As we discussed last night, watching the Whiskey Cavalier premiere on ABC was a little bit of a strange experience for many. Some of the messaging surrounding it suggested that it was airing directly after the Oscars, which led to some confusion when the local news came on instead. It was almost midnight by the time the show actually premiered on the East Coast, which was largely approaching time-for-bed territory for a lot of people in multiple time-zones across the country.
For those in the West Coast, viewing Whiskey Cavalier was a little bit easier — in the Los Angeles market, it aired at 10:00 p.m. Pacific time.
So how did the show ultimately fare when you count up the numbers and factor in the missteps? Via Deadline, we’re talking about a 0.8 rating in the all-important 18-49 demographic and around 4.7 million viewers. Those are numbers that would put the Lauren Cohan – Scott Foley series ahead of How to Get Away with Murder and The Rookie in the pantheon of ABC 10:00 p.m. shows. (Those two shows are considered firmly on the renewal bubble at the moment — though there is a little bit of optimism for each.)
Of course, it’s also largely unfair to compare the ratings for this show at this point to any of the others. Typically premieres post bigger numbers … but premieres that are airing in the middle of the night? There’s a trade-off that comes with that, and the same goes for having the Oscars lead-in overall. The DVR numbers for Whiskey Cavalier should prove interesting, as should the viewership for when the first episode replays on Wednesday night in its normal timeslot. We don’t think anyone who watched the Oscars last night is unaware of it (the running Twitter joke was that the Oscars were the pre-game show for Whiskey Cavalier with all of its promotion), but a lot of people may have been throwing Oscar parties, drinking champagne and collecting their winnings from their Oscar pools.
We mentioned this before, but the true test of this show’s legitimate success is going to come a week from Wednesday when the series actually airs a new episode in its normal timeslot with its normal lead-ins. If it can flex some ratings muscle there, it’ll be easier to feel good about its future. ABC is craving a show like this, one that combines action, humor, and potentially a little bit of mystery and espionage. It’s something that they’ve tried to replicate before with shows like The Catch and Take Two, but neither lasted anywhere near as long as Castle. That’s more or less the gold standard for ABC when it comes to the comedic mission/case-based show.
If you like shows that are somewhat similar to the ones we just mentioned, you’re going to really like Whiskey Cavalier! It’s a fun way to breeze through an hour and see familiar faces in some exciting new roles. Cohan and Foley have the comedic chops to pull their roles off, but also bring a lot of experience from some of their past work like The Walking Dead and Scandal.
Did you watch the Whiskey Cavalier premiere live last night, or are you planning to sit down (preferably with some whiskey) to watch it soon? Be sure to share below. (Photo: NBC.)