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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old January 25 2012, 12:30 AM   #1
indolover
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Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

DS9's concept it seems was based on intrigue rather than exploration. Is this why it faltered in terms of ratings? The essential setting laid out in Emissary was the protection/incorporation of Bajor, keeping the Cardassians at bay, and the new frontier of the Gamma Quadrant.

People talk about competition, but the X-Files was huge, and probably the biggest sci-fi show of the 1990s. Shows like Hercules, Xena, etc. were not direct competitors anyhow (well to me fantasy and sci-fi are distinct genres). It's like blaming low ratings on Two and a Half Men due to competition from The Big Bang Theory (yes, both sitcoms, but one lampoons sex whilst the other lampoons nerds).
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Old January 25 2012, 12:37 AM   #2
MacLeod
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

In general their has been a decline in TV ratings over the last couple of decades. Of course their are exceptions to the rule.

By the time DSN came around, every other station was jumping on the Sci-Fi fantasy genre so there become more compettion. When TNG first aired it had a certain nostalga factor to it even a novelty factor as it was different to what was on, the same with The X-Files.
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Old January 25 2012, 12:41 AM   #3
Sandoval
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

This is a simplistic explanation but I think some things are just more popular than others. TNG was more popular than DS9.

You can blame concepts, acting, stories and whatever else from now until doomsday and get nowhere.

Some things just are.
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Old January 25 2012, 12:45 AM   #4
Sindatur
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

Ratings declined with each Series.

TNG was so popular, that yea, maybe, it lost a chunk of audience because it was different, but, Voyager was back to pretty much just like TNG, but, it had less ratings than DS9 and Enterprise fell even further
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Old January 25 2012, 04:53 AM   #5
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

IMO DS9's ratings faltered because Emissary is/was a boring episode, and because with the exception of Winn, Bajorans are, more often than not, inherently annoying and unwatchable: including Kira in Emissary, and in most of the first season or two.

Those problems do stem from the concept, but I do not think that "strangeness" is the problem so much as the anti-entertainment agenda that wormhole aliens and Bajorans inadvertently put forth.

For example, one could contrast wormhole aliens and Bajorans with the Breen who are also strange, but strange/cool.

Probably DS9 would have maintained most of its huge Emissary audience if there were no Bajorans or wormhole aliens in the series, and they instead started with the Dominion in episode one.
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Old January 25 2012, 06:04 AM   #6
Hober Mallow
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

Navaros wrote: View Post
IMO DS9's ratings faltered because Emissary is/was a boring episode, and because with the exception of Winn, Bajorans are, more often than not, inherently annoying and unwatchable: including Kira in Emissary, and in most of the first season or two.
Facts don't quite bear that out. "Emissary" scored the single highest rating of any episode of all the Trek spinoffs (a whopping 21 overnight rating; I believe the final rating was 18 point something) and the ratings for the first two seasons was steady at near TNG levels. Ratings only dramatically and steadily decreased from season three onwards -- in other words, as soon as TNG left the airwaves.

Probably DS9 would have maintained most of its huge Emissary audience if there were no Bajorans or wormhole aliens in the series, and they instead started with the Dominion in episode one.
Maybe. But I wouldn't have been a part of that audience.
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Old January 25 2012, 04:21 PM   #7
Sindatur
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

I watched Emissary again last night, for the first time in some years. I've been wanting to do a rewatch for some time now. I like Emissary and don't understand the dislike for it. No Pilot is perfect (Well, the first episode of Blake's 7 is pretty damned close), but, I think it did a really good job of setting the stage for the Series.
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Old January 25 2012, 04:43 PM   #8
RoJoHen
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

I don't know what it was like for people in other areas, but I think syndication hurt DS9. Where I was living, DS9 aired on Sunday afternoons and was regularly pre-empted by baseball.
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Old January 25 2012, 04:46 PM   #9
MacLeod
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

Sindatur wrote: View Post
I watched Emissary again last night, for the first time in some years. I've been wanting to do a rewatch for some time now. I like Emissary and don't understand the dislike for it. No Pilot is perfect (Well, the first episode of Blake's 7 is pretty damned close), but, I think it did a really good job of setting the stage for the Series.
B7 did manage to make a memorable ending as well. Did Avon survive or not?
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Old January 25 2012, 04:51 PM   #10
Steve O'Core
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

Can someone post a link to the DS9 ratings? It would be interesting to see the actual ratings numbers, and compare them to the other series, especially since they each ran 7 seasons (well, no counting Enterprise).
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Old January 25 2012, 05:12 PM   #11
Sindatur
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Sindatur wrote: View Post
I watched Emissary again last night, for the first time in some years. I've been wanting to do a rewatch for some time now. I like Emissary and don't understand the dislike for it. No Pilot is perfect (Well, the first episode of Blake's 7 is pretty damned close), but, I think it did a really good job of setting the stage for the Series.
B7 did manage to make a memorable ending as well. Did Avon survive or not?
Very memorable indeed. There's a follow up novel, that picks up after the last scene of the Series, that I very much enjoyed
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Old January 25 2012, 07:19 PM   #12
Hober Mallow
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

I'd say the main difference between TNG and DS9's ratings was that even though DS9's new episodes were scoring good ratings the first two years, the show would lost a significant chunk of viewers during reruns, whereas TNG's reruns were scoring about as much as its new episodes. Telling? I dunno, but it's an interesting comparison.

Here's DS9's nielson ratings for all seven years.

TNG's ratings: http://stng.36el.com/st-tng/sttng-1.html

Voyager's ratings: http://users.telenet.be/WebTrek/Voy/...s/ratings.html
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Old January 25 2012, 08:09 PM   #13
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

With regards to comparing DS9 and VOY's ratings on that site.
From Voyager season 4 and DS9 season season 5, they start giving viewing figures in millions. But Voyager is given in actual number of viewers, DS9 is given in households watching
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Old January 25 2012, 10:12 PM   #14
Ln X
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

Nah DS9 probably faltered ratings-wise because the first season was so weak. It takes some effort for me to watch every episode of season one and I love DS9. Perhaps if there were the story arcs from season 3 and the action from season 6 would the ratings have been better.

DS9 really upped its game in season 3 but by then I think the damage was done, and all those who had stopped watching must have thought season 3 (and the other seasons) were like seasons 1 and 2. First impressions count...

Besides TNG's first season only got away with mediocrity because it was the first Star Trek series in twenty years, and as other people have said in this thread there was less competition from other sci-fi shows. The ratings of TNG season 1 declined slightly and season 1 of TNG is ten times more worse than DS9's season 1.
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Old January 26 2012, 02:42 AM   #15
Worf'sParmach
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Re: Did DS9 falter ratings-wise due to a strange concept?

Where I lived in it's last few seasons (Chicago) DS9 came on at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon which is probably the worst time slot ever and, like RoJoHen said, was often pre-empted by baseball in the spring. Voyager had a prime time slot on a (albeit fledgling) network, and though TNG was also syndicated, it maintained a 7pm Saturday slot for much of it's run if I recall.

And even with a crappy timeslot it managed to have better ratings than Voyager (4s in it's 7th season compared to 2s and 3s for Voyager).
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