Fox's Sunday debut of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" scored the best opening-night demo ratings of any new show in three years, while NBC's not-so-lustrous Golden Globes special barely registered with auds.
Boosted by strong marketing and a big NFL playoffs lead-in, the Warner Bros. TV-produced "Terminator" notched an eye-popping 7.6 rating/18 share among adults 18-49 and delivered some 18.3 million viewers with its one-hour bow Sunday at 8, according to prelim Nielsen national data. Socko perf demonstrated the value of scripted series at a time when network execs are trying to spin their ability to survive sans scribes and tubthumping strong ratings for reality shows.
David Nutter-helmed "Terminator" pilot was spectacular in every respect.
Taking full advantage of an NFL lead-in of more than 35 million viewers, skein gave Fox its best premiere numbers for a scripted show in eight years, since "Malcolm in the Middle" became an instant hit on a Sunday night in January 2000.
"Terminator" also ended the two-week reign of "American Gladiators" as the season's biggest premiere. Fox's scripted series outdrew "Gladiators" by 30% in the demo and by 50% in overall viewers.
Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Liguori was tempered in his celebration, noting the show's huge football lead-in.
"What I'm looking at with the glass half full is strong numbers, the No. 1 premiere of the season," he said. "In terms of realistically looking forward, we'll try to dig down as deep as possible to see what our expectations might be."
Liguori said "Terminator" posted between a 13 and 14 share in markets where the NFL didn't lead into the show; as a result, the exec said he'd be happy with a 10 or 11 share on Monday's episode.
"From there we'll see how we can grind it out week to week," he said.
Fox put major marketing muscle behind "Terminator," airing trailer-style promos for the show months ago. Liguori said the net's marketing team, under new topper Joe Earley, focused on images that could reinvent the "Terminator" franchise.
"It was critical not to serve up marketing that looked like an extension of the theatrical stuff," he said.
Net also made a strategic decision not to premiere the show in the fall -- a move that seems even smarter in the wake of the WGA strike.
Warner Bros. execs also have to be upbeat about the possibility of adding yet another winner to a 2007-08 class brimming with success stories ("Big Bang Theory," "Pushing Daisies," "Chuck" and "Gossip Girl").
As excited as Fox and Warner Bros. execs no doubt are over the numbers, "Terminator" still needs to prove it can survive as a series. Skein shifted into its regular slot Monday night, where it didn't have the benefit of a big NFL lead-in.
Working in favor of "Terminator," however, are some of the best reviews for any new show this season and the fact that the show's initial run will square off against a mix of repeats and reality shows.
"Terminator" will also have a much shorter first-season run because of the strike. Instead of a 13-seg frosh run, Fox has just eight episodes in the can.
If the strike ends soon, and the ratings hold up, Liguori said he wouldn't mind having more episodes this season -- but only if the show's producers think it can be done without sacrificing quality.
"If a show is working, my priority is preserve the creative strength of the show," Liguori said. "You don't want to try to microwave it back into production."
Have'nt seen the show yet but i've found a plot hole see what you guys think of it
"One big plot hole I noticed in the pilot, was concerning Miles Dyson. They said he'd been killed 2 yrs ago (Set in 1999) which would have made it 1997 when T2 was set, but it was actually set in 1995 because John was 10. Surely something like that they would have been smarter to avoid a mistake like that."
I'm afraid to say this show "may" be littered with plot holes!
One plot hole I noticed in the first episode was that the show does not even acknowledge Miles Dysons' daughter! They show a family picture of the Dysons in the first episode, but in it are Miles, his wife and his son. There is no sign of his daughter.
Maybe she was taking the picture...
In T2 it is clear Miles has a daughter as in both the theatrical and uncut version Mrs Dyson shouts to her son: "Now get dressed and go to bed like your sister." Something along those lines.
Little things like these are going to add up later on in the show.
Gender: Unspecified Location: Take one guess..
watched episode 8 last night.. man this show is the bom. the terminator is becoming more and more of a feared creature, and thats what i like. must say this is the best thing i've watched on tv since the 80's... yeh i know thats sad, but i know what i like.