Before “The Following” even premiered on Fox, the network made what was a smart but very risky decision to actually promote the show by not only sharing its premiere date and time, but also imploring viewers to “set their DVRs.” This was one of the few instances in which a network actually decided that it was in their better interest to actually act as though there people record some of their favorite shows to watch later, and they wanted to get people started on this habit sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, we see Fox as thinking towards the future with this move. They know that come March, both “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Voice” will each be back on the air, and these shows are much more considered to be event television than Kevin Bacon’s serial killer drama. If people don’t watch live, maybe they will at least have enough of a viewing habit established that they will record the show … or at least this is the plan.
Luckily, this is a plan that does seem to be paying off. Following the show’s strong performance on Monday, the just-released live+3 data has brought the show up from a 3.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic up to an impressive 4.3. Save for “Revolution,” this is the best series launch of any new drama this year, and the combined rating here actually trumps Fox’s two canceled Monday-night dramas from last year in “Terra Nova” and “Alcatraz.” Of course, it also beats “The Mob Doctor,” but do we really need to bring this up?
While we are sure that Fox would rather have all of these people watching live, DVR viewing has went up across the board this year, and there are still opportunities for advertisers to have their products seen even if the commercials are being fast-forwarded through.
If you want to read our full review of “The Following” premiere, you can do so over at the link here.