ALCATRAZ & TERRA NOVA Among Highest-Rated Canceled Shows


It will be of little comfort to fans of Alcatraz and Terra Nova to know that their favorite seriables are amongst the top-rated canceled shows.

EW’s list of this season’s nine highest-rated canceled shows includes Terra Nova (2nd) and Alcatraz (3rd), per their 18-49 demographic rating. Ultimately, the following numbers were not enough to warrant a renewal in the eyes of FOX:

1. “Rob” (CBS: 12 million viewers, 3.7 adults 18-49 rating): A 3.7? If NBC had a freshman comedy with a 3.7 average, it would run the show five nights a week this fall (“Community” was renewed with almost half this rating). Bully for CBS that their table scraps have these kind of numbers. The issue here was Rob Schneider’s comedy was shedding too much of its massive “Big Bang Theory” lead-in, and was trending the wrong direction. CBS suspects the time slot can do better.

2. “Terra Nova” (Fox: 10.1 million, 3.6): Some in the industry feel Fox made a mistake not picking up this ambitious drama for a second season. I agree. “Terra Nova” managed the rare feat of delivering a sizable family audience to a broadcast drama, found its legs creatively in its final hours and there was nothing else like it on TV. Cost was a factor, but so was the network’s belief that midseason addition “Touch” would be the network’s next big hit (it wasn’t).

3. “Alcatraz” (Fox: 9.6 million, 3.4): The ratings on “Alcatraz” keep sinking while the show, unlike other J.J. Abrams-produced dramas, wasn’t hugely engaging for viewers. A second season would have likely seen a ratings drop into serious red-line territory.

Fans of Terra Nova and Alcatraz can feel aggrieved based on their show’s numbers versus the those of seriables that have been renewed (Fringe and Touch), though it’s worth bearing in mind that other factors came into play. For example, while Terra Nova made the network money, it didn’t pull up many trees creatively (though this may have improved in season 2), was particularly expensive to create, required a long production lead time, and the network didn’t believe in it — to name a few factors.

As for Alcatraz, once ratings failed to uptick, it was always likely to be a straight jump between it and one final season of Fringe — as we know, the latter got the high-five. A decision that has earned the network and studio (WBTV) numerous plaudits, though it’s a shame room couldn’t be made for both.

Just goes to show that along with ratings, it can also boil down to lesser spoken about variables, such as timing and whether a network fancies a show.

Source: EW

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  1. matt says

    I’m gunna miss Terra Nova and Alcatraz. I really tried to get invested in the characters in both and it’s a shame we wont get to see their stories continue. They were both awesome (especially compared to whats left out there) and whoever decided to kill em is a massive idiot.

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  2. chrispatt86 says

    Curious ratings thing. Everybody is so worried with nielsen’s and number of viewers and here comes Fox to renew Fringe and Touch with less audience and nielsens that Alcatraz and Terra Nova. Seems numbers is not all for good luck :)

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      • Mike says

        Actually Touch’s rating arnt even comparable to Terra Nova…I think you dont understand neilson and tv networks… its never about how may people watch the show but the deom in 18-49 wich touch it failing miserably…

        Its latest rating was a 1.7 (thats horrible… and the fact that it airs behind American Idol makes it even worse…) Example the finder was moved to fridays and canceled after puling 2.0’s behind american idol

        Terra Nova aired in a horrible timeslot with no lead in… they should have placed it behind the x factor….

        Touch was only renewed to save face

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  3. Robert says

    Terra Nova was party cancelled not just because the ratings were a disappointment, but because it was the most expensive show on FOX. Expensive shows can’t just get by. They have to rack up huge ratings. I’m not sure it would have been renewed had its viewers been double of what it was.

    Alcatraz never seemed to generate much buzz. I enjoyed it and came to look forward to it, unlike Terra Nova, which never managed to make me care about it one way or another.

    I’m delighted, however, that they are giving Fringe a half season to wrap up the series. This has been one of my favorite shows for several years now, and while I’ll miss it, I’ll be much happier with them wrapping it up properly.

    I just wish TOUCH had been cancelled. It is just flat out uninteresting. At no point in its first season did I ever come to care what happened next. I have decided to cut the number of shows I watch in half (I have written on TV the past few years, but now am changing my focus) and Touch was one of the first shows added to my “dump” list.

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  4. Frances Makarova says

    I have to admit that ‘Touch’ was anti-climatic it was as if the author’s ran out of ideas, what the hell was that about? I want to see the Terra Nova and Alcatraz stories at least completed. As for Neilson ratings. I have a daughter who has one of those machines monitoring what she watches, but she doesn’t actually watch TV, she mostly watches downloaded shows on her computer. So if this is how they are judging who is watching then they have definitely gotten it all wrong.

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  5. jordan says

    FOX are a joke! canel 2 great shows and keep their reality rubbish?? alcatraz and terra nova was both brilliant to watch and for them both to get the boot is wrong. they should listen to the millions of fans. FOX are going down hill if they think these 2 shows won’t go anywere, ridiculars…..

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  6. Dennis says

    Terra Nova was quite good and promised to get better.

    Alcatraz, however,was too far-fatched. Colloidal silver? Really? The snake oil of the 90s? And the idea of that little blonde teeny bopper being a homicide detective? The cast of Glee look more like cops than her.

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