Facing Underwhelming Ratings, ’24: Legacy’ Is on Shaky Ground – Have You Been Watching?

FOX

FOX

Leading up to the series’ premiere after this year’s Super Bowl game, a key concern that fans of the original “24” series (which starred Kiefer Sutherland and ran for 9 seasons) had about its spin-off, “24: Legacy” (which features a new face in the lead, played by Corey Hawkins), was whether they would still appreciate the action-drama without their beloved Jack Bauer (Sutherland) running the show.

Thus far, the answer leans towards the negative; the overhaul of the real-time thriller without its original lead Jack Bauer hasn’t been quite the success that Fox hoped it would be.

Taking the viewership numbers for “24: Legacy” since it premiered, it’s very clear that audiences continue to lose interest in it from week to week, which is unfortunate for all those involved in its production, both in front of and behind the camera.

Its post-Super Bowl premiere drew a strong 17.5 million viewers, holding onto some of the eyeballs that stuck around after the big game to check out the series’ first episode. That number wasn’t expected to hold over successive episodes; unless it had a major lead-in like the Super Bowl every week, which it doesn’t. Since episode 2, it’s lost up to 1 million viewers for every episode that’s followed; episode 2 drew 6.2 million viewers; episode 3 drew 5.1 million viewers; 4.4 million tuned in for episode 4; and 3.9 watched episode 5. These are all live numbers, so one can make the argument that there are those who are watching the series after it airs, via DVR, Hulu, etc. But the live numbers are ultimately what still count when it comes to ad revenue, and even if you consider that there are some who aren’t watching the series live, they wouldn’t make up for the sharp slippage that its live viewership has seen every week since its premiere.

In short, it’s not delivering, and Fox TV chiefs know this and are concerned.

“I’m a little sad because I feel like it’s a really good show,” Fox TV CEO Dana Walden told Deadline in a piece published yesterday. “It’s not terrible [but] we had really high hopes for the show… I’m feeling mixed. I feel very proud of the show and extremely grateful to the creators and the great actors who have done a really wonderful job… I would love nothing more than to bring it back because I thought it was great… But we’re just going to have to see how our pilots come in, how it continues to perform and weigh all of the information we have in May.”

None of that sounds very encouraging if you’re a fan of the series, or you’re employed because of it. With 6 episodes left to go of its 12-episode season, assuming its numbers continue to slide every week as they have been, what are the odds that Fox sees it all the way to the end of the season? At this rate, unless the numbers suddenly turn around, it’s probably unlikely that it will be renewed for another season. But will Fox yank it from its schedule before the current season ends?

Before the finger-pointing begins (many fans of the original weren’t pleased with Corey Hawkins taking over as the series lead), a question that first needs to be asked is whether there was enough audience interest in a “24” reboot/spin-off to begin with, or whether the 9-season original series had run its course with Keifer Sutherland, and shouldn’t have been revisited at all. The last season, which was a limited season titled “24: Live Another Day” (2014) wasn’t as big a hit as the previous seasons of “24” (although reasons can be debated), drawing 5 to 6 million live viewers compared to the 9 to 12 million the season before it. Much has obviously changed in the last 5 years in terms of how we watch television, so some of the drop-off can be explained by that evolution. But the question still should’ve been asked first. An argument could be made that no matter who the series lead was, audience interest would’ve been about the same as it is now.

Fox also thought a reboot of “The X-Files” was a good idea, but critics and fans thought otherwise; and despite a strong start, it continued and went away rather unenthusiastically, ending with less than half the viewership it started with, and declining critic reviews over the course of the season. And the stars of the original series returned, so it wasn’t a case of a rebooted “X-Files” with new leads, as is the case with “24: Legacy.”

Have you been keeping up with the series? If so, your thoughts so far?

“24: Legacy” airs Mondays at 8/7c on Fox in the US.

23 Comments

  1. I’m not watching…never been a fan of ’24’, but I hope it finds a fanbase.

  2. I actually just started watching this weekend, taking in all the episodes in one sitting, via Hulu. To me, that’s the only way ’24:Legacy’ will ever find a following. Like for any new network show, there is so much out there to compete against. I couldn’t tell you what night of the week to find the show, or what time it airs. But I do know that once I started watching, I didn’t want to stop after reaching the last available episode. It’s a decent show. I hope they do a better job at promoting the “binge watch”, as that could be what makes the show a viewing success.

    • I have been watching 24 ever since it started many years ago never miss out on it every one in my house had to be quite or I’ll be very upset without Jack Bauer fox has lost there mind losing the best pay double the amount and get him back by killing what’s his name him yes him and Jack will come back and replace him make it happen Fox

  3. I gave up on 24 back during its second (?) season when Jack’s daughter was in jeopardy. Too ludicrous for my valuable viewing time. I can’t believe it’s been around since 2001. Fox should just move on to something—GASP!—new.

    • hehe NO IT HASN”T and I’ll say why, Fox decided to put a ‘black guy’ as the lead…simple as that

  4. Well, I wish I could say I was surprised but I’m not. This show just sucks. It’s NOTHING but a sad tired retred of the first season of 24(i.e. the GOOD series) and not even a very GOOD retred at that. It’s too bad because Corey Hawkins is a fine actor and the return of Tony Almeada (?) could have been interesting but the show just ISN’T.

  5. I love the show I hope they keep it! They should at least give it a chance. Fox has other shows on the air and I to do not know how they made a 2nd or 3rd season. Their ratings are way lower from what I have seen. Keep it on!

  6. I’ve been watching mainly because I was huge 24 fan. Never missed a single episode. It’s OK but it doesn’t reach the level of 24s of the past. I think it a matter of the whole premise just being played out. After the previous London set 24 Die Another Day, which was fantastic, there is really no where else for it to go But i’ll stick with it until the end.

  7. I tried to watch and never enjoyed the original series. Looking at 24: Legacy, I don’t think Corey Hawkins is believable in the role of a war veteran with high credentials, but he’s perfectly OK apart from that. Every episode so far has had great action and I’m always excited to see where the story goes next. If the show isn’t renewed, it won’t be for lack of quality.

  8. You do hit a point. Hawkins is not bad but he’s still too lightweight for the role, doesn’t have the deep intensity that Keifer Sutherland bought to it and he’s way too young. He looks like a kid. Maybe if he was 10 years older it would have been better. Interesting thing that no one talks about is the fact that they have a very dark skinned Senegalese actress (Anna Diop) playing his wife which is refreshing. Wanna bet if it was black producers on the show they would have hired the lightest skinned, bi-racial actress for the part?

    • LOL. You’re absolutely right about Anna Diop. She’s a beauty. Glad they chose her.

  9. I’m a ’24’ super fan and I’ll be the first to say that ’24: Live Another Day’ was WACK. I think after all those seasons there was nothing we couldn’t see JACK BAUER doing and winning. He was pretty much Superman.

    I always loved the 24 format of real time, CTU doing shit in surveillance that no one should be able to do and the twists and turns of bad guys and moles so I thought injecting a new hero was just what it needed.

    Unfortunately the first episodes you don’t care about ANYONE save for Rebecca (the senator’s wife, former head of CTU). It was a rather clunky start. HOWEVER these last couple of episodes ’24: Legacy’ seemed to have hit its groove. Eric seemed more like the hero he will be and the usual 24 plot twists and turns are back in full force. I think the return of Tony Almaida is right on time.

    Unfortunately though it may all be too late. More than likely FOX will like the promise of their new pilots more than another season of 24 Legacy.

  10. 24 was always must see live tv for me. This season is just not the same. It’s not the actors fault. There is only one Jack Bauer.

    I was a couple episodes behind on dvr. With this news I might just stop.

  11. Over the years I appreciated 24 more and more–warts and all. It’s POV on terrorist and muslims was troubling, but the action and bravado performance by Kiefer Sutherland more than made up for it.
    Now turning to 24 Legacy: it seems to be struggling between trying to pay homage to the original show vs. being a broadcast TV version of Homeland. In fact getting the very talented Miranda Otto as the female lead (after her success on Homeland the previous year) seems to me to be “Legacy’s” attempt to connect to the Showtime series. But, it’s clearly not working.
    Much of the blame for the show probable failure will land on Corey Hawkins–not because he’s a bad actor, but that he’s simply been miscast. He looks too young to carry off the war-hardened, somewhat damaged Veteran role. Especially as a former commando Team Leader. He just does not LOOK the part.
    Beyond the miscast lead, the storylines are not particularly inventive and the surrounding characters don’t offer much–though the urban vibe (“I’m a black man, it won’t be hard for me to get arrested.”) occasionally rings true.
    My hope, when it was announced after “24 Live Another Day” that there would be a series re-boot, was they would do it with Yvonne Strahovski, who played Kate Morgan in “Day”. The Female Action Hero still has a lot of popular appeal, and the Kate Morgan character offers a link to Jack Bauer–and maybe an occasional visit by Sutherland.
    This is all Monday Morning Quarterbacking, but “24 Legacy” would have had a stronger premise going in with Kate Morgan–possibly with Hawkins’ “Eric Carter” as a Partner.

  12. As a former 24 fan, I don’t like the new show. Eric is not believable in the role as the lead character. I have to suspend belief too many times for me to buy into the plot in most cases. The acting in general seems ‘forced’ and most characters come across as ‘actors playing a part’. Not sure why. I also don’t like the general theme I perceive developing. The Terrorists have reasons that they want to harm us. We Americans are actually worst than them, look at what we do. I didn’t appreciate the constant swiping at the Bush administration policies. (i.e. enhance interrogation derided in several episodes) I think they will continue down this road and make it seem like the American spy agencies are evil. (not that they aren’t) therefore the Terrorists are justified in what they are trying to do. I could be wrong but that is what is seems like to me. I see the same thing happening in the Homeland series as well. They ruined a great show there by changing the story from America defending herself from terrorists to America the cause of terrorism.

  13. Hugh fan of 24 and Jack Bauer. This reboot is a poor attempt to capture the intensity the original show had from week to week. Eric by far is no Jack Bauer and as such 24 : Legacy just drags. In addition the sheer number of commercials is distracting.

  14. Beyond the miscast lead, the storylines are not particularly inventive and the surrounding characters don’t offer much–though the urban vibe (“I’m a black man, it won’t be hard for me to get arrested.”) occasionally rings true.
    didn’t appreciate the constant swiping at the Bush administration policies. (i.e. enhance interrogation derided in several episodes) I think they will continue down this road and make it seem like the American spy agencies are evil.

  15. 24? X-files? Both turned out to be disappointing. Maybe Fox should just stop rebooting series.

    • no, Fox should stop playing the politically correcnt politics in it’s series…have you noticed all the ‘black shows’? that’s NO ACCIDENT…I know people are squeamish to admit it, but 24: Legacy is a FAILURE because the lead character just isn’t likeable, you don’t give a crap about him…whether you like to admit or not, take politics out of entertainment and this and every other show on Fox would be great…

  16. NEW RATINGS: Fox: 24: Legacy (3.3 million/0.8 rating) slipped to a new series low and is now considerably below what Gotham was doing in the slot earlier this season. -TV Fanatic

  17. I really tried to give it a chance, but you can tell the writers are doing the same old things. Kim Bauer is held hostage, Eric’s wife held hostage. Attack on CTU again??? Very disappointed.

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