Fox is a network that is often known for comedy, and this year the little network that could has released a few brand new comedies in order to appeal to as many audience members as possible. While Grandfathered has maintained a relatively steady audience on Tuesday nights, one other comedy has not. The Grinder, despite critical acclaim and a Golden Globes nomination, is not doing so well in the ratings. In fact, last night’s episode of The Grinder only did a .6 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
This week, The Grinder aired in its normal Tuesday night timeslot at 9:30 p.m and pulled the aforementioned .6 rating and 1.65 million total viewers. TV by the Numbers also reports those poor viewership numbers are a series low for the comedy. Granted, Tuesday night after 9 p.m. is not the world’s best timeslot for TV. Tuesday nights are pretty slow, and both Agent Carter and iZombie didn’t really put together great numbers during the time period, either. The Marvel drama only pulled in a .8 rating while the CW zombie-led procedural also did a .6 rating. Unfortunately for The Grinder, a series low and a tie with the less prominent CW program is not really a good look.
Obviously, a show's audience tends to grow as Live+7 ratings come in throughout the week. Plus, as audiences engage with shows via other outlets like Hulu and as networks are finding other ways to make money, Live+Same Day numbers aren't as important as they once were. But they are still important, plus they give us a gauge of how well a show is doing compared to its competitors.
The good news? The Grinder has done well with the review crowd. Guest Star Timothy Olyphant won a People’s Choice Award earlier this year, and Rob Lowe’s performance on the show has done well enough that he earned a nod at this year’s Golden Globes Awards ceremony. The actor ultimately lost out to Mozart in the Jungle’s Gael Garcia Bernal, but still, some notice and acclaim is better than no notice and acclaim and it may be just enough for Fox to want to keep the show around for a second season... maybe. Fox did already show some support for the series when it signed on for 22 episodes this season.
Personally, I love The Grinder. I love how the show uses the fictional TV series within a TV series to wink at its own premises and even shortcomings. I love the bromance between Rob Lowe’s Dean Sanderson Jr and Fred Savage’s Stewart Sanderson. I love that there’s a weird subplot involving Timothy Olyphant and that the show has taken chances with using flashbacks in certain episodes. It’s a really clever comedy, but it may not get the chance to be a clever comedy for much longer. Which is a damn shame, because as much as we all love Paget Brewster verbally sparring with John Stamos, The Grinder is a better show than its 9 p.m. counterpart Grandfather.
This happens every year. Usually there are a couple of shows that are well-liked that just can’t find enough viewers to stick around. Last year, shows like Forever and Constantine were both cancelled after pulling in less than stellar ratings, and this year there are bound to be several more shows that get the axe in May when the networks make a final decision regarding a show. This year, we may very well see The Grinder on the list.
We’ll let you know as soon as the networks make decisions regarding the future of a bunch of TV shows. In the meantime, you can see what shows have already been cancelled and renewed with our network rundown. And if you want to know exactly why you should be watching The Grinder, head here.