Two freshman TV shows are showing severe danger signs. ABC shortened FlashForward's first season by one episode, as the drama named three new showrunners. Meanwhile, Caprica's third episode got just 1.13 million viewers, less than Swamp Loggers.
Now that David S. Goyer has left FlashForward just a few months after taking over as the sole showrunner, the show has named three replacements: Goyer's wife and past collaborator, Jessika Borsiczky, Lisa Zwerling, who worked on ER, and former Law & Order/CSI producer Timothy J. Lea. The trio may be able to re-energize the struggling show, but the network's decision to reduce its order for the first season from 23 episodes to 22 can't be seen as a vote of confidence. (The season's original length was 24 episodes, but the network upped its order to 25 installments, then changed its mind and went back to 24 episodes. And then 23. And now 22. The network also put FlashForward on hiatus in November, to "boost the writing.")
As for Caprica, its slide is looking pretty perilous — from 1.6 million viewers for the pilot to 1.4 million for the second episode, to 1.1 million for its third outing. That's a pretty steep slide, and the numbers are careening into Flash Gordon territory. As TVByTheNumbers was keen to point out, Caprica was beaten by the Discovery Channel's Swamp Loggers.
So what's the prognosis? Both shows will probably finish out their first seasons, and Syfy seems to have a lot of confidence in Caprica, which could well generate some healthy DVD sales. But if you could flash forward six months into the future, it's not looking too likely that you'd see either show prepping a second season.