"The O.C." Ratings So Far This Season
When FOX's troubled teen soap "The O.C." opened its fourth season on November 2 it hit series-low 3,38 million viewers. The critics and loyal fans, however, have been raving the drama has not been this good in years. So, has the positive buzz influenced the series that battles two of the biggest hits on network television?
Obviously, when FOX made that not-so-brilliant move of shifting "The O.C." to 9pm in January 2006, the drama went head-to-head with the #1 show on network television at the time, "CSI" on CBS. Immediately, it lost 2 million viewers to end the season at the 5 million average.
Then FOX announced it was pushing the 4th season premiere to early November and cutting the season order back to a mere 16 episodes (compared with 25 last season). This along with killing off Mischa Barton's character signaled to some fans of the show the drama was nearing its end.
When ABC then said they would move their blockbuster hit "Grey's Anatomy" to the same timeslot (currently the #1 drama in the US) it was certain "The O.C." would not be able to hold on to the 5 million people who were watching it last year. That is why hitting the 3,38 million mark should not have come as a surprise.
Unfortunately, there are ratings analysts, TV columnists and even network executives out there who do not seem to be watching the show and are not familiar with the strong quality of the latest episodes. They believe "The O.C." in an aging series that FOX would be happy to get rid off.
Given the network's treatment of the drama (move to 9pm Thursdays, lack of promotion) and the fact that "The O.C." now battles two of the strongest shows on network television today, it is quite remarkable the drama has actually managed to rise in the ratings over the past month and a half. Take a look:
Nov 02: 3,38 million
Nov 08: 3,53 (special Wed airing, opposite "Lost" fall finale)
Nov 09: 3,71
Nov 16: 3,78
Nov 23: pre-empted
Nov 30: 3,65
Dec 07: 4,61
Dec 14: 4,29
There have been setbacks for the November 30 and December 14 episodes, but overall the drama has shown growth. But is that enough for FOX to move the series to a post-American Idol slot come January and out of the way of ABC and CBS juggernauts?