“Revolution” off to good start; “Mob Doctor” tanks

“Revolution”. Judging by the sign, this is indeed a fictional show.

Trisha also debuts in daytime; Bill Cunningham rolls out nationally

Even though the “official” start of the new season doesn’t begin until next week, two new primetime series made their debut Monday night: J.J. Abrams’ Revolution and Fox’s Mob Doctor. Revolution got off to a good start, drawing a 4.1 Nielsen adult demo (18-49) rating and 11.7 million viewers, retaining 89 percent of its Voice lead-in, which was up 10 percent from its season premiere last week (a rarity!)

Meanwhile, Fox’s new Mob Doctor barely got out of the starting gate, drawing only a 1.5 rating and just five million viewers, down 35 percent from its Bones lead-in.

Both series were unique that they were set in or had some connection to Chicago. Revolution had an interesting premise (the world losing electricity) with strong characters and an intriguing plot – trying to survive in a world with no power (its Comed’s fault). Revolution pilot episode featured a lot of suspense, mystery, and great action scenes (though there were some elements that were head-scratchers, e.g. the use of muskets for weapons. Plus, you’d think the survivors would rely on solar or wind power…) But a word of caution: let’s see how the storyline and ratings play out. After all, we all remembered what happened to FlashForward

On the other hand, Doctor was a disorganized mess, with lame cliches and transitional scenes which didn’t make sense and even lamer acting. With harsh reviews and low ratings to start, Doctor is likely to become one of the first casualties of the fall season. This quack needs her license yanked.

Turning to daytime, Trisha was one of the last of the five new syndicated talk shows of debut, premiering yesterday. The former Australian news anchor debuted to a 0.6/2 (HH), and a 0.3/2 among women 25-54, with the numbers in line with expectations given the weak station lineup. Monday’s show dealt with women and their abusive significant others. Despite breaking no new ground, Trisha Goddard came off as quite professional (or as professional as you can get in a conflict-based talk show.) Surprisingly, Trisha was tame compared to others in the genre (It’s a small world after all: A few years ago, Trisha Goddard left Britain’s ITV to host a talk show for rival Channel Five. After an interim stint by Jerry Springer, her slot was filled on ITV by Jeremy Kyle. Both Goddard and Kyle now have talk shows stateside. And yes, I’ve repeated this before…)

Meanwhile, The Bill Cunningham Show finally rolled out nationally, acquired by The CW from Tribune Broadcasting to replace the canceled Lifechangers. Cunningham, which began two years ago as a series of test-shows at WGN-TV here in Chicago, had been airing only on Tribune stations and Raycom-owned Fox affiliate WXIX in Cincinnati. While ratings weren’t available nationally, the conservative radio talk-show host’s ratings in his home base of Cincinnati tanked: during his weekly chat on Cover It Live Tuesday, Cincinnati Enquirer TV/radio columnist John Kiesewetter revealed Ol’ Big Willie scored only a 0.3 rating at 3 p.m. on CinCW (a subchannel of CBS affiliate WKRC-TV), his new Cincinnati TV home. When Cunningham aired on WXIX, his series was often beaten in the ratings by 45-year old reruns of The Big Valley.

The topic for Bill Cunningham’s first national show? Baby Mama Drama.

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