Nov 20, 2019
Utopia already on the brink of cancellation
How long before Fox cancels Utopia?
Maybe the network will wait until the World Series interrupts its regular broadcast schedule, maybe not. Utopia lost 55% of its demo audience between episode 1 last Sunday and episode 2 on Tuesday. The overall audience dropped from a meh 4.6 million to an abysmal 2.5 million viewers.*
Fox is publically pledging to be patient and not drop the axe too quickly. But the reason the network is giving for the show’s poor performance? Cough, bullshit, cough. Oh, sorry, was I coughing? I said BULLSHIT.
“We like the show a lot. It’s an ambitious idea,” [Fox Television Group co-chair/co-CEO Dana] Walden said. “It’s a show that feels familiar but had a great unconventional twist. There’s an aspirational feel to it. But, we launched it really early, maybe before viewers were ready for a new fall show.
“No one thought we were going to launch a huge ratings juggernaut, but with patience it will grow and we’re going to have patience,” she added.
When I’m not blogging, I’m the P.R. guy who writes lame excuses like this for embarrassed executives to say. And I’m sure you don’t need my professional expertise to see right through this garbage.
The problem with the show is the show itself. The telltale giveaway is how many viewers are giving up midway through an episode. Ratings drop like a rock throughout the show. The audience is ready to give it a chance at the beginning and have vanished by the end.
Our own Claire Abraham’s hilarious recaps (Episode 1, Episode 2) make it clear why the audience is bailing. The people they cast on the show are zero fun to watch. Especially Red and Dave. Who wants to watch grown adults throw a full-fledged, food-smashing temper tantrum at the slightest provocation? These aren’t villains you love to hate; these are assholes who make you change the station.
Before the pilot episode, Utopia exec producer John Kroll boasted, “I almost think we cast it too well,” apparently gleeful over how much conflict the show’s producers had been able to drum up between the contestants.
Guess again, John.
*For reference, this week ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss scored 3.92 million total viewers and NBC’s Food Fighters earned 4.35 million; and there’s an 85% chance you’ve never heard of either of those shows.