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The CW’s “Reign” Premieres to Underwhelming Ratings

Update: Confirming what was suggested by the overnight ratings, the fast nationals revealed an underwhelming response to the “Reign” premiere.

CW’s new drama drew a modest 0.8 adults 18-49 rating with 2.0 million viewers. Though not a disaster, the weaker-than-expected launch trailed that of the network’s other 2013 fall premieres.

Lead-in “The Vampire Diaries” drew a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating with 2.8 million viewers.

It attracted hype–and solid critical feedback–from a television media conditioned to ignore many of the network’s launches. It received last-minute buzz over a controversial masturbation scene.

Unfortunately, neither factor led The CW’s “Reign” to a spectacular performance in the ratings race.

While it might end up delivering a respectable adults 18-49 performance, at least by the standards of the network, its overnight numbers are not impressive. TV Media Insights reports that the show, a soap opera re-imagining of the early years of Mary, Queen of Scots, opened to a 1.5 metered market number.

Down 25% from its “The Vampire Diaries” lead-in (2.0), the “Reign” premiere number also fell short of the 1.7 delivered by “The Originals” in the timeslot earlier this month (it did, however, top the 1.3 posted by that show in its Tuesday debut).

It also fell short of the 1.8 posted by “The Tomorrow People” in its bow last Wednesday.

Given the possibility that it skewed well for the network, which has low standards as it is, it is not a certainty that the final “Reign” ratings will be troubling.

It does appear certain, however, that the show did not premiere the way a bona fide hit would.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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