‘Dallas’ steams up 6.9 million viewers
TNT's revival of the soap is the year's biggest scripted cable bow
June 15, 2012
The highly anticipated premiere of TNT's "Dallas" revival drew strong numbers on TNT last night.
The show averaged 6.86 million total viewers for a two-hour episode at 9 p.m., according to Nielsen, becoming the No. 1 scripted series premiere on cable this year.
Perhaps more impressively, TNT's drama outdrew all of broadcast in that timeslot. CBS was a distant second with 5.7 million viewers over the two-hour span.
Among adults 18-49 "Dallas" averaged 1.93 million viewers, and it drew 2.48 million 25-54s, the ones more likely to remember the show from its initial run on CBS from 1978 to 1991.
The performance was very good, but it seems less impressive than it would have been a few weeks earlier. That's because History's "Hatfields & McCoys" rewrote the cable record books two weeks ago by averaging more than 13 million viewers per episode, setting a new cable standard for big draws.
The key for "Dallas" now will be maintaining that initial audience. There are a lot of shows that debut strong numbers, but not all of them hold on.
On TNT, "Rizzoli & Isles," the female buddy procedural, did. It debuted as summer's top scripted series two years ago and has been one of cable's top shows ever since, drawing 5.6 million viewers for its third-season premiere two weeks ago despite moving to a new night.
But another TNT program that debuted to record numbers a few years back, "Raising the Bar," was scuttled after ratings plunged. It lasted just two seasons.
"Dallas" undoubtedly benefited from a lot of promotion on TNT during the NBA playoffs in May and June.
That type of promotion also helped TNT's "Falling Skies" to become cable's No. 1 scripted series debut last summer, averaging 5.9 million total viewers.
"Dallas" picks up some two decades after the old series ended and features a cast made up of both "Dallas" veterans and newbies.
Those veterans are the strongest part of the series, according to Media Life TV critic Tom Conroy.
"Today's audiences expect some tongue-in-cheek and over-the-top in their primetime soaps. The bits of that we get with J.R. aren't enough," wrote Conroy in a review earlier this week.
Tags: broadcast, cable, cable ratings, cbs, dallas, dallas premiere, dallas ratings, dallas reboot, dallas tnt, debut, Falling Skies, million viewers, nba, premiere, summer, summer ratings, tnt, Tom Conroy, viewers
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