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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Who is this? Who is this? I came to fight the vampire with a soul. Guess you shouldn't have sold it, huh?"
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March 20 2004

Ratings for last night's Wonderfalls. According to Zap2it, "falling in its second week was FOX's latest critically adored, audience shunned dramedy "Wonderfalls," which dipped to a 2.6/5".

At what point will Fox place this show on the critical list if the ratings do not improve?

Now, probably. I'm hoping we get to sweeps, at least, so we'll see about 7 eps. I don't know if they're going to rebroadcast on Thursday. If they do, we'll see what happens against a new Apprentice (not a clip show). If it hold Tru's lead-in, maybe we'll get moved. if if if.

Just, you know, no one send tracheotomy pens to Gail, please.
I still don't get why they don't put it on a night that has not much going for it like Mondays or Tuesdays. I liked Wonderfalls but I don't love it - yet. I'd like to at least get to chance to see if it grows on me even more. I certainly liked it enough to watch the second episode and the next one so I have to say I'm surprised it's numbers dropped. Again, Friday is just not a good night for a new show.
And NCAA basketball is almost as powerful an opponent as baseball was for Firefly. FOX should just grit their teeth until March Madness has passed and see what happens.
I thought last nights episode was amazingly well done. Great script, great concept. And not so much reliance on all the talking animals.

Altough it might be because I can related to her style (which I don't think the majority of people can), so I might be a bit biased.

Also, the show need some good choreographed battle scene, with talking animals.
Okay. So now in Minneapolis/St.Paul the pilot episode, the encore of the pilot, last night's episode, and next week's episode will all be pre-empted by High School sports, and not airing until midnight Saturday morning.

I have a feeling that me and my friends are the only people in the Twin Cities watching this show. Last night's episode was so much better than the pilot, and I loved the pilot. I laughed so damn hard.
I'm not someone who usually laughs during TV shows other than the odd Buffy moment, but Wonderfalls did it to me. You people shouldn't tempt me to watch TV shows - if I like them, they get cancelled.
That's how I feel. As soon as I start watching a new show and like it, it usually gets cancelled, so I have taken to waiting for the show to become established before getting hooked. It's pathetic, I know.
Either Fox needs to move the show quickly to another night or we are going to be watching unaired episodes again on a DVD set. In my ideal world, Fox would really get behind the show, advertise the crap out of it and move it to a better night. After it gets picked up for a second season, Fox then gets the DVD set out by August and advertises the crap out of that to help build big mo for a season 2. Kind of like what happened with 24. In my own little perfect world.
I truly enjoy this program. It actually works well for me on Friday nights...but I wish they would move it to something a little more "seen"...for it's own good. I too am afraid to get too attached for fear of it being ripped away from me. I love the actress who plays Jaye. She seems to capture the character effortlessly.
every show i ever liked on fridays gets cancelled. i watched foxs john doe and fastlane. i like those shows but they got dumped as well........
People in America are totally taste-challenged if Wonderfalls gets abysmal ratings and dross like Trump and Littlest Groom and Top Model triumphs. I say that as an American. It's embarrassing.
I am sometimes convinced that Fox loves nothing better but to go down to the crick and drown a sackful of its kittens. I'm hoping that this is a keeper, but ... I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't just start buying shows on DVD. As it is, within a few months I'll be cancelling the Dish Network I have had because it was the only way to watch Buffy in this town and the channel that carried Angel used REALLY! BIG! LOGOS! Fall is coming and no Whedon show on the air. Enough depressive rambling.
Well, they probably need to be more creative in their promotion of Wondefalls. I think reality shows are probably a lot easier to promote than many shows, they have a hook. Pepole are drawn to watching it, like they would be to watching a car wreck, you know? A lot of people tune in out of curiosity, and watch it despite themselves, as a guilty pleasure. The key with the promotion of a TV show is, obviously, to get people to watch. If I wasn't already a fan of the Whedonverse, would I have ever given Firefly a chance? Probably not, from the lame commercials they came up with. And what about Wonderfalls? Doubtful. Their avertising just doesn't make it seem interesting enough, if you ask me.
So what I'm saying is, I don't think it's neccesarily just a taste issue, the reason why more people watch reality crap than shows like Wonderfalls. I mean, not there aren't plenty of people with bad taste, but that there are a lot of people out there who just don't know what they're missing.
I just don't get the obstinacy of Fox's programming (ill)logic. Why put a new show in the Friday Death Slot in the first place? The 'X-Files' has been the only real legitimate breakout hit generated by that placement since I can remember, and even it didn't truly flourish until it was moved to Sunday nights. That's not a very convincing argument to keep throwing good programming at that hole; I understand they've got to put something there, but expecting 'Wonderfalls' to stick is just, well, stupid, when people are not home to see it's on.

Instead of forcing whatever their pet demo is this week to program their VCRs on Friday night (which is too much trouble for a lot of folks), why not put WF on a night and time where people are more likely to be sitting down and *looking* for something to watch? Monday could be good; it worked pretty well for 'Allie McBeal'. Then, after it's established an audience, Fox could move WF back to Friday if they're just dead set on having something to fill that hole instead of a rerun of something else or another reality show.

I know this is basically what everyone else is saying, but damn. It's so frustrating, and it's really starting to feel like there's some secret cabal with a grudge against Joss and anyone remotely associated with him. Perhaps it's a deep-seated, reactionary dislike of that particular way ME alumni have of poking fun at their corporate overlords....

I don't know. I'm not a conspiracy theorist per se, but can't creative, original shows catch a break? Do the networks really not care about the people who are sick to death of reality TV, to the point that many of us are considering tuning out of network programming altogether? I feel incredibly underserved by current TV, and I have discretionary income to spend that's not being solicited because apparently, I'm not worthy of the network's attention. At least that's how it feels.
Yeah I think Mondays would be a better night for Wonderfalls. I've never even really heard of whatever that 'Forever Eden' show is. I wish they would put it there.
Oh, I feel totally marginalized as a viewer, too, Wiseblood. It's very frustrating. I literally had nothing to watch on television this week until WF on Friday. I have been Netflixing like a mad woman, watching other series and movies on DVD that I missed for whatever reason...I don't know how long I can keep going with that before I exhaust my interests, but it seems like my only viewing option since there's so little of interest on network TV.
Yes, Netflix is a beautiful thing.

I'm praying that Fox will at least stand behind Wonderfalls as much as they have for say, Tru Calling. I've seen every episode of Tru so far, and it is a MUCH weaker show than the wonderful, quirky and hilarious world of Jaye Tyler. It at least deserves a full season to prove it's worth. It would be my guess that Wonderfalls will get a better chance than Firefly, because I'm sure the show is much cheaper to produce and Fox might be willing to gamble with it a little bit longer.

That being said, Monday nights at 9 or so would be the perfect time slot. I'm completely devoid of TV on Mondays anyway, and have been for years. Will they ever put anything good on this night?
Blech. FOX finally moved Forver Eden out of the Mondays at 9 slot this weekend, but if you'd think they'd give Wonderfalls a chance there, well...I guess you'd be right on Opposite Day, if that makes you feel any better...

Nope, FOX would rather air reruns of That 70's Show for the entire hour.

(FOX also moved Bernie Mack out of the 8:30 on Sunday slot, so you think they'd give the excellent Arrested Development that post-Simpsons push...wrong...reruns will fill that slot too).

Stupid desicion-makers. I'd do everyone's job better than they do it themselves.
I saw this interesting article about what it's like to be part of the Nielsen family. Not quite front page Whedonesque material but I thought I'd post it in a relevant thread about ratings.
We were approached to do a diary for a week during the February sweeps this year but were disqualified because my husband works for a radio station.

Not that it would have changed the outcome any, but we could have at least boosted Angel's ratings some.

Too bad I'm not a liar at heart.
Ugh, I just read this depressing article about the present state of television programming. Angel only gets a passing mention so this doesn't merit its own post but I thought people might want to read it.
In addition, several months a year Nielsen sends out paper diaries for other households to fill out as they watch a week's worth of programs; these usually coincide with "sweeps" periods when national viewing trends are measured and billions of dollars in TV advertising costs are set. For their part, the diary keepers get bubkes - from $2 to $10.

I can personally vouch for this part of the Nielsen procedure. I was a diary keeper in February of 2002, and after a week's worth of time consuming, fastidious record-keeping I filled the entire back of the diary with a scathing essay on the WB's erratic scheduling and poor promotion of 'Angel', along with hopes for its renewal. I don't know if what I wrote had any real impact (though I made sure to note that I watched every episode of AtS and BtVS -- both new and rerun -- during the week, and taped them all), but when the show was picked up for a 4th season I did feel glad I'd gotten to speak out on its behalf.

The pay? Two bucks. And although the Nielsen phone rep insisted they don't share contact lists with any other companies, I was also contacted by Arbitron (radio ratings) and Scarborough (radio) within a three-month period of time following the Nielsen stint. It's hard to believe I was chosen at random by three of the largest measurement corporations in the US, but if that was truly the case, why couldn't such astronomical odds in my favor have translated into me getting a phone call from Ed McMahon instead?

[ edited by Wiseblood on 2004-03-22 07:44 ]
Perhaps Fox, as an entity, is either bi-polar or has multiple personalities - they certainly seem to suffer from own-worst-enemy syndrome. They come up with interesting, creative shows (manic) and then put them in bad slots and ignore them (depressive). They seem to be setting their best and brightest up to fail while encouraging their whiny and bratty offspring (aka reality shows). Mmmm. Maybe its really wicked step mother syndrome...
I know that it hasn't been performing well on Friday, (big surprise) but how well did the repeat do on Thursday? Anyone know?
Thursday night ratings were identical to the pilots priemere on the previous Friday. "Wonderfalls" households: 3.4/6; adults 18-49: 2.0.

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