Ratings: AMC's Halt Fails to Catch Fire

Is Halt and Catch Fire destined to go the way of the Apple Newton?

Sunday’s premiere of AMC’s ’80s-set computer drama drew a disappointing 1.2 million viewers and a 0.34 demo rating. As a point of comparison, the network’s Revolutionary War saga Turn opened to 2.1 million viewers in April. (It’s worth noting that AMC made Halt‘s premiere episode available in advance, on AMC.com and Tumblr.)

POLL | Halt and Catch Fire Premiere: What Grade Do You Give the Premiere? 

Over on HBO, Game of Thrones delivered 7.2 million viewers, matching its series high, while Silicon Valley ended its rookie season with 1.7 million viewers, up slightly from the last original episode. Veep closed out the night with an on-par 1.1 million viewers.


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  1. Et al. says:

    What happened to AMC? They used to be unable to miss. Now they can’t launch a show to save their lives.

    • It was really good, but now I’m not going to watch the rest of it after this terrible start. I don’t know what has happened to AMC. They still have the ratings juggernaut TWD.

      • johnhelvete says:

        I dont understand that thinking at all? Do you really think that AMC will not air all 10 episodes of season 1? If a show is “really good” than I watch it and hope for the best when it comes to a second season. Sucks if the show ends on a cliffhanger but shows can run for 8 seasons and have horrible endings.

        • S. says:

          Exactly. Why deny yourself good tv because you’re afraid of cancellation. It’ll for sure get cancelled if you do. Maybe instead tell everybody you know how great it is. Then you might find yourself not being so alone in your appreciation. This is why showing ratings in the entertainment sections is so dangerous. It needs to be banished to the business section where it belongs. If the show walks like a hit, PR makes it talk like a hit, then you’ll think it’s a hit until it actually becomes one. That’s what NBC did with West Wing. It didn’t have much better numbers than Sports Night, but ABC acted like SN was tanking so everybody talked about it. Tommy Schlamme noted the difference in how the two networks handled the shows.

      • Lise says:

        Why would you say it’s good but then stop watching. Give it time to continue building the story! That is the point of a show. The walking dead didn’t get me with one episode. The story had to build and I had to get to know the characters. Many where not likable at all at first. I grew to adore the show. That goes for all shows! With your logic, there would be no reason to watch any of the shows.

      • Chances are they can still deliver a very strong season, even if its just one season. If you enjoyed it watch it.

    • Bryce says:

      I’ll say this. I don’t watch any AMC. I’ve tried watching episodes of a few shows like The Killing and Walking Dead and always found them boring. It all seems over-hyped to me. Last night I tuned in to Halt because the idea sounded worthy and I like Lee Pace. During the show there was an AMC promo, and I imagined it was new because half of it featured Halt. The other half featured Breaking Bad, which has been off the air since SEPTEMBER. As buzzy and Breaking Bad was and as good as it may be, advertising your network with a show that ended nearly nine months ago is insane, and it’s not a good sign at all. I’ll keep tuning in to Halt, but I do wish it was on a different network. It just feels like AMC thinks it can get by with its past buzz

  2. Mike says:

    AMC needs to stop with the period shows and do something more modern if they ever want another hit show.

  3. Joey Padron says:

    Hope ratings for 2nd episode will be better for show.

  4. Diz says:

    I have it on my DVR, but I have yet to watch it. I guess there’s no point in starting it now?

  5. n says:

    Watched the first 5 minutes and couldn’t make it past them. Stereotypes, stuff that looked anachronistic, plus I was just plain bored. YMMV.

  6. Scott Johnston says:

    The HCF series is something like 9 episodes so I would guess we’ll see it all . The concept seems like it would best suit a limited run

  7. wordsmith says:

    It seems like the sort of show that might need some time to build an audience by word of mouth. It’s AMC, so everybody trusts that it’ll be “good,” but the premise isn’t necessarily something that has a ton of built-in interest. It’ll take a few weeks of people telling their friends: “No, really! It’s awesome. You should check it out.”

    Or maybe it’ll just go the way of Low Winter Sun and Rubicon.

  8. Babybop says:

    I’ll still watch it because Lee Pace is too adorable to not support.

  9. cuius says:

    Following on from Betas and Silicon Valley, another computer-orientated show……zzzzzz

  10. Francine says:

    I know a lot of people who already watched the premiere online, so I think we need to wait until episode 2 to see if the ratings improve. I love Lee Pace and didnt mind the first episode, so I’ll see it through no matter what.

  11. drhenning says:

    I found it interesting because of living in that era of startup PC’s and stuff… I’m just not sure how it will be an interesting show to anybody but geek types like me who were into PC’s in the early 80’s and remembered all the issues with BIOS…

    • Sarah says:

      It may just be my inner geek, but how can anybody not be interested in the beginning of the technology immersed era we live in? I know that many people already lived through the beginnings of PC’s and BIOS, but it’s really interesting to look back at it with the perspective we have now. It truly was the beginning of something no one could possibly imagine.

  12. Newo says:

    in 2014, when everybody that falls under the “important” demo range is watching TV via DVR and online, did they really think they would have great numbers when the first episode has already been online for weeks ? the interesting thing would be if they had measured and report the pre-broadcast online viewing numbers of the episode. The real measuring stick here will be how its numbers do with episodes 2 and 3 (and so on) being first view via network broadcast

  13. ca_ says:

    it´s really good, love it! Take it easy, just one episode, already watched, c´mon, ” Halt fail to catch fire” =P, wait a little, love all the cast, and I think the IBM’s woman at the end is the key for something

  14. Nita Norris says:

    slow down. some of us TiVo’d it and have yet to watch it. Can hardly wait to see Lee Pace again. don’t write it off just yet.

  15. rileymccarthy says:

    Because I enjoyed the show and watched an advance of the pilot, I’m not going to join the naysayers about this show. I’m grateful to see Lee Pace on TV again. I appreciate that the characters and story are interesting and that it’s a period piece. I got a sense that the show had some narrative direction and knows what it’s building toward – the first episode certainly more momentum than RUBICON, and I like that the director of THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES is getting work. I’m sticking with it.

    • veniascott says:

      amen. I think for this show to catch on and since , we are slow to catch on to show that differnt, I think around award season if it beats out a major show people will take notice, that what happend with mad men, I am sticking by the show to.

  16. Code Boy says:

    “Halt… and Get Canceled.”

  17. veniascott says:

    I hope AMC sticks buy it. Its good show, it came on around the time of the NBA finals so natural the ratings are going to be low. Mad men started off this way Nobody was watching it, and to me the ratings did not pick up until about season 5. Good shows start off slow. I like it , give it a chance the newtork can’t have everything Walking dead.

  18. D. Alexander says:

    I mean look at mad men it only had an average of .9 million viewers the first season and now is one of AMC’s powerhouse shows. There’s still hope!