Dollhouse & Sarah Connor Ratings Better Than We Think

Published 6 years ago by , Updated August 22nd, 2013 at 3:09 pm,

When we all heard that FOX was going to put The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse on Friday nights, we all went ballistic. We know that Friday nights are a death knoll for a show. It’s hard to ignore the fact that when your favorite gets to replace reality skeins Cops, or My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, it just ain’t good news. Just start saving up for that single season DVD pack. Right?

Well hold your horses on this one folks. There may be a glint of light at the end of the usually very short Friday night tunnel, or is there?

Despite ratings not looking so hot for either The Sarah Connor Chronicles (TSCC) or Dollhouse for Friday nights, the time shifted viewing numbers are giving the shows some serious bump!

The premiere of Dollhouse saw an increase of viewers by 30% with time shifted viewing.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles increased by 36% from that same night.

For a Friday night show being viewed via time shifting, these are huge numbers. It even beats out the most popular Friday night show, Ghost Whisperer.

So what does this mean for the survival of either show? I don’t know. It’s hard to read the mind of single cell entities in the programming departments!

This tells the studios that yes, we are indeed watching and they need to pay attention to us. But while we are showing up in strong time shifted viewer numbers, this doesn’t do the pocketbook sources, the advertisers, any good. The only people that this kind of number is good for is the DVR equipment makers and the remote control manufacturers as we wear out our FF buttons or trash on our DVR’s hard drive making it skip all the useless noise of commercials.

Commercials are becoming a thing of the past folks! Those Nielsen families need to start using DVR’s full time and get off the live viewing schedules… oh wait, those Nielsen families need to actually start watching sci-fi shows.

Our beloved shows need to start figuring out how to get their advertisers some numbers. Plain and simple. That’s how they’re going to keep advertisers around paying the bills and keeping shows we love on the air. Otherwise, our own viewing behavior where we skip commercials and don’t end up buying their products is killing the shows we love. Ironic, ain’t it? I hate it.

So these new numbers sort of make things look a little better for TSSC and Dollhouse, that’s for sure. Even though the TSSC exec was very optimistic at the WonderCon panel I attended last weekend, you can read between the lines the way Josh Friedman was answering the questions about future seasons. He had hope, but there was no tangible hope to offer. The same can probably be said for Dollhouse. Yet it is Friday night, and these days, Friday night is a little harder to get booted from because of its lessened expectations these days. Not impossible, but harder!

Source: THR Feed

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue lately. Advertisers are either going to have to change their gameplan or find away to disable the FF feature. However, the truth of the matter is that commercials don’t all get skipped. Certainly while watching my DVR if there is something crazy I see in a commercial I’m FF’ing through, even for a split-second, I will go back and watch that commercial, and pay EXTRA attention to it. Commercials will now just have to learn to grab our attention in a millisecond rather than ten seconds. Sucks for them.

  2. I hear ya. But I’m hard core. I don’t care what’s in the commercial. I’m not stopping for anything.

    I’m telling ya, product placement or in picture ads are going to be hitting us so we can’t get away from them.

    They’ve already tried this with NASCAR. Your race is in the left 2/3rds of the picture and the ad kicks in, race sound goes away and you hear ad, and have a tiny version of the thing in the right 1/3rd of the screen.

    There’s not much else they can do in my opinion. Unless they jamn banners in the picture of our show. Well… at least we’ll get more play time from our shows.

    (That’s my bright side for anything mode!)

  3. I hate commercials but have to admit that when zapping through, now and then something will catch my eye and I’ll go back. Mind you, often it is stupid and I just zap on all the quicker.

    Ads for tv shows and movies are the main things that make me stop.

    But when a show I love stops to sell me stuff, if I can’t zap forward then I turn over.

    Maybe you guys will have to set up your own BBC! :)

  4. I’m glad the shows are doing ok. Maye TSCC will be around for another season or two.

  5. @steven the git

    I sometimes do that myself. My old DirecTV box would skip in 30 second increments but my new one does a super fast forward in 30 second chunks so I can still see what I’m skipping. Sometimes something catches my eye and I’ll actually stop and watch it. :-)


  6. I often find myself stopping the ff button when I’m watching shows I’ve dvr’d as well. Especially movie trailers that I haven’t seen or funny looking stuff. I watch a lot of live tv as well though so it’s not like they still aren’t getting to catch my attention.

    As for TSCC and Dollhouse. If I’m not doing something at that time I am watching those shows live. I was not that into Dollhouse from what I saw of the first episode, but the second show was cool. The third show kind of put me back to what I felt of the first show, but I’ll keep watching it to see if it gets better.

    I like TSCC, but it is sort of weird how it’s not going to be tying in to any of the movies and be it’s own story. I’d like to see another season of it at least though.

  7. Skipping commercials is nice especially when they show the same commercial every act break; if I saw it once I don’t need to see it again in the same hour, or in the same evening. If the commercial seems interesting, I’ll stop and look. Otherwise, what does it matter if I skip past a commercial that doesn’t really fit my demographic.

    Additionally, can’t advertisers figure out how to key into smaller demographics. May some sci-fi themed commercials would attract the attention of the people watching a sci-fi show?

    I bet the advertisers would get some excellent feedback if they sent their commercials to You-Tube (or something). Lot’s of hit’s, its good. Not so many, it probably sucked just as bad on free TV.

  8. If I, for one, was forced to watch a “picture in picture” ad in a show I was watching, I have no doubt that would lead to the end of my watching TV forever. I already get annoyed sometimes when the network insignia is really big and/or blocks out something.
    It’s simply too distracting for me and takes me out of the “fantasy” of it.

    For me, the point of watching any show (especially a “otherworldly” fictional-type one), is to get away from reality and immerse myself in something not real.

    Any forced ad’s would take me out of that, and ruin the experience for me completely. Thus TV would lose it’s allure. And I’d have no choice but to go. It would no longer be meeting my needs.

    p.s. I agree with the previous writers positions regarding the same commercials being shown again and again during a given hour (and perhaps even the NEXT hour!), I don’t need to see the same one again.

    I sincerely believe that the advertisers have gotten lazy in an attempt to increase their profit margins. What is needed is for them to create more ads that are each a little bit different, (even for the same product), to provide more variety for the viewers, rather than just stuffing the same thing down our throats! It needn’t be SO expensive, just different.