Who in their right mind would schedule a new action adventure series against ‘American Idol’ at a time when the singers are fighting for a position in the Top Ten AND against the beginning of ‘March Madness’ running on CBS and three other networks?
ABC launched their Ashley Judd vehicle, ‘Missing’ at 8P (EST) Thursday and came out a winner. It drew 10.56 million (Viewers Live+SD overnight) and outdrew everything else except ‘Idol’ which had 15.52 million viewers. No other show the entire night, including ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘NCAA Basketball Tournament’, ‘Private Practice’, ‘Touch’ the entire schedule on NBC or CW, came close. It was ABC’s most watched in that time period in 14 months and was television’s most-watched drama debut in the opening hour of prime time in 1 1/2 years.
Judd’s winning popularity pared with a race against time while traveling Europe to track down her missing son, with amazing locations and surprising twists gave ‘Missing’ a great premiere.
Can it survive? If you like action, with a female lead, you will love it. If you like locales, you will love it. But can it continue to put up the numbers dead opposite ‘Idol’ when the winner of the sing-song fest march toward the finals? Will the network that has not had a big weekday hit since ‘Castle’ stick behind this action adventure long enough to find it’s legs?
Can it stand up against CBS’ regular programming which will include ‘Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Rules of Engagement’ after the NCAA tournament, where they both lead into the biggest new drama of the year, ‘Person of Interest’?
Hopefully it will have an audience that is loyal and involved, with a New Media push just like ‘Castle’ did in its early days. The producers of ‘Castle’ did some amazing things via social media including writing a novel from a fictitious lead character within the show which became a big seller and huge reference in real life for fans of the show. ‘Missing’ needs to adopt not only an imaginative digital platform but a mobile ‘push’ platform as well.
Obviously it needs a network that can give it time to develop into a Thursday night power. It promises to be a good show.