Television shows often seem to experience huge ratings drop-offs after their first episodes. But even so, this is really something. Intelligence went from 16.6 million viewers in its first week to 6.1 million in its second.
Some of this drop-off is due to CBS moving Intelligence from Tuesday night, right before Person of Interest, to its regular Monday night slot, facing stiffer competition, for its second episode. But the show also followed a pattern that should be familiar from shows like Bionic Woman, Flashforward, V and countless other genre dramas: a huge first episode, followed by a steep drop. It's not too different from the way a science fiction movie will lose 50 percent of its audience after the opening weekend — but it's a bigger problem for TV shows, which have to hook people week in and week out.
Last week, TV By the Ratings moved Intelligence to its "certain to be cancelled" column — right before the ratings for the show's third episode came in, and showed another drop-off. Oh well. Let's hope tonight's episode shows a bit of a turnaround. No matter what happens, CBS is apparently committed to showing the whole first season of 13 episodes.