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'The Following' is ratings gold for Fox

Kevin Bacon, front right, plays former FBI agent

Kevin Bacon, front right, plays former FBI agent Ryan Hardy, who is called out of retirement to track down James Purefoy, as Joe Carroll, in the new psychological thriller “The Following,” premiering at 8 p.m. Jan. 21, 2013 on FOX. (Credit: AP)

Fox has finally, I think we can add the word at this point, what appears to be a new drama hit: “The Following.” Ratings are in, and in the one area that is scrutinized so very closely, it got a 3.1 among adults 18-49, which per Fox, is the second-highest new drama debut for any network this season; tied with “Elementary,” though still behind “Revolution.” In fact, Fox has since adjusted the number upward, to a 3.2.

Total viewers: 10.4 million, which beat last seasons also-highly-promoted “Alcatraz” and ”Terra Nova.”

 Will these numbers hold next week? Who knows, but clearly a few things worked for “Following”:

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1.) A highly promotable star in Kevin Bacon

2.) Fox's extremely aggressive marketing on its behalf (booths in New York streets; billboards everywhere; Internet ads also everywhere.

3.) The prospect of extreme violence. That's right -- don't ever short-sell that aspect. The rubbernecks out in the viewing audience often go for that sort of thing.

Did I like the show? Not particularly.  But it does at least get a little more absorbing in future episodes. It's just too damn grim, gruesome and -- worst of all -- shallow. But TV is a democracy sometimes, and the people have spoken -- and what they're saying is, ”this could work for Fox.”

Tags: the following , fox

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