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'Ironside' Debuts To So-So Ratings. Did You Watch? My Thoughts, Your Thoughts...

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
October 3, 2013 2:34 PM
11 Comments
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It premiered last night, Wednesday, October 2, although NBC did make the entire pilot episode available to watch online about a month ago. 

Did you tune in? If so, your thoughts?

The series premiere didn't quite draw as many viewers for a season debut, on a broadcast TV network, as one might expect, although it did earn NBC the #2 spot in its 10-11pm hour, among ABC, CBS and FOX in total viewers.

The Debut of Ironside drew 6.8 million viewers and a 1.4 rating (adults 18-49), thanks in part to the series that leads into it, Law & Order: SVU. Ironside retained 99.7% of last night's total-viewer lead-in from SVU. 

Will that retention continue next week, and successive weeks? It'll need to - at least, I'm sure NBC hopes the expected drop-off isn't excessive. 

We'll find out next week.

But if did watch last night's premiere, will you be returning for seconds?

I did watch it, and, in short, repeating what I said previously, based on this single episode, this is a new series that I don't think will last more than 1 season. It may not even last through the whole first season, given how anxious networks have become when new shows aren't performing as strongly as hoped for, especially when compared to competition; and how quick they are to cancel said shows.

I know I've only watched one episode, which I want to emphasize. It could be a series that I find more and more appealing with successive episodes. But, based on the pilot that I watched, there's really nothing all-that special about this Ironside reboot that makes it stand out from all the other cop shows on TV currently, and in recent years - other than the fact that the title character is black, as played by Blair Underwood.

But that's not quite enough, when you consider that it seems to be going for something far more gritty, rough and tumble, compared to the 1960s original that starred Raymond Burr, which it doesn't really succeed at, in a cop/detective/crime-solving TV series climate that includes much darker, graphic, moodier material in the likes of Law & Order: SVU, the CSI franchise, and others.

NBC has struck out in the new series department with black leads, over the last 3 or so seasons - remember Undercovers 3 years ago; Deception last season, and now we have Ironside. Not that the show is dead yet, of course. Underwood did co-star in another NBC series that was canceled after its first season - remember The Event?

Blair Underwood's NBC reboot of 1960s/1970s crime drama series Ironside, is described as follows:

In the gritty world of the NYPD, no one's tougher than Detective Robert Ironside. He's a fearless cop who won't stop until the guilty are brought to justice. He and his trusted, handpicked team of specialists will do whatever it takes to solve New York's most difficult and notorious crimes - even if it means breaking the rules. Tough, sexy and acerbic, Ironside's never been afraid to call it like he sees it. As a detective, his instincts are second to none, and those around him have to stay on their toes if they want to keep up... because when his spine was shattered by a bullet two years ago, Ironside swore he'd never let a damn wheelchair slow him down.

The cast includes Spencer GrammerBrent SextonPablo SchreiberNeal Bledsoe, and Kenneth Choi.

The series is written and exec produced by Michael Caleo (Rescue MeThe Sopranos), and exec produced by David Semel, Teri WeinbergJohn Davis, and Jon Fox.

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11 Comments

  • Anonymous | October 4, 2013 4:58 PMReply

    I work on Ironside, and I want to let you in on a few things. Michael Caleo has had no part in the show past the pilot. The pilot was shot in NY, the series is being shot here in LA. Our show runner and Executive Producer is Ken Sanzel. Every episode has a different writer and director, and next week's episode is really great. It has a completely different look and feel than the pilot, so come back next week and see for yourself :)

  • Booze | October 5, 2013 4:37 AM

    Hey Anonymous: nobody wants to watch Blair Underwood NOT be sexy. You homogenized TV people need to pull your heads out of your ass.

    Watch "Luther" to see how it's done. (Ah, but you can't do that here in the US, can you.)

  • somerset | October 4, 2013 1:58 PMReply

    I had it on in the background on Tuesday but I had already watched the preview a few weeks ago on Hulu. It was ok. I am pretty bored with procedurals so I find it hard to get hyped for another straight forward detective show. Well, except for Luther but there is nothing like Luther on American television except Luther.

    I hope it will get better because Blair just keeps getting better looking and I think he is a good actor.

  • Lady J | October 4, 2013 10:15 AMReply

    Watched it and seems he wants to be Billy Dee Williams!! Watch something else.

  • Monique a Williams | October 4, 2013 7:01 AMReply

    I already know it's wackness personified. Blair's good looks don't help his acting. He hasn't had a successful show since... Um... LA Law?

  • turner | October 4, 2013 1:05 AMReply

    It's wack.

  • SLD | October 3, 2013 11:09 PMReply

    Was at a screening but you best believe I'll be watching in a little while...

  • Winn | October 3, 2013 6:41 PMReply

    It was ok. I love Blair and Pablo Schreiber, but it just wasn't that compelling. The case was a snooze and the cast doesn't seem to have that much camaraderie. I don't think it's going to make it either, and I hope that doesn't cause NBC to give up on shows with black leads. For every one show with a black lead that fails, there are 10 others with white leads that failed too. But we all know we aren't held to the same standards.

  • Akimbo | October 3, 2013 3:25 PMReply

    Nope. Looks dumb and I'm not interested in supporting Spencer Grammer continuing a career in acting. I'll catch you on the next one, Blair. You'll be alright.

  • Sheila | October 3, 2013 3:25 PMReply

    Here's the formula...Play House(the series) as a Cop.

  • Tracey | October 3, 2013 2:44 PMReply

    I watched it online last week (or whenever it was previewing online). It was ok. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. I think I just loved seeing Blair more than anything, lol! I'm willing to watch again next week. Maybe (that's a *big* maybe), this one will be a slow burn. Some shows take a while to get going, so maybe it'll get better after a few more eps.

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