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Ratings and Scheduling: Who's the fairest of them all?

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Here are the ratings for the 13-14 season for those interested. In the demo, out of the Top Returning Dramas, Once is only lower than Grey's and Scandal. It has a 3.3 average, the same as NCIS and Criminal Minds.

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The ratings didn't really drop though. They held pretty steady.

True, though they still reached new lows (less than 6 million for "Bleeding Through") and overall they did decline by about a million viewers and slightly in the demos. It's slight but year by year, that downward creep tends to continue, and in a few seasons, it could build up. It's steady but I wouldn't say it's rosy either.

Edited by Camera One

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Is Grey's ending anytime soon? I wonder if ABC doesn't plan on keeping Once past season 5 just so the can have a show with established viewership around. Revenge, Scandal and Nashville (assuming those shows also get 100 episode runs) would be their only other longish running shows if Grey's ended in a year or two, right?

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It's slight but year by year, that downward creep tends to continue, and in a few seasons,

Television ratings are seeing a downward trend overall. Being able to stay steady in the demo means you are actually doing pretty well. Advetisers are focused on the demo (18-49), so ratings are so much more important for setting ad rates than the number of actual viewers. If you can serve up certain hard to reach sub-groups of the demo, even better.

 

Ratings are being driven down by competition amongst the television channels (you'll never see the ratings we saw back when there were three networks), internet, illegal streaming and a variety of other time wasters (texting, Facebooking, Clash of Clans). Advertisers are keen to see what the ratings are for mobile device viewers because those people are forced to watch commercials (ratings for illegal streamers are of little interest to advetisers because there are no ads), tend to be fairly young (i.e. hard to reach with traditional media) and can be laser targetted (data mine those mobile devices and focus those ads!).

 

All TV shows will eventually fade and Once will be no stranger to that.

Edited by kili

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Is Grey's ending anytime soon? I wonder if ABC doesn't plan on keeping Once past season 5 just so the can have a show with established viewership around. Revenge, Scandal and Nashville (assuming those shows also get 100 episode runs) would be their only other longish running shows if Grey's ended in a year or two, right?

You also have to remember that it takes less than 100 episodes to get a show syndicated now and there's quite a bit of money in that secondary market.

 

ETA: We didn't have a ratings and scheduling thread yet so I started one. Should probably move this conversation there.

Edited by sharky
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I was just about to start the topic and sharky beat me to the punch.  ;-)
Bringing this over from the OUAT in the Media thread:
 

Television ratings are seeing a downward trend overall.

This is true, but ONCE also shot themselves in the foot midway through season 2 and their average did drop from season 2 to 3. I think the majority of the ratings loss for ONCE is just because the writing has alienated it's viewers.
 
Here's the show's 18-49 L+SD season ratings breakdown (info from tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com):
S1 - Season Average: 3.28

  • S1 ep 1 - 11 average: 3.52
  • S1 ep 12 - 22 average : 3.08

S2 - Season Average: 2.72

  • S2 ep 1 - 11 average:  3.25
  • S2 ep 12 - 22 average: 2.28   (this is where the show's ratings did a good impression of a nosedive)

S3 - Season Average: 2.19

  • S3 ep 1-11 average: 2.19
  • S3 ep 12 - 22 average: 2.18

 

 

ETA: This tumblr post (not mine) also provides handy charts. I like this one:

tumblr_n8rsrw7nCQ1s8hakxo1_1280.jpg

Edited by FabulousTater
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The steadiness of S3 is impressive. More tv execs should learn from the 11/11 schedule.

 

So, do we think the Frozen effect will get Once to break a 3.0 in same day ratings this fall?

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I don't think so. My guess is that it might hit 2.7/2.8 (for the season premiere), but I think 2.6 (which is what it opened S3 with) is a good bet.

Edited by FabulousTater

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I'm actually really nervous for S4, for a few reasons. The first is, I can't help remembering that EW poll from a few weeks ago, where Once won ("won"?) the category of "Might be losing its season pass for next season." And as I recall, it won that category with a comfortable margin. Obviously it's just an online poll and in no way scientific, but one still worries about what that might indicate for larger viewer (dis)satisfaction with the show. Second, I worry that, even if Frozen gets the show a big ratings bump initially, Frozen fans might not like the show's treatment of the movie and might run away, including some Frozen fans who had previously been Once fans, AND that diehard Once fans might be annoyed by the Frozenpalooza and tune out themselves.

 

So I can see where it could go well...but I also really see the potential for the ratings to crash and burn in 4A.

 

I'm predicting a 2.8 for the opener. I think the Frozen hype will get us some of the best ratings since 2A, at least initially, but for a number of reasons, I just don't see Once cracking the 3.0 barrier ever again.

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S2 - Season Average: 2.72

•S2 ep 1 - 11 average:  3.25

•S2 ep 12 - 22 average: 2.28   (this is where the show's ratings did a good impression of a nose dive)

 

Yes, S2B was a real show killer. They really ran off the rails. It's nice to see they righted the ship and stopped taking on water in Season 3.

 

So I can see where it could go well...but I also really see the potential for the ratings to crash and burn in 4A

 

They are going to have to do a pretty good balancing act of keeping the Frozen people happy while not losing their core previous viewers. As the plot moves away from Frozen in 4B, I wonder if they will lose the Frozen-only viewers.

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The interesting thing about the Frozen angle is that it's going to be major counter programming for the more male-dominated crowd watching Sunday Night Football. It's obviously not going to get football numbers, but I wonder if it was at least bring more women over.

 

And @Serena the 11/11 can be a good/bad thing as explained by this article from back in February. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the charts in the story migrated over when they did a redesign. I do like the split, but I still wonder how long they can maintain their current trend of having a new villain every half season. At some point, the storytelling is going to suffer and it's clear from the chart posted above that the show got its best ratings when it focused on the people in Storybrooke and not these one-off villains over and over. Of course, let's see how Frozen does first.

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I do like the split, but I still wonder how long they can maintain their current trend of having a new villain every half season

 

I hope they learn that it doesn't need to be a new villain every half-season, it just needs to be a complete story arc each half season. You could have a season long villain with a story arc for each sub-season.  That would build a nice arc between the two sub-seasons helping to further stabilize ratings.

 

[And you don't have to keep killing the villain. He/she can live to fight another day]

Edited by kili
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I don't think Wonderland was much more problematic, writing-wise, than Once, so I don't think it would be strange to expect the people who are still watching Once to check out Wonderland if it's in the same timeslot. OUAT:IW started with awful ratings right off the bat, it's not like all of OUAT's audience watched it and decided it was too bad to keep up with it (this is all second hand information re: Wonderland's quality, though. I only watched the premiere to check it out and the finale to see what we could expect from A&E finale-wise).

I thought the first few episodes of the season were weak unfortunately. Fans of the original show could have gotten turned off since it was entirely based in the fantasy world and without a real-world base... that made the series seem really cheesy (especially with Jafar and the Red Queen chewing scenery less convincingly than Regina and Rumple, with no Storybrooke alter ego to "ground" them...).

For me, the writing only got better in the second half after the hiatus... that was when it really grabbed me and became appointment TV but it was already towards the tail end with cancellation in sight. I do wonder if the show would have done better in "Once"'s original timeslot. I suppose one could argue that having to devote a different night of the week really requires the show to be a much bigger draw, since routine is so important for people. There were major problems with the Sunday 8pm slot in Jan-Mar though with all the pre-emptions from Award shows and such, so I can see why there could be a disadvantage to placing it there. Maybe if they had shown 2 episodes back-to-back on Sunday nights to make up for the pre-emptions, it might have worked better?

Edited by Camera One
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I don't think Wonderland was much more problematic, writing-wise, than Once, so I don't think it would be strange to expect the people who are still watching Once to check out Wonderland if it's in the same timeslot.

See, I actually am not convinced that most people who watch Once would automatically tune in for a spinoff even if it kept the Sunday timeslot. I mean, the writing and storytelling on the mothership has gotten so bad that I can see people sticking with the parent show because they still love the characters/actors but being unwilling to pick up a new show. tbh that's how I feel--I continue to stick with Once because I adore the Charmings and like the cast in general, but you literally couldn't pay me to pick up another Adam and Eddie-run show and subject myself to utter dreck for 12(+) hours. And if I feel that way, there must be at least a few others who feel the same, especially as there's literally no indication that the writing is ever going to get better, not when the ABC president is lauding Adam and Eddie as creative geniuses (I laughed just typing that out).

 

It's reputation, only negative reputation at this point. (And the fact that Once: Wonderland pretty much bombed doesn't help, either.) Plus, even the initial ratings for Once: Wonderland indicate that people just weren't interested in a spinoff. I've always been a big believer in the, you know, "if people are interested enough in your show, they make time to watch it" school of thought. I don't care about timeslot--if Once fans were all that interested in the spinoff, they would've watched. So....

 

I thought the first few episodes of the season were weak unfortunately. Fans of the original show could have gotten turned off since it was entirely based in the fantasy world and without a real world base, it looked a little cheesy

*raises hand* I watched the pilot, thought it was pretty terrible, and didn't watch the rest of it.

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I think it might have done better in OUATs slot, (and as originally envisioned as a limited series not "we'll see what happens") . But I think there's a reason they threw it to the wolves as it were, in a timeslot ABC traditionally has a lot of trouble with, and it wasn't because they had a lot of confidence in it.

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I think the part that most hurt Wonderland was their premiere being shifted forward to October from Januuary/February. With that extra time they could have worked out some of the problems before it even aired. They could have retooled scripts, they'd have had more time for the special effects, etc. By rushing everything for a Fall premiere they ended up with a show that felt disjointed and looked cheap. And I say this as someone who watched Wonderland start to finish and liked a decent chunk of what they did.

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QUOTE
I thought the first few episodes of the season were weak unfortunately. Fans of the original show could have gotten turned off since it was entirely based in the fantasy world and without a real world base, it looked a little cheesy

*raises hand* I watched the pilot, thought it was pretty terrible, and didn't watch the rest of it.

 

I watched the first episode as well and found it to be both overly slick and totally cheesy (which is really quite an accomplishment when you think about it).  Also, I found the weird living Barbie Doll Villain's bright red, patent leather lips extremely distracting - along with Naveen Andrew's horrifying wig (God, I hope it was a wig).

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I think the part that most hurt Wonderland was their premiere being shifted forward to October from Januuary/February. With that extra time they could have worked out some of the problems before it even aired. They could have retooled scripts, they'd have had more time for the special effects, etc. By rushing everything for a Fall premiere they ended up with a show that felt disjointed and looked cheap. And I say this as someone who watched Wonderland start to finish and liked a decent chunk of what they did.

 

Agreed.  It started off kind of lamely, it was not my cup of tea, but when I came back after skipping a few weeks, I liked it much better to my surprise.  And I think it ended very well.  It had a well delineated beginning, an adventure/quest, and ending.  I thought that worked nicely, not a bunch of extraneous fluff.

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Wonderland would have done better if it aired during the OUAT Winter Break instead, but I don't think it would have been successful.

 

Faithful viewers of OUAT mostly stick around for the characters. Wonderland put everything wrong with OUAT up like a beacon. They didn't have the good characters, so no one had a good enough reason to watch. That's partially due to the acting quality of the cast, which in my opinion, felt very wooden at times. I'm a major Alice in Wonderland fan, and honestly the OUAT spinoff didn't do it justice at all. Which is a shame, because it had way more material to go off of than Frozen.

 

I would have rather seen a Wonderland half-season on the parent show than a weak spinoff. The few scenes in Hat Trick and Queen of Hearts were a better adaptation of it, imo.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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Agreed.  It started off kind of lamely, it was not my cup of tea, but when I came back after skipping a few weeks, I liked it much better to my surprise.  And I think it ended very well.  It had a well delineated beginning, an adventure/quest, and ending.  I thought that worked nicely, not a bunch of extraneous fluff.

 

I agree. For the first several weeks, it stacked up on my DVR because I wasn't terribly into it. But by the end, I was eager to watch it the night it aired.

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http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=121796

 

 

ABC has announced it will air "The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic" on Tuesday, September 2 at 8:00 - 9:00 p.m. ET.

This special will also include some exciting announcements about the next chapter of Frozen and a never-before-seen preview of Frozen characters Anna, Elsa and Kristoff on an upcoming episode of ABC's smash-hit "Once Upon a Time."

 

 

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Isn't the definition of a "classic" in this context something that stands the test of time?  Frozen is much too "now" to be determined a classic in my opinion. 

 

We've been already talking about this in the Media thread. To call a "classic" a film that it's not even a year old is ridiculous. And really, I don't think Frozen would ever become a classic (at least, not what I consider one).

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Isn't the definition of a "classic" in this context something that stands the test of time?  Frozen is much too "now" to be determined a classic in my opinion.

 

I'm guessing it will be a classic in about 15-20 years or so, but it's not as it stands. I consider it to be in the same league as other Disney movies like Lion King and Beauty in the Beast, which are both considered to be "classics" in the Disney audiences today. Right now calling Frozen a classic is just hype and beneficial for marketing.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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SpoilerTV has a pretty thorough roundup and analysis of the Fall TV show lineup for Sunday nights, and how they think they will fare in the ratings. Here is the OuaT one:

 

Once Upon a Time (2.19 Last Year)

Timeslot: Sundays at 8,ABC

Lead-in: Local Programming

Lead-out: Resurrection/ American Crime

Episode Order: 22

Competition: Sunday Night Football/?, Madam Secretary, The Simpsons & Brooklyn Nine-Nine

 

The Pros
• Season 3-B was practically even year to year and that’s after accounting for the general broadcast decline! That suggests a very positive trend and makes for a very promising Season 4 outlook!
• The split season treatment that did wonders for the show will continue this year.
• Even if I am not sure how relevant that is since most of the competition on this night comes from cable, broadcast wise the competition is likely to get easier with CBS replacing TAR with Madam Secretary.
• Frozen has created a considerable amount of hype for the show during this summer.

 

The Cons
• Even if 3-B had a wonderful trend, the season as a whole was still down 20%. For a serialized show like OUAT, that’s still very concerning regardless of the spin!
• OUAT’s audience is certainly a fickle one that will not watch if it doesn’t like the current arc. So while Frozen appears to have created enough hype around it, a poor execution may push viewers away. Besides, we still have no idea what’s the arc to be covered in 4-B, so there is potential for one as poorly received as the never land one.

 

The Verdict: Maybe I am being biased here but I tend to think that the show really got its act together in 3-B, and the ratings do support this. I think OUAT will be ok during fall and maybe even have some episodes up year to year. Perhaps its greatest challenge will be finding an arc worthy enough of 4-B, when the comparisons will get trickier. I say it eventually manages to do so and that the ship gets steadied, with OUAT taking a drop on par with the overall broadcasters.

 

The Guess: 1.97 (-10%)

Potential for Major Deviation: Average

 

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Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere but there will be a "Storybrooke Has Frozen Over" special to catch up that will air right before the finale.  

 

http://www.ibtimes.com/once-upon-time-storybrooke-has-frozen-over-air-season-4-premiere-special-catch-fans-1688244

http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwtv/article/Scoop-ONCE-UPON-A-TIME-Season-Premiere-on-ABC-Sunday-September-28-2014-20140908#

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Thanks for mentioning that! And if you need to catch up more, they're airing "There's No Place Like Home" again on Sunday. We're getting so close!

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Bringing over discussion about the longevity of Once from the Spoiler thread.

 

IMO, most shows that don't get canceled in Season 1 end up lasting too long. It's very hard to sustain quality over too many seasons; almost inevitably, long-running shows peter out and it ends up being a mercy killing when they end. (I'm looking at you, X-Files.) I don't want Once to last many more seasons, because I think it's already having trouble sustaining itself. I hope that whenever Robert's contract runs out -- I'm not sure if it's for five or seven seasons -- they hang it up. I would bet serious money that he does NOT re-up, and I would imagine a couple of others in the cast would also make that decision. I think five seasons would be about right for Once. Perhaps they can do a spinoff afterward with some new characters in the same universe, but leave the current characters alone, or for a few random guest spots.

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Unlike some shows Once doesn't really have an endpoint in terms of storyline.  The main conflicts set up in the series premiere have been resolved.  At this point, each half-season season is practically a stand-alone, so they could technically extend it for longer than an average show.  I can even see the show outlasting Rumple.  3B wouldn't have been much different if Rumple had died and was MIA, and his role in 3B was peripheral in large part.

 

Ultimately, I think the length of the show will depend on how long it is before Adam and Eddy get bored with it, or before ratings drop to cancellation levels.  I can see them pulling a "Lost" and deciding on 6 seasons.  Like everything, it's all up to them.  Are there enough shiny toys left in the room?  Who knows.

 

After the "Wonderland" disappointment, I'm not sure there is an appetite for a spinoff.  It looked like the fans of the show were unprepared to invest in a new group of characters (the writing and acting of the first few episodes, plus the scheduling sure didn't help).

 

Theoretically, there is so much source material for fairy tales, myths and folk stories, that this show *could* had had seven really good seasons.  But the writers' impatience to jump ahead in both plot (eg. ending the curse, having Emma believe, bringing magic back, all in the S1 finale; everything being reset after "Going Home") and jumping ahead in characterization (rushed redemption for Regina; jumping to Emma's acceptance of home and relationship with Snow and Charming and skipping the development part), without playing out all the natural ramifications means that the series has pretty much lost a lot of story beats which could have been told, but now it's too late.  

Edited by Camera One
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After the "Wonderland" disappointment, I'm not sure there is an appetite for a spinoff.  It looked like the fans of the show were unprepared to invest in a new group of characters (the writing and acting of the first few episodes, plus the scheduling sure didn't help).

I wonder if the chances for a second spinoff might depend in some measure on the ratings "Galavant" gets. If it gets decent ratings and proves that the Once audience will keep tuning in for a bridge show, maybe Adam and Eddie get a shot at a second spinoff that will be left as a bridge, as intended, instead of spun off to another time slot. However, if "Galavant" goes poorly, it's hard to imagine ABC greenlighting another spinoff, even if just as a bridge series.

Edited by stealinghome

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After the "Wonderland" disappointment, I'm not sure there is an appetite for a spinoff.

 

Wonderland's poor ratings had a lot to do with the time it aired. If it aired during the winter break, I bet it would have done better. But since it aired while Once was still showing on Sunday nights, Oncers had already got their fill for the week. Its failure is probably also due in part to the poor quality of characters. It just wasn't as interesting or entertaining as the parent show. 

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I'm not sure one can use "Galavant" as a barometer. It is VERY tonally different. Other than the fact that they're both fairytale-related, I don't see them as being alike at all.

 

And I think prospects might be different/better for a spinoff post-Once rather than one that runs concurrently. 

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Its failure is probably also due in part to the poor quality of characters. It just wasn't as interesting or entertaining as the parent show.

Agreed--but at this point, do we really think Adam and Eddie can do any better? Given the evidence of S2 and S3, that's not a bet I'd take. Their misses are starting to pile up.

 

And I think prospects might be different/better for a spinoff post-Once rather than one that runs concurrently.

This I do agree with. I think it would also really help to have several Once actors in key (if supporting) roles--I could envision them doing a spinoff that heavily involves, if not one of the main Once cast, someone like Aurora or Philip.

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And I think prospects might be different/better for a spinoff post-Once rather than one that runs concurrently.

 

True, though I suspect Eddy and Adam will be ready to move on by that point and it's pretty much their baby.  They have also pretty much run a lot of the potential characters into the ground.  Usually, by the time a series ends, many past viewers had given up on the original show, so they wouldn't necessarily be interested in a new spinoff either.  And some of the existing viewers would also have no interest watching new characters (eg. Regina fans may not care without Regina in the new show).

 

I'm sure WE would be watching it, though, LOL.

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failure is probably also due in part to the poor quality of characters. It just wasn't as interesting or entertaining as the parent show.

Nonsense. Its characters were just as good as the ones on the parent show, some better (Anastasia >>> Regina, for example).

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I believe it was just a combination of terrible timeslot + people were getting their fairytale fill with Once (they aired during the same period) + terrible marketing. It's not like OUATIW opened big (or even decent) and then when people saw the people and decided the characters/plot were terrible, they tuned out. It just opened to terrible numbers. Those people who flat out refused to see it couldn't know whether or not its characters were good, right? 

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I'd add that the first few episodes (at least) were genuinely not good. Really cheesy, the lead romance was so saccharine I felt I was getting diabetes just by looking at them, and the only bright spot was Will, who wasn't enough to make me continue watching. So while I agree it's a combination of factors, the writing/acting is also guilty.

Edited by FurryFury
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I think the ABC president has even admitted it was partially his fault for screwing thee show over by launching it too soon instead of waiting until the Once haitus. And yea, I checked out after the first three episodes when I couldn't bring myself to care about a balloon to get Cyrus or whatever. Also, one of the things that make Once great are the fairy flashbacks, which are pretty impossible with the Wonderland format.

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Considering the show can't follow through on an idea for more than 10 seconds before something shiny catches their eye and moves on, the characters are the only thing to really attach to.

 

Wasn't Wonderland's spinoff originally intended to have Jefferson in it? Something from the parent show for you to latch onto and follow into it. Tuning into Wonderland seeing no one all that familiar probably didn't help. Sure we had guest stars eventually, but like who really cares about Robin Hood? Cora was okay. Even though I very much agree they handled Anastasia way better than Regina.

 

Plus even if your love of Wonderland got you into it, you better be interested in Aladdin too to truly get into Wonderland.

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Cora was okay.

I was hoping Cora would be in more episodes.

 

One issue with Wonderland was that it was too fantasy-saturated. By that I mean it was too whimsical and CGI-heavy for viewers to catch on to. There wasn't much difference between the flashbacks and the present day. On the parent show, there is (or used to be) a balance between real world and fantasy, which kept the pacing from going out of whack. 

 

I do admit the last few episodes were good, especially Heart of the Matter. That was easily the best episode of the series. It had Cora, Storybrooke, and Ana's dramatic death all in one episode.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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One issue with Wonderland was that it was too fantasy-saturated. By that I mean it was too whimsical and CGI-heavy for viewers to catch on to. There wasn't much difference between the flashbacks and the present day. On the parent show, there is (or used to be) a balance between real world and fantasy, which kept the pacing from going out of whack. 

Yeah, that was the issue for me. I didn't dislike the characters or the actors in and of themselves, but the appeal of OuaT to me is the clash of real world and fairy tale world. And the fact that it is grounded in the real world via Emma, who acts as a proxy for the audience. Wonderland was basically all fairy tale world, in setting and characters, and that just didn't interest me much.

 

That said, I agree with Serena that a lot of people probably just never watched it due to the time slot. 

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And I was just going to post here as well. Remember that there is a recap show at 7pm before the season premiere. And just in case you need a reminder, tomorrow is the season premiere!!!!!!!!

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but the appeal of OuaT to me is the clash of real world and fairy tale world. And the fact that it is grounded in the real world via Emma, who acts as a proxy for the audience.

It's not as if OuaT itself has been making use of that lately, though. Half of the recent season was spent in Neverland, and the other half had magic coming out the wazoo that Storybrooke might as well have been the fairy tale world.

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Remember that there is a recap show at 7pm before the season premiere. 

 

Especially if you want to pull your hair out listening to commentary from Adam and Eddy.

Edited by Camera One
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I am super curious too. Will Frozen have any effect, or will they have similar ratings to last season? Last season's were good, but they have got to be hoping for a serious Frozen bump.

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While most shows have been below the year ago premieres, looks like Once rose a little bit. At the very least should be even with last season.

http://www.spoilertv.com/2014/09/ratings-news-29th-september-2014.html?m=1

That led into a 5.5/ 8 (#3) for the fourth season-premiere of “Once Upon a Time” at 8 p.m., which was six percent above the 5.2/ 8 on the year-ago evening (which translated into 8.52 million viewers and a 2.6/ 7 in the demo, based on the Live + Same Day data).

I'll wait until tvbythenumbers breaks it down though. Edited by Emma

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