When ABC first made the decision to give “Designated Survivor” a green light, it was incredibly easy to call this a decision that could lead to some significant ratings. It was a chance to put a show on about the President right in the thick of election season, and you had a proven star in Kiefer Sutherland at the center of the cast.
Now that we’re a few episodes into season, we’re seeing results that are perhaps a little more mixed than many may have first thought. While the show did enough in order for the network to give it a full-season order recently, is that enough to help it obtain a season 2? That’s something we’re looking forward to analyzing further in the latest edition of our Ratings Bubble Report series.
The good news – If you want to look solely at averages, then the numbers look very good. This is a show currently drawing on average a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic, which is better than any other program in that timeslot. You also have to consider solid DVR ratings as a major boost to the show, which also may get some more attention around the time that “24: Legacy” premieres next year just because they have Sutherland involved. That’s advertising that they don’t even have to pay for, and sometimes you’ll take whatever you can get when you are a show hoping to generate some attention.
The bad news – The downside for “Designated Survivor” comes in its recent ratings. Specifically, its last episode drew just a 1.2 rating in the demo. Sure, you can argue that the World Series as competition was a huge reason for that, and that when baseball is off the table, the show’s going to be able to bounce back. That’s probably true, but the stupidest thing that we could do as a viewer of the show is make any crass assumption that the numbers will automatically get better. If they stay around here, then we’re looking at a program that went from an impressive 2.2 for its premiere to well below that within the span of a couple of months.
Overall outlook – Still rosy. Even if “Designated Survivor” only averages around a 1.4 rating the rest of its season, that still puts it ahead of most other 10:00 shows on network TV. It has a lot going for it still, so there is no reason to think that the numbers will plummet further on the way to a second season.
Do you think that “Designated Survivor” should be renewed? Vote now in the poll below! (Photo: ABC.)