Virtuality’s Ratings Flatline in Friday Night Dead Space

Published 5 years ago by , Updated July 18th, 2013 at 9:37 am,

virtuality Virtualitys Ratings Flatline in Friday Night Dead Space
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is looking for ratings numbers in the vacuum of space

After being given the Friday night treatment by Fox, Ronald D. Moore’s Virtuality didn’t fare too well.

The movie that was originally slated to be a pilot for a series that  was your standard fare from Moore, employing his style and voice to air his perspective on different human scenarios.  In this case, it was about 12 space-faring crew members who were facing isolation on a 10-year space journey, and, dealing with what looked like a faulty virtual reality system.

I enjoyed it and the majority of the Screen Rant readers who commented on my review concurred that it was a good watch.

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Friday Night Bites

But Friday night did what it does and bit a chunk out of the ratings for this science fiction drama.  Science fiction and fantasy just don’t click with the Friday night viewers.  But don’t tell Fox that.  They’re not listening.

Virtuality pulled in 1.8 million viewers and that placed the show 4th out of 5 shows in it’s time slot.

For the entire evening of Friday, June 26th, Virtuality ranked 9th out of 13 shows that aired on network TV.

The Michael Jackson Dateline show and 20/20 dominated the evening, and a repeat of the crime drama Numbers ranked as the highest-rated scripted drama.

On the bright side, Moore’s platform did manage to beat The Goode Family, Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, and Privledged.

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Expectations Sadly Fulfilled

What I expected from this Friday night airing of Virtuality came to pass.  My guess is that Fox will not pursue a series from this premise, and that’s a shame because Moore delivered what I expect from him as he tackled different social issues in a gritty fashion we’re not always used to seeing.

Because of the reviews and other interest being generated by fans, there is a drive to get the show picked up; they suggest writing to Fox or SyFy about it or to watch it on Hulu.

Check it out at the Virtuality Fan Support page.

With Virtuality I think we could have had a great series to entertain us that would have engaged our imaginations.  It’s a shame.

Spread the word faithful readers, and let us know what your feelings are on any issue we’ve presented here.

Ratings source:  TV By The Numbers

TAGS: virtuality

5 Comments

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  1. Yeah,I heard it was a ratings bloodbath.
    Unfortunate.

  2. I WATCHED THE FIRST HALF, COULDN’T GET INTO IT, AND I’M A RDM BSG FINATIC, BUT THIS REALLY DID KINDA SUCK. LOOKING FORWARD TO CAPRICA IN JANUARY

  3. Just bad timing all around and in every possible way, however I’m not giving up yet. There have been so many positive reviews, and fan comments on a number of sites have been mostly good, too. While FOX didn’t do much broadcast promotion or other advertising, it seemed like there was a decent amount of Web awareness, and putting it on Hulu … I’ve seen numerous comments about people finding it there and really liking it. Some then even go to the FOX site (where it’s also streaming) to comment, or people even sign up just to give a positive review. I’ve written to both FOX and SyFy … we’ll see what happens. So much potential in this show. My fingers are crossed.

  4. EJK – you should have stuck it out… the 2nd half made it good. Go find it on Fox or Hulu and try and check out the 2nd half!

  5. For THIS crap Moore truncated the last season of Battlestar Galactica??!? Mediocre. Very, very mediocre. And underwhelming, considering how intriguing the premise was. I say this as a hardcore sci-fi fan and someone who loved BSG, really likes Coster-Waldau and enjoyed him in the too-short New Amsterdam, and was hoping for much more from Ron Moore. Virtuality was a half-assed effort, and the first half really needed a good editor to sharpen the dialog and cut out dull moments that didn’t elucidate the plot.

    Second, it’s unclear to me why these travelers have to rely solely on VR to escape boredom. Whatever happened to books, music, games, and films? With everything that’s digitized now and how much memory computer chips can handle, that ship (or at least a few latops on the ship) ought to have been able to carry most of AFI’s film library plus a ton of e-books if not the entire Library of Congress, research journals and reference books, preloaded DVD sets of cable shows and TV series, music libraries, etc. And that’s not including video games, board games, a chess set or Go board, plus some poker chips, a copy of Hoyle’s rules and a few decks of cards. Why over-rely on VR?? And there’s no VR tech on board who can fix it if it goes wrong (like that would happen, considering the VR is also used for training and ship maintenance functions) — plus, we’re supposed to believe that NASA would send them out for that long without a backup doctor or med tech. NASA, for whom redundancy is as normal as breathing??? Nope, that’s just too many maguffins to suspend disbelief, and we haven’t even gotten to scientific mistakes and impossibilities yet.

    Third, we get no real clues as to what might be broken in the VR system or, better yet, why someone couldn’t simply exit it by pulling off the headset. I would. That part just wasn’t credible.

    Finally, it isn’t the Friday night slot per se that kills sci-fi shows on TV, it’s Friday night on broadcast TV that kills it. The cable audience may be different: BSG did just fine for years on a Friday night, as did Stargate and several other shows. And if memory serves, The X-Files ran on Friday nights for a while.

    Face it: there’s so much more for folks to do now that ANY night of TV has lower ratings than it used to. And that won’t change in the foreseeable future. What needs to change, in that case, is network executives’ expectations so that they are lower and align more closely to the new reality, whereas their standard of quality needs to improve if they want to retain any viewers (translation: stop insulting viewers’ intelligence with all these nitwit unreality shows!!!). Fat chance of that happening, given how addicted TV execs are to having unrealistic expectations and programming for the lowest common denominator …

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