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January 15 2008

Glau gives FOX a killing. The Sarah Connor Chronicles clocks up 18.3 million viewers, making it FOX's most watched premiere of a scripted show since Malcolm in the Middle launched in 2000. So it is possible to launch a show on FOX with proper marketing.

[ edited by gossi on 2008-01-14 23:56 ]

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2008-01-15 00:29 ]

I'm assuming the FOX statement is that it's THEIR most-watched premiere since MitM, not all of television's.
Well, in fairness, it helps when your marketing can use just one word to summon a franchise loved for over 20 years. "Terminator: Wonderfalls" would have been a big hit too. =)
When did we last have a ratings thread? Was it for Drive?
Drive's ratings thread was depressing. Very depressing.

theonetruebix - I've reworded it to clarify.
It had a massive lead-in with the Cowboys vs. Giants game (38 million viewers). Tonight it should settle into a more normal 9-11 million range.
jam2, the original title of the show left off the word Terminator. At least someone at Fox was smart enough to change that. :)

I think this was the highest rated premiere on any network for the last three years. I'll check my numbers and confirm.

According to Variety the demo rating of 7.6 was the highest of any new show premiere in three years.

And yes, the ratings will be lower tonight with the free falling Prison Break as the lead in, how could it not?

[ edited by TamaraC on 2008-01-15 00:06 ]
That is fantastic! It was a great watch!

[ edited by Harmalicious on 2008-01-15 00:46 ]
Wow, 18.something million viewers? I am thrilled for this success and the wide exposure that Summer's been getting because of it.
Not trying to diminish the ratings achievement, but the severe lack of scripted television currently on air was probably a huge incentive for people to tune in as well.
Really? I predict they're going to pick up viewers tonight, like the BSG mini-series, from word-of-mouth and the Interwebs - but then, I know nothing about how TV operates, other than mystically and with power from dilithium crystals, so take that for what it's worth...
Who told you about the dilitihum?! Thats the D (and quite possibly the L now that I think about it...) in DLP ;)
Well, in fairness, it helps when your marketing can use just one word to summon a franchise loved for over 20 years. "Terminator: Wonderfalls" would have been a big hit too. =)

Heh. My thoughts exactly. Drive had a huge marketing push behind it, but it wasn't based on a hit franchise.

jam2, the original title of the show left off the word Terminator. At least someone at Fox was smart enough to change that. :)

I like the original title better, but I agree that adding the word was probably beneficial to getting people to tune in. Though, honestly, how could you know about Terminator but not be pinged by "Sarah Connor"?

Really? I predict they're going to pick up viewers tonight, like the BSG mini-series, from word-of-mouth and the Interwebs

Unlikely for it to go up from 18 million viewers, many of whom probably wanted something to watch after the football game. It's only a matter of how much it drops off (and, like you, I hope that word-of-mouth and good reviews make up for the casual viewers who don't tune in).
Gahh, too slow typing. People have already hit the big "marketing points" for this show:
1) Big-interest competitive football game as lead in
2) Dearth of other (scripted) shows for a few weeks
3) Lack of alternatives (I wouldn't have watched the GGlobes, but others might)
4) Base the show on a pair of interesting, popular movies
5) Be willing to put money into the show for good-looking production value
6) Relatively smart (although not Whedonesque) script with actors who can work it

With all that said, I'll be back for more. Interested in what happens as a season-long story arc after the 2-hour pilot. (Will Glau's Terminator start fighting crime, like the Incredible Hulk back in the 80s? A "Terminator-of-the-week" to match up with Smallville's "Krypto-freak-of-the-week"?)
All the word-of-mouth I'm hearing on the web -- which obviously isn't the best indicator -- is mixed at best. Those I actually know who saw it seemed to think it was 'okay.'

Better than Bionic Woman, but this isn't a word-of-mouth smash.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2008-01-15 00:41 ]
As much as I would like to see it, I don't think it has a snowball's chance in hell of increasing viewership form last night.

PC, I think the majority of people who watched the Terminator movies wouldn't be able to tell you the name of the "Linda Hamilton character." Only hardcore fans remember that kind of detail.
A "Terminator-of-the-week" to match up with Smallville's "Krypto-freak-of-the-week"?)

I think they've already indicated this is not the plan.
PC, I think the majority of people who watched the Terminator movies wouldn't be able to tell you the name of the "Linda Hamilton character." Only hardcore fans remember that kind of detail.
But...but...it's Sarah Connor.

People are stupid.
That's shiny! That's good news. I do believe that the SCC had better promotion than Drive, and add to the fact it as other's have mentioned that they had a better lead-in than Drive. Football is still king in this country as evidenced by the Pats-Giants game last month and well its playoff time, so that helped a whole lot. Drive premiered at a terrible time, April.
Yes they are.

Those are the same people who didn't watch Firefly and thought Buffy was a teeny-bopper show. We don't like them.
18 million, eh? That's almost 3 times the number who saw Firefly! ;)

Well, we'll see how much it falls tomorrow (or today, or yesterday - whenever)
That's great news. And I just got my free poster in the mail, thanks to this thread from last December. I chose the topless, bottomless floating Summer, of course.
My husband watched Summer while I watched The Victor Davis Story with Mark Lutz. I watched a sports movie and he watched SF. Bizarro World lives.
I quite liked it. I haven't looked around to see what the complaints are, but I don't really see anything to complain about. It was exactly what I'd imagine a Terminator series to be. Is this like people complaining about Daniel Craig's hair?
I've seen several people in a dither about the timeline. Let it go, people. hmmph. There are also complaints that Sarah has been watered down and is not as much of a hard ass as she was in the original version of the pilot.

One guy was even complaining because Summer Glau is too frail looking and that she should be more like a professional wrestler (because that would be subtle). That's about it really. Most naysayers just have issues with canon and continuity, nothing a Whedonesquer would ever bother with. ;)
Oh now I feel I should find those whiny 'Terminator' fans and explain that ALL the newer model cyborgs were less and less muscle bound (Summer is way more buff than the cyborg chick in Terminator 3). Arnold was always an early/obsolete model.
Canon, continuity, and timeline? Nope, never seen those words here before.
"Please remain calm."
...she should be more like a professional wrestler.
I just got a lovely image of one those American Gladiator women trying to blend in during geometry class. Thanks for that. :-)
Episode 2 was pretty good when not dealing with the utterly stupid Terminator head subplot.

And now I'm confused. Are they now trying to work this into Terminator 3? Because, yeah... My head. Explosion. Coming soon.
I finished the first episode excited, but after just finishing the second, it's starting to lose me. There are some MAJOR screw-ups that just don't make sense to me, and I'm not the picky type. I always try to find my own excuses to remain optimistic, but not this stuff. I have no issues with the timeline, Sarah, or Summer as a terminator, though. In fact, I'll still watch next week simply because I LOVE what Summer is doing with her role. That, and I'm hoping they explain a few things better.
Speaking of blending in . . . the scene of the terminator trying to match the pose and manner of the woman lookout was both predictable yet really funny in the way that Summer handled it in tonight's episode. I don't really care about some of the glaring discontinuities. I'm enjoying the show, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it will go.
Summer is completely and utterly holding the show up...

I'm enjoyed tonights episode...the show isn't perfect but hey, at least its scripted TV :) and its got Summer, which NEVER hurts...

That's great news. And I just got my free poster in the mail, thanks to this thread from last December. I chose the topless, bottomless floating Summer, of course.


You too? :D Now where am I going to hang it? Next to the Serenity poster or is that too lame?

[ edited by lax01 on 2008-01-15 04:52 ]

[ edited by lax01 on 2008-01-15 04:52 ]
Oh yeah! My poster came in, too, and it was the same one. It looks so sweet.
Are there really that many Terminator fans out there? Before this show, my only knowledge of the series was that Arnold played some sort of robot in a goofy 80's movie.

I'm thinking the crazy high ratings are mostly due to the fact that it's pretty much the only show on television right now.
Terminator 2 made $200 million in 1991. Terminator 3 was the eighth highest grossing film the year it came out. I'd say the films have a fanbase, yeah.
I'm excited for an action show that I want to watch to actually be airing. Also, I'm excited for SG. She has deserved to be in a show that runs for a long period and hopefully this is it.
"Move the food around, the turkey will reveal itself to you."

Gotta store that. Might just use that one day.

and

C. A. Bridges, wasn't that "Please remain calm." fantastic!

And on continuity and timeline, Captain Janeway messed that totally up a long time ago.

As Dr. Karros said in White Noise: The Light "Keep your eyes open, bubba, you're in uncharted territory. There's a very good chance you're gonna be seeing some wacky stuff."
The person that mentioned the lead in from the football game gives me an idea. It's really quite brilliant.

Next year this time: Dollhouse.

By then the strike should be long over, and they could at least have the first set of episodes pumped out.

It will live! LIVE I SAY!
Next year this time: Dollhouse.

This is presuming that the Joss/Eliza deal for Dollhouse isn't amongst the "force majeure" development deal axings that came down from FOX today. See here and here. (It all comes down, in part, to whether FOX considers Dollhouse an "active" project for their purposes.)
Hmm, something tells me that most football fans won't really like the sound of a show called "Dollhouse." They'd have to make the commercials look very scary and thrilling to pull that off.

Just my guess.
I remember "Alias" running some promos for their show following the Super Bowl a few years back. It was Jennifer Garner in lingerie kicking someone's ass. I believe it was one of their highest rated episodes. If they promote Dollhouse with Eliza in some sexy outfit doing a La Femme Nikita type of scene I'm sure no football fan will care what the title is!

As for the SCC, I'm really liking the show. I thought the first half was a bit predictable but I still enjoyed it but I really liked this second half and thought Summer did an excellent and believable job as a terminator. I loved how she was able to run at top speed and still keep a blank, robotic look on her face and also doing that in fight scenes.
I don't think I've ever seen a show being so totally held up by the cast. I'm sorry, but the script is full of gaping, ridiculous holes at every turn. The terminator head (there's a TON regarding that) and the "sure, I'll do some highly illegal identity fraud for you based on the reference of my Uncle, the known informant!" scene were the two that really got my goat tonight.

There's some very good scenes and lines every once in awhile, mostly Summer and her quest to mimic/learn humanity. As long as you're willing to ignore the multitude of pink elephants in the plot, it's enjoyable.

The elephants having nothing to do with "canon", btw.

[ edited by Muggi on 2008-01-15 06:51 ]
I enjoyed it, despite the holes. And we should remember that, while the scripts were "done" before the strike started, I think I read somewhere that Josh Friedman barely had a chance to tell the crew "I'll be back!" before the strike started.
What everyone here missed, unless i missed that someone said it already, but the Terminator:SCC will help Firefly. It will increase demand for Firefly. Those old Terminator fans will see Summer's awesomeness in action, and those younger viewers who really like Summer will check what else she's done. The only one that she's been main character in, besides the movies, are Firefly and Serenity. They'll check her fan and other pages, and Firefly/Serenity is always there. Plus, those Summer fans will lead them to Firefly.
Our numbers will grow. Browncoats unite, and welcome the new recruits.
I'm not saying that everyone who sees Terminator:SCC will do this. But ask other people if they've been keeping up with it. If they have, ask who their fav char is. Most like it's Cameron/Summer. Then...Do your magic. XD
SPOILERS:


Muggi, the Terminator head probably annoyed me the most. The clothes and weapon don't make it through, as is supposed to happen, but somehow a fleshless robot head comes flying along with them. Then you have to wonder about how the headless body made it out of the bank in the past without causing some kind of an issue (this being after it stormed in and tore the safe's door up with no concern of how many people witnessed it). Yep, just walked right out and hunted for a junkyard to bury itself in. No one followed or anything.

Then there was the resistance fighter's safe. Since the judgment day that the Connors knew of didn't happen, why would that date work? Wouldn't the fighters have a different judgment day in mind when programming the lock?

That, along with the "I charge so much because I'm extra paranoid of being caught, but I'll make illegal cards for you because my uncle -the informant- sent you" bit really bugged me.

I was able to forgive that Cameron didn't have to follow John's orders because she only follows the future John's orders (totally contradicts T2), because maybe she was programmed with stricter guidelines.

END OF SPOILERS



That said, I'll still watch next week. I'm hoping that when they face the old terminator, there might be some logical explanation. Plus... regardless of my rant, it's SUMMER GLAU! Heheh.
What everyone here missed

I don't think anyone missed this notion. I think people are just trying to focus on Terminator/Summer in and of themselves rather than trying to make everything about Firefly. ;)
I'm enjoying the new show. Sure the ratings will drop from the pilot to the next showing - Foxing, I mean changing, the schedule does that. But I'd expect decent ratings if only because there are few other new shows out there (other than "reality" stuff), and it's got the movie tie in. Also, expect Fox to promote the heck out of it on American Idol, which starts its new season tomorrow (Tuesday).

And don't put so much stock in the football game lead-in, out here on the Left Coast, the show was hours after the game had ended. It gives Fox another way to advertise the show, but it isn't going to make a silk purse if this becomes a sow's ear.
There certainly has been a jump on my Flickr photos of Summer searches. Yesterday I had people find my photos 26 times from a search of her name on Flickr alone, compared to about 50 from all previous days combined. I even had someone find my stuff from a search of "Summer Glau nudes" on Google.

I'm going to be posting all the pics I took at the LA Con by tomorrow in this set. But I had to upload this one right away because it looked so cool.
Future episodes will also benefit from ads during AI (I'm assuming they'll be shown but it is the biggest scripted show Fox has right now) which starts tomorrow.
I pretty much had the same thought, chaoswurm. I enjoyed the pilot well enough, despite knowing nothing about Terminator, and frankly, not caring much about it either, but Summer held the show. And if anyone else believes that, some of those people will inevitably be people who have never seen Serenifly. I got excited yesterday morning when I went onto my MSN homepage and found that one of the top three searches was Summer. I hope her role increases this fanbase like mad. Or, you know, even a little. Mad would be better, but maybe not as realistic. Is that selfish?
SPOILERS


Let's take a shot.

The clothes and weapon don't make it through, as is supposed to happen, but somehow a fleshless robot head comes flying along with them.

Yeah, that's a problem. Possible that there was still flesh on the head, being blown off by the explosion, that was enough to get it through before disintegrating, but that's really forcing the issue.

Then you have to wonder about how the headless body made it out of the bank in the past without causing some kind of an issue...

Only works if you assume that the explosion really tore up the door and surrounding area and that the wreckers just picked up the door and Terminator as one big pile. Kinda unlikely.

Then there was the resistance fighter's safe. Since the judgment day that the Connors knew of didn't happen, why would that date work? Wouldn't the fighters have a different judgment day in mind when programming the lock?

This one I'm willing to wait for. We don't know that day still isn't significant.

That, along with the "I charge so much because I'm extra paranoid of being caught, but I'll make illegal cards for you because my uncle -the informant- sent you"...

That didn't bother me, possibly because I didn't get the impression that making the cards was any kind of hardship for him and that while his uncle might have ratted out someone else, his nephew knew he wouldn't rat out family.

I was able to forgive that Cameron didn't have to follow John's orders because she only follows the future John's orders (totally contradicts T2)...

Why? Not the same Terminator, not the same future John. If I was future John I wouldn't tell an unstoppable killing machine to follow my whiny teenage self either.

END SPOILERS
Unsurprisingly Monday's airing did appreciably worse in the ratings managing a little over 10 million viewers and a 4.3 in the demo. It was 2nd for both total viewers and in the demo for its time slot with NBC's Deal or No Deal winning the hour with 15 million viewers and a 5 in the demo.
I think part of it is that normal people don't get Fox's stupid strategy of premiering the pilot one day and then airing the 2nd episode the next day. Hopefully next week there won't be a lot of people tuning in and going "wtf? how did I miss an episode already?" because they'll just change the channel.

This is presuming that the Joss/Eliza deal for Dollhouse isn't amongst the "force majeure" development deal axings that came down from FOX today. See here and here. (It all comes down, in part, to whether FOX considers Dollhouse an "active" project for their purposes.)


The trades have printed two more of the canceled deals at Fox, bringing the total to 10 out of 15 (or 14, reports vary). Still not Joss - so far, so good.
Hee, seen it now so i'll have a go at explaining the holes away too (it's like a relay race of sadness ;).

SPOILERS:

The clothes and weapon don't make it through, as is supposed to happen, but somehow a fleshless robot head comes flying along with them.

Sarah shoots and the head flies off just as the field forms so maybe it still has its flesh on when it enters the field, which may be enough to fan-wank that one away on its own. It's dodgy though, would've been better if they'd still had some flesh on the head as it bounced out of the field, just to make it clear.

Then there was the resistance fighter's safe. Since the judgment day that the Connors knew of didn't happen, why would that date work? Wouldn't the fighters have a different judgment day in mind when programming the lock?

This one is more clear-cut. In episode 1 Cameron says "The Skynet missile defence system goes online April 19th, 2011" i.e. after Sarah's actions in T2, Judgement Day has moved but it still happens. I'm happy to assume John just used that date when opening the safe (Sarah is bound to tell him I think, even if he didn't overhear it himself) but really dedicated nit-pickers are welcome to frame by frame through the safe opening scene to see if they can tell which digits he presses ;).

That, along with the "I charge so much because I'm extra paranoid of being caught, but I'll make illegal cards for you because my uncle -the informant- sent you" bit really bugged me.

There're a few options here. The nephew may indeed know his Uncle wouldn't rat out family or, as Sarah ponders, maybe the nephew didn't actually think $20,000 was that much for three whole new lives, maybe he was just getting whatever he could before Enrique sold them out ? Or if the fake IDs were a honey-trap of sorts then the nephew may well be allowed to operate with impunity while the feds took their pick of the criminals he serviced.

I was able to forgive that Cameron didn't have to follow John's orders because she only follows the future John's orders (totally contradicts T2), because maybe she was programmed with stricter guidelines.

To which CA Bridges said: "Why? Not the same Terminator, not the same future John." and with which I agree completely. The time-line has changed. Paradoxes aside, Cameron doesn't have to do anything the same way the T-800 did in T2 - apart from anything else we already know she's either a different model or has been programmed differently because we see her exhibiting what you could call empathy. And Jesus, I certainly wouldn't trust 15 year old me - in fact, current-me's first order to Cameron would probably be "When you see me, give me a good slap" ;-).

If you give them the single time-line and you give them the possibility of paradoxes (which I do and which we must even in order to accept the films) then there really can't be "contradictions" in this sense.

The Terminator body is the only one I can't quite give them. It's an explosion during a bank robbery in which a federal agent is already interested - there is no way I can see the scene of crimes people missing a hulking great headless robot body which is decades ahead of current technology, the whole place would've been gone over with several fine-tooth combs.

(maybe if the body is actually also caught in the field and is therefore also transported into the future but owing to not being fully within it, ends up landing somewhere convenient else, like a dump. Pretty frikkin' thin though ;)

END OF SPOILERS

Liked it in general, maybe a bit more obvious than the pilot but some nice lines and some nice stuff from Summer. And I liked the reminder that she's cute and she's funny and you can play dollies and dress up with her but at the end of the day, "it can't be reasoned with, or bargained with, it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear ... and it absolutely will not stop. Ever." ;).
Guys its super easy to pick holes in the show...I pretend not to think about it and just go along for the ride...this isn't Lost or BSG...its definitely not a "thinking-man's" show...

[ edited by lax01 on 2008-01-15 21:34 ]
Yep, easy and fun (i've been along for the ride and enjoyed it, this is more like getting on again to figure out how well the roller-coaster is constructed ;).

I think that's also maybe not being completely fair to the show lax01 (though each to their own of course ;). We've still to see how they'll play it but there's a lot they can talk about regarding for instance being human or not and where the line between lies that's actually pretty similar to what BSG talks about. And questions about pre-destination and free-will are virtually woven into the fabric of the Terminator universe.

So far, in other words, I haven't seen much to indicate that it's necessarily less clever than either of the shows you mention.
The trades have printed two more of the canceled deals at Fox, bringing the total to 10 out of 15 (or 14, reports vary). Still not Joss - so far, so good.

Yeah and I suspect he isn't among them, personally. The studios do seem to be concentrating on people with development deals within which said people don't currently have any projects pitched. As opposed to the Dollhouse situation, where there's clearly a project that's been tapped.

It is, of course, Hollywood, and I'm not a part of it. So who knows. But anyway, my suspicion is that Dollhouse is safe.
SPOILERS

This has probably been pointed out before, but does it strike anyone as funny that a character named "Cameron" has come back in time to make sure that the events of T3 don't take place?

Perhaps we can have an Aliens show where a character named Cameron wakes up Ripley from a long sleep, and explains to her that the events of Alien 3 and Resurrection were just a bad dream, and Newt and Hicks are still alive!

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