Not a good start for two genre shows fighting for their survival.
"Smallville's" move to Friday nights has resulted in the show's smallest audience ever, picking up a 1.5 rating/3 share, according to Fast National ratings from The Nielsen Co. That's 44 percent off its eighth season premiere on Thursday nights on The CW, and 25 percent lower than its eighth season finale May 7.
However, "Smallville" was the fifth-highest rated new episode of programming on The CW for the week, finishing behind "Vampire Diaries," "America's Next Top Model," "One Tree Hill" and "Supernatural." It is one of the first times ever that a new episode of "Smallville" resulted in a smaller audience than "Supernatural."
"Dollhouse" didn't have an easy time either. That show earned a 1.6/3, according to Zap2it, thanks in part to a poor lead-in of a comedy block on Fox in the hour timeslot before. That's 43 percent lower than its series premiere last year, but only 6 percent off its first season finale when many believed "Dollhouse" was going to be cancelled.
"Smallville's" premiere is more than 37 percent off last year's overnight average for the season, while "Dollhouse" is 33 percent lower than its average over 12 episodes last year.
Neither number really bodes too well for either of the shows, especially with The CW already sharpening its axe after the weekend cancellation of "The Beautiful Life."
Fox finished fourth for the night with a 1.7/3 while The CW was only able to muster a 1.2/2 between "Smallville" and a rerun of "America's Next Top Model."
Fast Nationals usually provide a snapshot of what Americans are watching by pulling numbers from the top urban markets that includes both live viewing and same-day timeshifted viewing. A rating point generally represents more than 1.1 million households while the share indicates the percentage of televisions turned on that was tuned to the specific program. These numbers typically shift when final ratings are issued.
Top Genre Shows
1. FlashForward (ABC) — 7.7/13
2. Heroes (NBC) — 3.9/6
3. Fringe (Fox) — 3.6/6
4. Heroes (NBC) — 3.4/5
5. Vampire Diaries (CW) — 2.4/4
6. Supernatural (CW) — 1.7/3
7. Dollhouse (Fox) — 1.6/3
8. Smallville (CW) — 1.5/3