Ratings debate: Will ‘Hart of Dixie’ season 2 be the end?

Hart of DixieWe’re at that time of year now when we have seen the vast majority of the primetime series all of the major networks are putting out there, and with there only being two months to go until upfront presentations for the fall, we’re bringing back a rather popular feature from the spring: ratings debates! We’re coming into this with a pretty good track record now, as the only two miscues we had last year were thinking that “The Secret Circle” would be renewed, and the assumption that “Nikita” would be canceled.

We’re sticking with The CW to kick off our feature this year for one simple reason: while these shows may not have huge viewerships or demo figures, they do have plenty of diehard fans who wait around on pins and needles. Case in point? “Hart of Dixie.” It’s a show that was lucky to escape the ax last year, and is the only sophomore series on the network’s entire roster. Can it do so again? We hope so, since this is a big year for it.

As you’ll probably hear us say in this again and again, the season 3 decision is one of the toughest for the network to make, since you are close to guaranteeing yourself a fourth season, as well, thanks to the close proximity you will be to the 88 episodes you need for syndication. In picking up a show like “Hart of Dixie,” you’re basically saying that you want to get the show to this milestone pending a major mishap.

Most recent rating – 0.6 in the 18-49 demographic (1.5 million viewers) for the March 5 episode.

Why it should go – The CW eventually needs to realize that in order to really make a big leap forward, they need their shows to do better than “okay.” This series doesn’t generate much buzz or publicity, and they have a strong core of pilots including “Tomorrow People,” “The Selection,” and “The Vampire Diaries” spin-off “The Originals” that need to air somewhere. Revamping the entire Monday and Tuesday lineups may be something that the network looks at, especially since for whatever reason viewers of this particular show do not often stick around for anything else.

Why it should stay – The simple reason is just when it comes to ratings, “Hart of Dixie’ is in the middle of the pack. It has consistently averaged higher than any show airing on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Fridays, and has even matched at times or even surpassed “Beauty and the Beast,” despite it airing after “The Vampire Diaries.” Plus, it manages to do this despite not having a great deal of promotion, and it certainly cannot be as expensive to make as the effects-heavy “Vampire Diaries” or “Supernatural.” It’s a fan favorite that appeals to young women, and it does so better than any show the network has that does not involve superheroes or bloodsuckers in any way.

The verdict – “Hart of Dixie” may not be renewed yet, but it’s not going to go anywhere. It would be a shock if it gets canceled, as the ratings are consistent, the fan base is loyal, and with “90210” ending, “The Carrie Diaries” and “Cult” likely getting canceled, and “Beauty and the Beast” on the bubble, you need something to rely on. This, for the time being, is that show. With that being said, we would not be stunned to see it fall back to a later timeslot in the fall, since the 9:00 spot is starting to look like poison for new shows on Tuesdays.

What do you think: should “Hart of Dixie” stay or go? Be sure to vote in our poll below, and you can read some more season 2 news over at the link here.

Photo: The CW


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