"Have you seen our ratings? We may need these fast-food jobs as a fallback."
Those of us who have fretted over the changes in the second season of "FNL" take no comfort from the latest Nielsen ratings. Variety reports here that the drama lost considerable audience from its season premiere to last Friday's telecast.
Now, you could argue that the numbers are misleading, since one of the competitors was Fox's baseball telecast. And as much as I have tried to pimp "FNL" in these parts (where my DVD of the first season is still circulating in order to woo viewers), it was not likely to drag people away from the Indians in a playoff game.
At the same time, "Women's Murder Club" will be a regular competitor, and it did a strong national number, probably sucking viewers away from "FNL." I have to think that, since "FNL" did better a week ago, the Tyra-Landry story prompted some viewers to defect. And this is not a show that can afford a lot of defections.
I do feel some regret about expressing concerns over the show before it began the second season. There are still so many good things in it (way more than "Women's Murder Club" will ever muster), and I want enough people to tune in to give it time for a course correction. But if it's getting close to time to write an "end of 'FNL' " column, it's going to be one that places a lot of blame on the show itself, for going in a direction that aimed for new viewers but risked antagonizing many of the faithful.