'Dome' vs. 'H50' on Mondays: Is it all about the storylines?

July 30th, 2013
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“Under the Dome,” CBS’ top summer replacement hit, has been green-lighted for a second season return next year.

If you’ve been watching  the drama, adapted from a Stephen King best-seller, you know it occupies the 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland) slot on Monday nights. It’s the former puka occupied by “Hawaii Five-0,” which has been shuffled to 8 p.m. (9 p.m.) Fridays, where it will be anchored this fall.

So: Was it the bland, sometimes convoluted  storylines of “Five-0,”  that kept viewers away, to trigger the vacancy and the ultimate relocation?

It’s part of the TV game, where iffy shows can be moved by the network, to make way for a trial run by another show.

This has been the case for “Dome,” which has accumulated a robust following, in the very space and time where “Five-0’s” had been struggling.

“Dome,” however, will remain a summer series, with a 13-show arc airing in the summer of 2014, which suggests that this is prime summertime fare.

Of course, the mounting tension and the sci-fi element of a town suddenly isolated by a phenom — a hardtop that prevents insiders to move out, and outsiders to move in — is the stuff of King’s sense of drama and fantasy.

“Dome” has behind-the-scenes pedigree, too, since it's a project of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, CBS Television Studios and DreamWorks Television. That’s a solid block of creative talent behind the episodic cliff-hanger, where anything and everythingimgresunder-the-dome1 becomes possible.

“Dome” has emerged as the Eye Network’s most watched summer show since 2000’s “Big Brother” and is the top-rated new show since 2005’s “Fire Me Please.” The show is averaging 13.84 million viewers and a 3.5 rating among the desired adults in the 18 to 49 age range. When DVR numbers are factored, “Dome” jumps to 16.7 million total viewers and a 4.3 demo, a formidable record.

It doesn’t hurt, too, that CBS has shown reruns on Sundays.

“Dome’s” acting ensemble includes Dean Norris (“Breaking Bad”), Natalie Martinez (“CSI: New York”), Britt Robertson (“Life Unexpected”), Rachelle Lefevre (“Twilight”) and Mike Vogel (“Bates Motel”).

4 Responses to “'Dome' vs. 'H50' on Mondays: Is it all about the storylines?”

  1. AniMatsuri:

    Strong story at the right time and place. If this were a regular season show it'd lose ratings steam as they try to stretch the storyline to 22 episodes with all the competition on all the other networks. They would still get a 2nd season but that to would trend downward much like Lost did as people grew tired of trying to figure that one out. Steven Spielberg backing the project is a mixed bag at best. Anyone still remember Smash?

    As it is right now its following the same pattern as cable networks with small episode seasons in the summer where there is less competing for viewers eyes.

    Side note: H50 Producer Peter Lenkov has got 2 losers on his hand with his comic book(that he wrote) to big budget movie tanking while his TV series is on the verge of being put on life support if ratings don't steady out or get better.


  2. fans are too defensive:

    Ani, you make very good points, especially the one about following the pattern of cable TV with small episode seasons. Also, we must remember, and like you also pointed out, UTD has no real direct competition. H50 had Castle and for awhile Revolution to content with. That would make a huge difference in their ratings. BTW, I do enjoy UTD.

    A more fair comparison will be when CBS's new show Hostages takes H50's place in the fall lineup. How well will they do?

    CBS is using an early syndication for H50 because they want to hook in new viewers. Obviously, TNT agrees, since they have already bought the show, and they want more viewers also.

    So I believe we are at a turning point. H50 grows viewers to close to 10 million, like BB, and it will have a season 5, and if it doesn't, this is its last season.

    One final thing. They are showing season one and two on TNT, season one being pretty good. They may very well start with a lot of new viewers. BUT if season 4 is as bad as season 3, those new viewers might get bored with it and leave long before the season ends and if H50 starts high and drops drastically mid season, I would say that would kill it also.


  3. Wayne Harada:

    Valid viewpoints, Ani and Fans Are Too Defensive.
    This seems to be the make-or-break season for "Five-0;" if it improves and rebounds, there will be perhaps yet another season; if it travels the same predictable and wavering path of season three, the might be near.
    We all have to wait and see.
    In the Friday scheme, the show could pick up new viewership that never explored the Monday schedule. That would help in the numbers game, but it appears to all come down to the matter of content. Good/great or mediocre/demise.
    Again, time and performance will tell.


  4. Stacey:

    Under The Dome is a great show not only because of the plot, but because of the cast. IMO, Hawaii 50 biggest problem is the cast, it is a weak one. The show needed a stronger lead man with big screen presence . Someone with charisma. And some Hawaiians in the main cast. I don't blame Peter L. for the bad numbers , he was around CSI NY for a long time and the show did pretty good, so he is not new around CBS procedurals. Of course the plots could improve, but the same could be said for all CBS procedurals.
    BTW the numbers for H50 airing on TNT r out. And they are not pretty. A 0.2 demo. Yikes!. Castle is getting a 0.3/0.4 , even a 0.5 demo a few times, and TNT is paying only $900.000 per episode. TNT really made a poor bussiness here.But they probably were suspecting the bad numbers, because a show that gets bad numbers in network TV never do good at syndication .
    I think cbs can forget about expensive future syndication deals for H50 .
    U can see the cable numbers here.

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2013/08/09/thursday-cable-ratings-alien-sharks-wins-night-pawn-stars-burn-notice-sullivan-son-graceland-project-runway-more/196515/comment-page-2/#comment-1528323