A Ray of Light Amongst the Darkness

The last few weeks have been troublesome for this fandom at best, with very little good news emerging from the United States. However, the international premiere of the 2008 series has been creating some news of its own, with the backdoor pilot bringing in over 500,000 viewers on the UK Sci Fi channel last week.

The UK is the place of origin for our next piece of news, as this week, the first episode of the 2008 series, A Knight in Shining Armor, which was aired in a two hour block along with Joss Whedon's newly renewed Dollhouse.

As UK members of our community know, 500,000 viewers is a large audience for a niche cable and satellite channel in our country, and only Heroes had a substantially larger audience during its brief tenure on the channel.

This is where we get to the good stuff. In a piece of news that I'm sure NBC won't have missed, the UK audience jumped a whopping 35% last night, drawing in over 700,000 viewers, making Knight Rider and Dollhouse an excellent combination that has secured the 2008 series a solid second place on the channels list of most watched programs since the turn of the new millennium.

Whilst times are tough for us at the moment, it's important to remember the effect that the international audience had on the original series, as the fat lady may be bellowing her lungs out, but the final chord is yet is to be played in spite of the show being dropped from NBC's fall schedule.

For the full press release from the Sci Fi UK channel's website, hit the jump.

Knight Rider & Dollhouse emerge a winning combination

London, 20 May 2009: NBC Universal Global Networks today celebrates another ratings win for its SCI FI channel in the UK. First run dramas Knight Rider and Dollhouse together attracted over 700,000 viewers to make SCI FI the #1 pay-TV broadcaster during the highly competitive 8pm - 10pm timeslot.

Last week saw the premiere of the feature-length Knight Rider pilot - based on the 1980s original series - deliver SCI Fl's best series ratings since the first run of Heroes in 2007 (0.69 TVR). The second, 60 minute-long episode debuted last night at 8pm topped these results with a 0.93 TVR*, up 35% on the premiere. The results further cement Knight Rider's position as the second best performing series on SCI FI in over eight years.

The show was immediately followed by the highly-anticipated premiere of Dollhouse at 9pm, a new fantasy drama from Buffy and Angel creator Joss Whedon. The show premiere generated an impressive 0.72 TVR* - a 331% uplift on the channel's slot TVR performance for the year to date.

"We've been continuously investing in new acquisitions for SCI FI and believed that we were onto a winner by pairing up brand new Knight Rider with Dollhouse", commented Jon Farrar, Programming Director (UK), NBC Universal Global Networks. "Last night's ratings are testimony to the success of our acquisitions and programming strategy which, for SCI FI, centres around iconic titles with exceptional production values such as Knight Rider and Dollhouse."

Both series will continue to premiere back-to-back every Tuesday at 8pm and 9pm respectively, on SCI FI and SCI FI HD.

*Source: BARB/TNS Live data + VOSDAL based on exact transmission times 8pm-10pm includes timeshift viewing (8pm - 10pm). All data is for Adults in M/C Homes except for # comparison with multi-channel stations in same slot based on viewing % amongst Ads in Dig Cab/Sat Homes. Programme comparison is based on live performances.

  • Stephen Lawrence

    Huge fan of the new series. Basically because there now seems to be an arc that now links each episode. I really hope some TV exec makes the right decision in signing up a second series before the cast are all tied up doing other projects.

    It's fun family entertainment that is so much better than all the reality show that TV relies on these days. This show's is all about good overcoming evil the way tv was when I was growing up.

    The only bright light I have is that Baywatch wasn't picked up until thames/lwt stumped up the cash and look what happened there. This show may be a spin off but it works. The special effects are excellent and the scripts are finally making it interesting.

    I really hope someone in TV land reads this and be the man "who makes a difference"

  • Cube

    I hated the new series anyway and stopped watching a long time ago anyway.

    Also the new car sucks, the cops should have kept it in the impound lot so they could get a real car that looks good.

    So thank god it is over I was not having fun watching it anyway.

  • darksolidknight

    Time to face the facts folks, Knight Rider is history and NBC didn't even give the series a chance. I say its time for viewer retaliation. I suggest a full boycott of all NBC programs. I have no plans to watch anything on my local NBC affiliate station for sometime. Besides, the rest of NBC's programming is garbage. It should be limited to just NBC affiliate stations and not the entire NBC Universal line up.

    I'm really upset that NBC keeps screwing around with Knight Rider fans. It may not accomplish anything, but I think for screwing the fans over like NBC did, they deserve to fall hard in the ratings. Maybe if 7 million views quit watching NBC for awhile, maybe NBC will be careful in how they treat beloved television franchises.

  • Anonymous

    No way NBC Universal continues to pay the high cost of this series just for less than 1 million UK viewers. Not even 5 to 7 million US viewers saved it. If anything, the rights can be sold to a UK production group to carry on the series if so desired, but say hello to cheaper effects. Maybe that would leave enough budget for improved writing?

  • Mark Lopa

    Excellent news! NBC must be keeping an eye on this. Now is the time to send letters!

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