FX Cancels ‘Damages;’ Small Chance of Rescue by DirecTV

Sam McPherson April 4, 2010 0

It’s sad that such a critically lauded television show can face death for something as silly as ratings. Such is the way of the world, though, and FX’s Damages is no exception. The third season of the network’s mystery has been receiving abysmal ratings. The show has been averaging under a million viewers per episode (yikes!) and in the key 18-49 demographic it’s only managed a .2. Yeah, that is as bad as you think it is. That’s why FX decided to pull the plug on their critically acclaimed series and not renew it for a fourth season. And who can blame them, right?

Of course, we could actually see a fourth season of Damages, but not on FX. In a recent trend of cancelled shows getting saved by other networks, satellite provider DirecTV is considering picking up the series, and co-producing with Sony. This is very similar to what happened to the football drama Friday Night Lights last year. Sure, it was a great show, but ratings couldn’t keep it up, so DirecTV swooped in and saved it.

Will this happen again? It doesn’t seem likely. Despite the critical weight of Damages, it still is much worse off than Friday Night Lights ever was. At its lowest, the FNL took in 3.46 million viewers and a 1.1 share in the 18-49 demo. That’s still much better off than Damages is, and it’s probably why Damages wouldn’t prove very profitable to DirecTV. Because, despite the critics, one universal truth remains: without even one million viewers, what does it matter? A good show that no one’s watching is still a good show, but you’ve gotta be realistic.

What do you think? Should DirecTV take the plunge and rescue the damaged Damages? Or should they allow the dying series to finish out its third season’s run and be finished?