Space Ramblings

Smallville Hits the Friday Night Death Slot

It’s not clear what Dawn Ostroff’s thinking was behind moving the CW’s highest rated show, Smallville, into the Friday Night Death Slot of Doom, but that’s just what she did, and just what she got. The Smallville Season 9 premiere, and this is a premiere mind you, pulled ratings in the neighborhood of 2.5, which when compared to the Season 8 premiere of 4.3 is down a whole whole lot. Smallville’s ratings did decline over Season 8, but even Season 8’s finale pulled in well above 3 million. So while 2.5 is not the worst case scenario kind of drop, it’s certainly bad news.

The really baffling thing is that moving Smallville to Friday night would have made sense if it was a contractually obligated series that the CW didn’t care about, or if it was some long shot show. Instead the CW spent a lot of money to bring back Smallville for another season, only to then dump it on Friday nights, a time that the CW should not even be scheduling programming for, considering how bad their ratings and overall situation is. The theory that Dawn Ostroff wants to kill Smallville and replace it with another Gossip Girls clone, like The Vampire Diaries, is crazy, but it’s the only theory that makes any kind of sense.

The one thing that the CW and Ostroff have insured is that Smallville’s 9th season is its final season. On the other hand with the general ratings freefall, this may actually not be the end. The Brothers premiere pulled in numbers nearly as bad as Smallville. And that was on FOX, which unlike the CW, people who aren’t teenage girls actually watch. Meanwhile Dollhouse right after it, couldn’t even manage a 3, turning in at 2.7 million viewers. That’s actually down from a 2.8 at its own season finale. Compare that to the canceled Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles whose finale pulled in 3.8 million viewers. So despite Smallville’s decline, it’s still ahead of the Dollhouse crapfest, when you compensate for network discrepancies and promotional power.

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