .4), but the viewers are around 800,000, which is terrible. On the other hand, it’s up from a series low of 570,000 viewers (and even I’ll admit that the most recent episode was not terrible). It is almost certainly not going to be renewed.
(Masters of Sex, in its sophomore season, unfortunately has also fallen out of the top 100 in the demo, which sucks, because that show is great).
On Tuesdays, Tyrant is hanging in there over on FX, with 1.5 million (and a .5 in the demo). Compare that to the 2.2 million viewers Justified gets in the winter, and it doesn’t look as bad as it seems. One and a half million viewers on a Tuesday in the summer is probably enough to get it renewed (it was enough to get The Bridge renewed for a second season, but then again, The Bridge is a much better show).
On Thursdays, FX’s stab at a summer comedy block is not doing so well in overnight ratings, as the most recent episode of Married was seen by only 800,000 people, while the pilot episode of You’re the Worst was seen by around 700,000 people, which is disappointing anyway you look at it. It’s too bad, because I actually like both shows. Another show I like more than I thought I would is Satisfaction on the USA Network, which sees about 1.6 million overnight viewers. I don’t think those are great numbers for USA, however. It’s a little more than half of the ratings Suits gets).
As for the new network dramas, there’s really only one much worth talking about, Halle Berry’s Extant, which has seen a considerable fall since its so-so premiere. The most recent episode did have 6.4 million viewers, but only a 1.1 in the demo. In fact, after the ratings slip, the show was shifted to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays, after a Criminal Minds rerun. Extant is likely on its way out (don’t expect a second season).
I would also quickly note that, though the show has ended its run this season, Showtime’s Penny Dreadful (already renewed for a seconds season) did not see particularly good ratings. It averaged around 800,000 overnight viewers per week for first runs.