Mixed Luck, Bad Lucky for FX

FX’s dramedy series, Lucky, became the first cable original scripted
skein casualty of 2003.

Meanwhile, new plastic-surgeon series Nip/Tuck saw its audience sliced
a bit during its second installment Tuesday.

Lucky, starring John Corbett as a compulsive gambler, failed to draw
enough viewers to merit a second season, FX officials said.

The series debuted April 8 to a 2.2 rating, but by week four, it had lost
more than one-half of its viewers. The 13-episode show bottomed out in its
12th week with a 0.65 rating before finishing up with a 0.93.

Nip/Tuck, about the personal and professional lives of a pair of plastic
surgeons in Miami, garnered a 3.0 household rating and 3.3 million viewers from
10 p.m.-11 p.m. July 29, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

That’s down from the 3.2 household rating and 3.8 million viewers who tuned
in the 90-minute series pilot the week before.

The second episode improved in the key adult 18-49 demo, drawing 2.1 million
of those viewers, 5% more than it did during its debut.

Nip/Tuck's performance must also be gauged in the context of its squaring
off against other strong cable reality fare during the hour, which featured MTV:
Music Television’s Real World XIII and The Osbournes and Bravo's
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the latter of which pulled record ratings
for the NBC-owned network.

Given the competition, the demo amelioration, the 3.1 household average and
almost 3.6 million viewers on average, an FX spokesman said, the network is
certainly pleased with Nip/Tuck’s beginnings.

The question now is whether Nip/Tuck’s audience will drop in the weeks
or ahead or flatten at those high levels for basic cable.

Another struggling FX series, The Orlando Jones Show, is showing
improvement after a shaky start.

The late-night comedy/variety series is averaging a 0.25 rating, but FX
executives said it is beginning to gain momentum, particularly among adults

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.