Ratings Progress Report: On ‘Pure Genius’ and its season 2 odds

Tonight, “Pure Genius” is coming to a close on CBS with a finale that may give some closure James Bell and many of the other characters at Bunkerhill; with that being said, it’s also not as though the whole world is going to be stopping. The work with these patients is far from done, which means that there are infinitely more stories still to tell.

Unfortunately, the question still remains regarding whether or not this show will get a chance to tell them. The ratings are such that this is firmly a bubble show if there ever was one. Through season 1, its numbers were reasonably similar to both “Elementary” and “Rush Hour” last year. One of those two shows was canceled, while the other was moved to Sundays and is now in a terrible timeslot at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time — sometimes later, depending on NFL football.

As for why we ended up here in the first place, we do think that the title is one of the biggest things that the show has working against it. “Pure Genius” doesn’t say much of anything about what the product is or who is watching it. To be fair, its original title was named after the hospital, and that wasn’t exactly any better. This show needed a name that grabbed you right away, and exemplifies what the show is all about: A mixture of strong characters and some of the life-saving technology that is being used for patients. Maybe if you’ve got a better name, share it in the comments!

Another issue facing the show in the early going was that the show doesn’t have that marquee star to bring people in based on the name alone. It’s an excellent ensemble, but there are so many superficial viewers out there who will watch something just because they’ve heard of someone in the cast. It’s had an uphill battle from the start, being that it did only premiere to a 1.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic and never had all that great of a lead-in.

Here’s the positive side of things: The show was consistently between a 0.8 and 1.0 rating from the second episode onward, so there are signs that the people who enjoyed watching the show in the early going stuck with it on a weekly basis. Also, this is a show that could over time draw more viewers just because of its tone. Without being political, this is clearly a time in America where there is a ton of discord and sadness on all sides. This is a show that likes to accent hope and progress, and these are things that everyone needs right now. We see that becoming a trend in some ways already both in terms of pilot season and also shows that are already on the air.

We see this one going either way — if you want to do your part to help ensure further that “Pure Genius” is renewed, the best piece of advice that we can offer is to watch the finale live, and make sure you let your friends know that you enjoyed it. If they can catch up online or via CBS All Access, that may help the show out even further.

Do you want to see “Pure Genius” renewed for a second season?

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