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Ratings: “Utopia” Loses Audience as Show Goes On (Updated)

Update: The season premiere of FOX’s “Utopia” drew a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating with 4.61 million viewers.

While the overall adults 18-49 number is respectable, it was also greatly aided by a strong performance in the 8-8:30PM half hour. Fueled by the post-football lead-in, initial curiosity in the show and lack of in-game competition from the Broncos vs. Colts broadcast, “Utopia” drew a 2.6 adults 18-49 rating with 6.16 million viewers in that block.

From there, it slipped sharply to a 1.8 with 4.45 million from 8:30-9PM, then to a 1.7 with 4.02 million during the 9-9:30PM block and finally to a 1.6 with 3.80 million in the final 9:30-10PM half hour.

Courtesy football and “Utopia,” FOX placed second for the evening in both total viewers and adults 18-49. NBC, which broadcasted the Broncos-Colts game, obviously finished in first for both categories.


Given the possibility that the show skewed in favor of the adults 18-49 demographic, one cannot immediately treat the modest “Utopia” overnight rating as indicative of a poor premiere.

One can, however, express concern about the alarming viewership trajectory to which the show’s nightly number was subject.

After opening with a solid 4.4 overnight household rating from 8-8:30PM ET, the two-hour episode lost households in each of its subsequent three half hours. It ultimately averaged a 3.5 overnight household rating from 8-10PM.

While the sharp decline from a 4.4 at 8PM ET to a 3.5 at 8:30PM ET can at least partially be explained by the beginning of NBC’s Sunday Night Football (and by holdover viewers from FOX’s own NFL coverage quickly exiting), the declines to 3.1 at 9PM and 3.0 at 9:30PM seem indicative of waning interest in the episode.

Because it will not have NFL lead-in support on the next two nights of its premiere, “Utopia” is already sentenced to difficulty retaining its opening night numbers. The loss of viewers from half-hour to half-hour does not spur optimism about its ability to control the bleed.

The adults 18-49 rating will be revealed by noon.

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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