"Awake," the excellent, new drama that NBC finally launched last night, had a modest start. Final fast nationals: a 2 rating among adults 18-49, and 6.247 million viewers.
How to interpret this? A few ways, I think. Reviews were largely positive but even the most glowing (and mine was certainly glowing) came with an asterisk: This isn't a standard narrative technique. . . It's complicated, to a degree. . . a bit of work is involved . . . and the story is inherently tragic.
Come to think of it, I guess the show came with four asterisks.
Nevertheless, that 2.0 is a good figure and suggests younger viewers did check it out; the total viewer figure is slight, but it's also worth noting that NBC Thursday years ago (or at least post -- "The Apprentice") turned into a boutique night. Nothing -- including a trio of classic comedies -- get much beyond that number. Unless they're smoking medicinal ganga out there in Burbank, there was no one who assumed that this show would suddenly turn out a massive audience. Wasn't gonna happen.
So what is the margin of success here? I believe anywhere from a 1.6 to a 2.0; anything south of this would be disappointing and likely fatal in the long run. So here's hoping for stability! "Awake" is one of those shows that deserves to be on the air.