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Upfront TV: “Mad Men” Underwhelms | So Does Spitzer | “Dallas” Scheduled | Catch “Wild Tuna”

Published on April 03, 2012
  • “Mad Men” ratings were a bit “underwhelming,” reports the New York Times. AMC tried back-to-back dramas on Sunday night, with the second season premiere of its murder drama “The Killing” as a 9 P.M. lead-in to “Mad Men.” “The Killing” garnered 1.8 million viewers, down from a 2.2 million last season and 2.7 million for its Season 1 premiere. Viewers were reportedly ticked that the show did not solve the murder at the end of Season 1 (which would negate the purpose of a Season 2). “Mad Men” averaged 2.9 million viewers, down considerably from its premiere the week before at 3.5 million. “So much for the theory that the rising tide of The Walking Dead would lift all ships on AMC,” opined TVbyTheNumbers.
  • Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (“Jerry Maguire,” “Radio”) stars in a new Hallmark Hall of Fame film, “Firelight,” premiering Sunday, April 22 (9:01-11:00 P.M. ET) on ABC. Darnell Martin (Hallmark Hall of Fame’s “Lost Valentine”) directs from a script by Ligiah Villalobos (“Under the Same Moon”). Gooding Jr. plays Dwayne Johnson (“DJ”), a counselor at a youth correctional facility. The incarcerated girls and young women come from troubled, often violent backgrounds, and several were involved with drugs as users or dealers. Salvation for many of the young women comes when they join an elite band of volunteers who battle forest fires, build hiking trails in remote areas and assist during natural disasters. 
  • National Geographic Channel’s Sunday night 10 P.M. premiere of “Wicked Tuna” became the network’s highest-rated Sunday night telecast since New Year’s Day, averaging a 0.6 rating — nearly double the Sunday 10 P.M. average for the past six weeks. More than one million total viewers over age 2, including 584,000 viewers in the key 25–54 demo, tuned in to the premiere.  In Boston, the series was a hit, with a 1.0 household rating; and in Minneapolis, the home state of a thousand lakes, the series earned a 1.5 household rating. This follows the success earlier this spring of the series “Doomsday Preppers” (on Americans preparing for the end of the world as we know it),which became the highest-rated Tuesday night telecasts in the channel’s 11-year history when it kicked off on Tuesday, February 7, with each of two episodes averaging 0.8 ratings among viewers 25 to 54. “Wicked Tuna” takes viewers into the unrelenting New England waters made famous by the novel and film “The Perfect Storm.”

  • TNT has scheduled the premiere of its “Dallas” update for June 13, 9 P.M., with two back-to-back episodes. The Ewings are back, with original stars Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray returning to Southfork as JR, Bobby and Sue Ellen Ewing, with a “whole new collection of secrets, schemes and betrayals.” The salacious seniors are joined by the next generation of Ewings, with new rivalries and Texas-sized power struggles within the oil and cattle-rich Ewing dynasty. “Dallas” will air Wednesdays at 9 P.M. (ET/PT), beginning with two back-to-back episodes on June 13.

  • The unexpected Friday night debut of “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer” on Current TV (with Spitzer replacing the ousted Keith Olbermann) drew a “disappointing” 47,000 total viewers and 10,000 adult 25-54 viewers, reports Media Bistro. By contrast, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” averaged 152,000 Total Viewers and 42,000 adult 25-54 viewers for the month of March. The 8 P.M. Friday timeslot included Bill O’Reilly‘s Fox News program which was first in ratings and total viewers, and a CNN town-hall special “Beyond Trayvon: Race and Justice in America.”