“Dallas’s” audience shrunk again this week, but TV ratings expert Marc Berman said it’s too soon for the show’s fans to sound the alarms.
“I wouldn’t panic yet,” Berman, editor in chief of TV Media Insights, a top industry news site, said yesterday. “The numbers are disappointing, but they’re not horrific.”
TNT’s “Dallas” revival averaged 4.2 million viewers on Wednesday nights last summer, but when DVR users who recorded the show and watched it later were counted, the audience rose to 6.1 million viewers.
Last week, “Dallas” opened its second season on a new night – Mondays – with 2.9 million viewers. This week’s episode, “Sins of the Father,” dipped to 2.2 million viewers, “Dallas’s” smallest haul yet. The Feb. 4 audience included 773,000 viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, a demographic advertisers pay a premium to reach.
Berman said “Dallas” faces much tougher competition in the winter than it did last summer, when the broadcast networks are mostly in rerun mode. This week, “Dallas” aired opposite fresh episodes of CBS’s popular sitcoms “2 Broke Girls” and “Mike & Molly,” which were the evening’s most-watched programs, and Fox’ “The Following,” the highly touted serial killer drama starring Kevin Bacon.
Also: Don’t overlook the importance of the bump “Dallas” gets when DVR users are counted. Television executives take DVR numbers into consideration when deciding a show’s fate, Berman said.
Nevertheless, TNT might be questioning its strategy to bring back “Dallas” in the middle of winter and on a new night, Berman said. The cable channel has paired “Dallas” with a new medical drama, “Monday Mornings,” which bowed to just 1.3 million viewers on Feb. 4. “That doesn’t reflect poorly on ‘Dallas,’ that reflects poorly on ‘Monday Mornings,’” Berman said.
If “Dallas’s” numbers continue to fall, Berman predicted the cable channel might shift the series to another night. “It’s not an impossibility,” he said. TNT had no comment, a spokeswoman said.
Berman himself is a longtime “Dallas” fan and said he enjoys the new series, praising it for incorporating original cast members like Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray with newcomers like Josh Henderson and Jesse Metcalfe. “When I heard it was coming back, I was apprehensive, but I’ve really enjoyed it,” Berman said.
Catch Up on Your ‘Dallas’ Reading
Dallas Decoder is best known for its episode critiques, but we’ve been cranking out fun features during the past two weeks.
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out our retrospective of the shows that aired after the original “Dallas” (it wasn’t just “Falcon Crest”!); our look back at the classic show’s Barnes/Ewing romances (it wasn’t just Bobby and Pam!) and J.R./Pam clashes; and everything you need to know about Pamela’s mother Afton Cooper, who is slated to visit the new “Dallas” in a few weeks.
“Drill Bits,” a roundup of news about TNT’s “Dallas,” is published regularly. Share your comments below.