‘Madam Secretary’ Has A Solid Debut

Tea Leoni’s new drama, Madam Secretary, might be a bright spot for CBS. The show opened to 14.3 million viewers on Sunday, besting The Good Wife, which managed 10 million at 10PM. The Good Wife has always survived because of its critical acclaim and loyal fanbase, not because that loyal fanbase is particularly large.

In other ratings news, Friday’s showing of Utopia was only seen by 1.5 million viewers. It was down from the previous Friday, and it lost to reruns of Hawaii Five-O and Shark Tank, as well as a new Dateline. If it’s doing this poorly against reruns, what can FOX hope to achieve once new programming starts? NBC won’t premiere Grimm or Constantine until late October, but CBS will launch their shows soon, as will ABC. The ratings are just going to keep getting worse.

I don’t see a world in which Utopia is not the first cancellation of the new season. Even Manhattan Love Story, which if we assumed was so awful it got cancelled after its second airing, wouldn’t get the axe until October 8th, because it doesn’t even start until NEXT Tuesday. That’s if ABC is quick to drop the axe. I don’t think Utopia can survive until October 8th, because it will continue to tank the ratings of The New Girl and The Mindy Project (which were both down, due in part to having Utopia as a lead in).

Granted, FOX has nothing else to put on Friday, but I would think even reruns of Gotham and Sleepy Hollow would fare better than a new episode of Utopia. It’s not like this show is suddenly going to be discovered and morph into a huge hit. Utopia was DOA, and FOX should stop wasting time airing a show that’s going nowhere.

This week, the Tuesday version will have to face off against powerhouse NCIS, as well as The Voice on NBC, and then on Friday it’ll have to contend with a new episode of Hawaii Five-O. The ratings will be worse this week, and I expect FOX to axe it the following week. My best guess for hole plugging is airing reruns of Brooklyn Nine Nine and Mulaney for a while on Tuesdays, and then airing Gotham and Sleepy Hollow on Friday (possibly also Red Band Society).

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