Ratings: The Firm Is Very Soft, Once Upon a Time and Good Wife Surge

Mitch McDeere might wanna keep on running.

NBC’s port of The Firm premiered on Sunday night to soft numbers, averaging 6.3 million total viewers and a 1.4 demo rating, shedding viewers with each half hour.

Among the broadcast networks, The Firm placed last in the covered 18-to-49 demo in its first hour, and at 10 o’clock tied Pan Am for that dishonor. Versus The Cape‘s year-ago Sunday preview, The Firm was down 46 percent in the demo. And as a rival network points out, it delivered the Peacock’s worst in-season drama debut ever. (The freshman legal thriller makes its regular time slot debut this Thursday at 10/9c.)

Among Sunday’s success stories, ABC’s Once Upon a Time returned to 10.33 million total viewers and a 3.7 demo rating, up 15 and 28 percent, while The Good Wife‘s preliminary, football-jumbled numbers (11.2 mil/2.7) suggest a 23 percent surge in the demo.

Elsewhere on Sunday:

* On ABC, Desperate Housewives (8.8 mil/3.0) was up 8 and 15 percent, while Pan Am (4 mil/1.3) dropped 14 and 19 percent (hitting a series-low demo rating).

* Opposite the tail end of CBS’ NFL playoff game, Fox’s The Simpsons (5.1 mil/2.3) dropped 23 percent in the demo, teeing up The Cleveland Show (4.4 mil/2.1) for a 9 percent dip. In the 9 o’clock hour, Family Guy (6 mil/3.0) held steady but American Dad (4.6 mil/2.1) was down 16 percent.

* Prelim numbers suggest that CSI: Miami (10.1 mil/2.5) gained 19 percent in the demo.

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70 Comments
  1. Steve says:

    HORRIBLE start for The Firm. Another flop in what’s been a very long list of flops for NBC. It’s not even funny anymore… just sad!

    • Rock Golf says:

      Seemed a really weak pilot plot. Lawyer is assigned a new client. Did the kid do it? Yeah. Is there any doubt. Not really. The victim’s dad wants to hire someone to kill the killer? What’s that got to do with the plot?

  2. Franko says:

    Soft? You mean “flop”.

    • Tarc says:

      I watched the first ten minutes and then changed the channel. I love Lucas, but I didn;t like the look of the show, the rest of the cast, and the plot was all over the place.

  3. Tay says:

    Awesome! OUAT is back on top.

  4. Lisa says:

    I wanted to watch it but didn’t. What does the network expect when you put a new show up against Desperate Housewives and Leverage.

    • Toto says:

      I don’t watch your choices, but agree that The Firm was up against too much good programming. I watched Downton Abbey, even though I really like Josh Lucas. NBC was ill advised to put the premier on opposite such competition.

      • Evando says:

        I watched Downton Abbey – used to watch The Good Wife, but because of football, I never know when it is really going to be on. Sunday night programming on CBS during football is not reliable for viewers.

    • DG says:

      It was up against too many already established shows. I did DVR shows I typically watch live so I could watch The Firm. It was ok. I will try it again Thursday then decide if I want to keep watching or NBC will do what they do best, cancel it so it won’t matter anyway.

      • Kristina says:

        I think part of their problem (other than the obvious lack of quality with so many of the new shows) is that almost every timeslot has already established shows on other networks. If they would spend the money to order a decently produced show, they might have a shot.

    • Lauren says:

      For me, it was too big of a time commitment. I was interested in the show but I didn’t really feel like taking up a 2 hour block of time for a show I’ve never seen when there was other stuff on that I’m already attached to.

  5. Lisa says:

    I love Josh Lucas.

  6. Josh says:

    Glad OUAT and Good Wife got great numbers!

  7. Michael says:

    I had no idea The Firm was even on yesterday and I watch NBC A LOT. Whoa O_O

  8. daniel says:

    It is so dumb of NBC to premiere shows outside of their regular time slot. It just doesn’t work anymore. They keep on trying it and it keeps failing. It would make sense if they had some hit show that could lead into a new show’s premiere to increase the number of people who first see it, but NBC has no hit shows. If NBC wanted people to watch The Firm, they should have waited a week or two, aired two new episodes of The Office (NBC’s biggest show) back to back on Thursday at 9pm and then premiered The Firm. That would have been the best way for NBC to get people to watch it.

  9. Debaloo says:

    WOW At this point I just feel sorry for NBC.

  10. A says:

    What is NBC’s problem? Why do they find it so hard to get decent shows?

  11. Lincoln says:

    My heart goes out to the cast and staff over at PAN AM. The show is truly entertaining. I love it. It’s just so surprising that the numbers are so low! I figured w/ iTunes offering the whole season for FREE during the holiday break, people would catch up and watch before tonight’s return. I guess I figured wrong. I’m sure that show will be canceled.

    • Steph says:

      I love Pan Am but even I forgot it was coming back yesterday because there were no promos… ABC has all but officially announced it has pulled the plug. Very unfortunate.

    • D says:

      Unfortunately, when ABC doesn’t promot Pan Am anymore what can anyone expect. It’s definitely entertaining but it needs 100% support and it’s not getting it.

    • A says:

      I am afraid it is going to get cancelled too. Most people I talked to today didn’t realize a new episode was on last night.

  12. kikay says:

    The Good wife was immensely entertaining last night….Just shows you how the acting really makes this show. The bickering between David Lee and Eli Gold was a gem. Elsbeth Tasconi as Will’s lawyer – awesome. Particularly loved the scene with Cary and Alicia by the elevator…

  13. Ingmar says:

    TGW was great once again. I keep saying it each week…it’s rare that a show keeps performing better and better. Carrie Preson was amazing as Elsbeth once again!

  14. Jarrod says:

    Why does NBC insist on programming such horrible shows on good time slots, but putting amazing shows on such bad time slots?
    They do more damage when trying to attract viewers and instead of promoting shows in a decent manner, they composite them in a horrible manner. Majority of their shows have bad writing, bad plots and are put up against shows that have a much higher fan base.
    NBC needs a complete overhaul if they want to continue. They need to come up with something fresh, instead of coming up with cheap rip-offs of others shows, as well as remakes of shows that are way past their prime that will NOT succeed.
    I may be alone by saying this, but NBC, your station lacks integrity and has lost my respect. When I do watch your shows, it’s because I am loyal to the cast members on that show and have been for many years, but I refuse to tune into anymore of your rubbish until you give me something that I can actually enjoy.

    • Sg.Grant says:

      You should check out Community when it comes back.

      • Jarrod says:

        I do watch Community. I love it so much, but NBC pulled it and are not bringing it back till sometime in midseason with an “undetermined time”. Also, it’s on a Thursday night, where it has competition, which is the point I am raising. NBC drive me nuts.

  15. Jerri says:

    It’s NBC, of course The Firm is going to flop

  16. kevin says:

    Herpity derpity doo i barely no engrish

  17. I’m sad Pan Am is doing so poorly. It’s a fine show, and I enjoy watching it. However, I usually DVR it and watch it later.

  18. sarah says:

    I was going to check out the Firm as I like Josh Lucas, but when I read that the regular time slot will be Thursday I decided to pass as I have 5 shows on Thursday Nights…
    I like Pan Am and am sad that it is not doing well

  19. kevin says:

    PAN AM hits another series low and the period drama is on the brink of cancellation and Tebow TV has begun and I’m not surprised that the Broncos beat the Steelers in Overtime and now has a date with Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

  20. Jasmine says:

    I love Josh Lucas, and will watch him in almost anything. Couldn’t do, Sweet Home Alabama! The title was too much of a turn-off. I DVR’d The Firm as soon as it was available, and I watched it. Inenjoyed it, and will continue to watch, although his wife was the weakest link in my opinion. I loved Jean Tripplehorn in the original. All of the others were good “recasts”. Unfortunately, the daughter was a bit too whiny and not very likable. NBC does need help though. For one thing, they should support Parenthood more. Parenthood, like FNL, is the Best show on Period!

    • Jarrod says:

      The title may seem dull, but it had a wonderful cast and had quite amazing writing. I suggest hiring it for $1.99 at your local videoshop. It’s worth it.

    • Lisa says:

      Josh Lucas is hot and charming in Sweet Home Alabama. Give it a try!

    • G-Mom says:

      I, too, love Josh Lucas, but the plot was all over the place. I was really disappointed. I agree about the wife! I kept thinking she needed a better makeup artist. Her face was so bland even though she is attractive. No definition. They need Jean Tripplehorn. Since it will be on the same time as “The Mentalist”, I guess I wouldn’t be watching it anyway.

  21. Tee says:

    Loved Carrie Preston revisiting Good Wife! She’s one of my favorite guest characters, and that’s saying a lot since they never seem to be short of fantastic guest roles. And great moment between Cary and Alicia at the end.

    Good Wife + Once Upon a Time are my favorite Sunday shows. Even if Good Wife seems to always start late ugh. I end up just catching it on On Demand or online a lot so I don’t have to sit there waiting for it.

  22. Ed says:

    So happy for OUaT, it was awesome last night. The show just keeps getting better and better. ALTHOUGH, (SPOILERISH)

    did anyone else think the “Evil” or whatever they called it, was the Headless Horseman?? Sure looked it at first LOL

  23. Taryn says:

    glad to see that OUAT is still strong as ever. Hope we get to see a second season!

  24. John Locke III says:

    NBC= Nothing But Cancellations

    This pilot was the worst pilot I’ve seen in 5 years maybe. Awful. Will not watch it any further because I don’t want to start hating the movie now. Movie has been one of my favorites from the early 90s.

  25. Michelle says:

    Nolice to see OUAT rebound from the football depressed numbers from just before the hiatus!

  26. Katy says:

    Anyone how Downton Abby did in the ratings…..

  27. Mikaylah says:

    The Pan Am numbers make me so sad! I love the show, and really want it to come back.

  28. Leigh says:

    I would’ve watched OUAT but Downton Abbey was on! Off to Hulu.com to get caught up.

  29. Jackie says:

    Sad about Pan Am but even I skipped it for Downton Abbry last night. :/ I’m watching it today though ! What’s the news on the ratings for Downton?

  30. Bad Breaker says:

    Sunday night has always been my favorite for viewing and recording (Dexter, B Emp, Breaking Bad, Homeland, etc) and now has Downton Abby, Hell on Wheels, Shameless, House of Lies, Desp. Housewives. Sorry, The Firm…there was just no room or time to devote to your 2 hour premier, esp when the reviews were only so-so. Maybe I’ll check it out on Thurs.

  31. KnowHopeLisa says:

    There was too much on last night! Downton Abbey AND Once Upon a Time. I have DVR’d The Firm for Thursday’s re-airing. Love Josh Lucas… gotta give the man a chance!

  32. fernando says:

    Guess I can start saying my goodbyes to Pan Am, so sad

  33. Mr. Quick says:

    Ratings are too subjective. They make you take a long break between show episodes and then start again and they expect you to be just as enthusiastic when it returns. Of course the ratings slip some. There should be an adjustment for shows that take a several weeks break. It is hard to strike once the iron cools.

  34. Mark says:

    Desperate Housewives was really good last night. Loved Bree/Renee’s scenes. “You think I won’t hit you? I once slapped a waitress cause she forgot my croutons.”

  35. Plum says:

    I found this movie annoying when it was in theaters so I don’t plan on watching a whole series of lawyers on the lam.

    Where’s the info for the debut of Downton Abbey?

  36. Bad Breaker says:

    Does PBS publish ratings/demo for Downton Abbey? It would be interesting to know how many people watched this fine show.

  37. Sable says:

    I will watch pilot of The Firm either On Demand if it shows up there or next Saturday night when it repeats. I would suspect that a large part of the audience who would watch it was, as I was, tuned in to the season 2 premiere episode of Downton Abbey on PBS, which did not disappoint me. Right after that I watched Leverage. NBC, not surprisingly, chose a poor air time to premier The Firm, just as it is doing with Smash.

  38. vane says:

    I don’t get why people aren’t watching pan am its amazing! And the only good thing about NBC is Thursday night s and their late shows am pertty excited for smash!

  39. Rose says:

    Come on give some of the shows at least 2 or 3 views, to give them a chance. A 1 time chance does not a show make & I am sick of the good ones getting kicked off b4 they can even be given a chance.
    My opinion, thank you! Oh ya, and I belong to the OLDER generation!!

  40. rose says:

    I watched Downton Abbey last night. It was amazing as usual!

  41. Loni says:

    I too was watching Downton Abbey and loved it! I’d love to see the numbers for that fabulous drama in the hopes that it would encourage high-quality like it to be produced.

  42. Annie says:

    From the comments it seems I was the only one who enjoyed The Firm.

    • Rose says:

      Annie,
      My husband & I enjoyed the show. We usually take 2 or 3 showings and then make up our minds from there (if the networks don’t throw them in the can), unless they are the 1/2 hr ones (which we find most of them a waste of time and don’t find them funny at all.)
      We love all the lawyer shows, remember they are the men & women who also become judges & politicians (yup in real life too, lol).
      Thanks for watching with us on this one.

  43. prish says:

    I was going to watch it, but I did not know it was on Sunday. I’ll give it a try on Thursdays. Pilots are, usually, lackluster.

  44. Ethan says:

    Loved The Good Wife last night. This is how you do an ensamble show. Carrie Preston is so great here. She needs to come back more often. I am also glad to see Alicia and Kalinda getting “friendlier”. Eli and David are hilarious with Diane in the “mommy” role.

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