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Have Hope, 'Looking' Fans: The Ratings Are On The Rise (And Did You Know The Show Was Almost Called 'Golden Boys'?)

by Peter Knegt
February 20, 2014 5:08 PM
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It was looking pretty dire here for a bit there, but the ratings for HBO's "Looking" are finally on the rise! Sunday's episode (my favorite of the season so far and definitely one that got it a lot of hopefully helpful press and social media reactions), nabbed 505,000 viewers and a .26 18-49 rating (according to this). That's the best numbers the show's ever had, up from a previous high the week before of 440,000 viewers. Which gives considerable hope for a second season renewal (and having seen the entire first season I have to just say THERE HAS TO BE A SECOND SEASON).  

And while we're on the topic of "Looking," here's a fun fact for you. This interview in the Hollywood Reporter with the show's team notes that "Looking" was actually the last title they came up with, and among the options they were considering before were "Homos" and, omg, "Golden Boys." The latter of which I kind of almost like?  

Anyways, everyone please keep watching this show because a) the last three episodes are fantastic and b) I want it to get renewed!

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More: Looking


  • nahdno | March 11, 2014 12:53 PMReply

    This is a terrible show, with no viewers. Its just plain boring. The characters are annoying and there is no reason to care about what happens to them. I couldn't get past episode 5... I cannot believe they picked-up another season. Clearly it will be the last though...

  • DreamingDan | February 25, 2014 8:03 AMReply

    Looking really seems to attract the worst of the worst kind of viewers.
    So many pretentious and arrogant people fawning all over themselves thinking their all that cause they finally found a show as wannabe hipster as them.
    Yes of course everyone who dislikes the show has something fundamentally wrong with them. No attention span, no taste or no patience are the nicer things - homophobes, (self)hater, idiots the less so ones, all the stuff you hear spouting from "Looking fans" on the net.
    It's like talking to Believers or Directioners just with more added vitrol.
    Put on top all the ever persistent queen-bashing (cause there is nothing worse than a camp gay person, hang them all) and you have truly vile people.
    It pains me to tell you but Looking did not invent the not camp gay character, they existed in the plenty before so maybe you ought to get over-yourself and learn to accept people have different opinions and as much right to air them as you.
    Ironically the nay-sayers manage to write comments much calmer and constructive than the childish fanboy bashing that awaits everyone who dares to utter the b-word (yes b as in boring).
    Or even more ironic that they bash over a show which is supposed to show how we're all just the same, kinda like those religious fanatics who hate others based on a book which is supposed to be about piece.
    Then again that is much more interesting than the actual show.

  • Matt | March 4, 2014 5:27 PM

    So you don't like it. Other people do. Don't watch if you don't want to. I happen to enjoy the realness of it all. It's not sensational and it doesn't have to be. Glad it's going to be around another season for those of us who like it.

  • Mike The Content Producer | February 24, 2014 11:47 PMReply

    I am obsessed with LOOKING.

    Gone are the cartoonish homos populating so much of American tv.

    LOOKING's gay men are real men living in San Francisco. I saw the first two episodes at the Castro Theatre premiere and was immediately nostalgic about these characters' lives. I hoped and have been pleased the following episodes are as good. In fact, Episode 5 is the best gay American tv EVER. There's nothing to which to compare how immediate and truthful that episode was, except maybe PARTING GLANCES. The budding romance between two characters (I won't say which, in case you've not seen the episode.) felt as real as anything my friends and I have experienced: from talking about our first times to a potential partner to exploring the amazing outdoor beauty of San Francisco to wondering aloud what the gay men of San Francisco's extensive LGBT history would make of the city now, where same-sex marriage is legal and same-sex romance is more and more absorbed into mainstream culture as just another expression of human love.

    Frankly, I ignore the naysayers of the show.

    Some must certainly be consummate haters who have knee-jerk reactions to any depictions of LGBTQ people as normal human beings looking for love and meaning in our world.

    The other guys? I have no idea what they want from the series. Do they? Is it endless, bitchy camp spouted by jaded, pickled drag queens? Or is it queasy, swooning girl talk demurely murmured by fabulously wealthy, fashionable fops? Or is it explicit sex acts tirelessly performed by rutting gym bunnies in locker rooms, showers, saunas and repeat? All that's fine to me. Why don't these naysayers write, direct and produce these shows? If they can't get them onto HBO, can't they put them up on another network, YouTube, Vimeo or other video outlets for their fans to watch. Or is it just more satisfying for them to complain?

    When the end credits rolled at the LOOKING premiere, I knew this was the show I was going to watch again in the decades to come to remember what it was like to be a gay man living in San Francisco in the twenty-teens.

    My painful regret is there are no tv shows of this caliber chronicling the LGBTQ experience in America in the decades before.

    Come on, HBO. Bring on the next season of LOOKING.

  • sheldon | February 23, 2014 12:35 PMReply

    Tonight's episode is by far the worst.

  • Hmmm | February 20, 2014 9:53 PMReply

    The ratings are still horrible, and most people find the show to be pretty boring and unwatchable. HBO can't be blamed if they decide to cancel it, and it might be best to have a quick death to open up space for something better .

  • NG22 | February 20, 2014 10:03 PM

    I see you're growing palm trees over there.

    There's one solution--don't watch.

    /the end

  • NG22 | February 20, 2014 7:10 PMReply

    Peter, you tease! I'm so excited about the last three episodes. Of course, HBO should have bought 13 episodes, but beggars can't be choosers, I suppose. I'm just happy they greenlit it. I know you can't give anything away (and I wouldn't want you to), but I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for Russell Tovey to return. Besides the fact that he's gorgeous and charming onscreen, I'm also curious about how Patrick's involvement with Richie changes his chemistry with Kevin, if at all. I also want to meet John, but I'm not sure that's in the purview of the show.

    If anyone involved in the show is reading this, I just want to say congratulations. Your program is a wonderful achievement in elevating television from the mainstream, commercial norm. The fact that it has a clear voice and deviates from being self-caricature is admirable. It's such a smart show. All credit goes to the writers' subtle, shrewd, effective dialogue, and the talented actors who deliver it with credibility and charisma. Detractors of the show don't understand its subtext--subtext which makes this program an ideal candidate for second- and third-viewings.

    I hate to throw shade, but this show is better than "Girls." Different, but better. If HBO does not order a second season, it would be a serious miscalculation.

  • NG22 | February 20, 2014 10:19 PM

    You're absolutely correct--the directing is phenomenal. Andrew Haigh is a true artist and talent. I feel like people who dislike the show--like the shady mess above^^^--simply don't have taste. Everything has to be loud, brash, in-your-face, melodramatic. It's like they hate the show because it's not a soap opera. "Looking" has more in common with independent dramatic rom-com features than it does "Queer As Folk." And disasters act like it's a mistake for the writers, directors, and HBO--but it is intentional. This is how and what the show should be. And HBO stands for excellence, so there's no doubt they love the show just as much as I do. More than anything though, it upsets me how people keep watching just to get fuel to trash the show online. They must be so bored.

    In regards to "Girls," it's a show I go back and forth on. But overall, it's a far more vapid show than "Looking." It's superficial and self-indulging. But it is filled with altercations, drama, and messy plot points. More than all of that, though, it is a show about women, so women watch. And everyone likes to talk about Lena Dunham's naked body, which creates buzz. But underneath the nudity, Lena Dunham's magazine covers and general buzz, the daughters-of-famous-people cast, and Judd Apatow being the Executive Producer (which has done more for the show than anything else), I think it is a show driven by Lena's experiences and just features a bunch of plot points. "Looking" is more character-based, and intentionally so--like literary fiction. It's more crafted and deliberate than the teleplays of "Girls." But the latter will always be more mainstream because it's about heterosexual relationships.

    It may be 2014, and it may be HBO, but not everyone wants to watch a series about gay people. They'd rather see us bland and asexual on "Modern Family."

  • Lucky | February 20, 2014 9:30 PM

    I hate to compare, but yes, I agree that Looking is better than Girls (and I'm a big Girls fan). By being subtle and not cartoonish at all -as you mention-, Looking has become just about better than anything else on TV right now and I'm glad that its ratings are going up.

    You mentioned the writing and acting, but I'd add the directing as an aspect of the show that's worth mentioning. It's so detailed and textured and has such a clear vision of what the show is and is becoming. I hope we get a second season.

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