Surface Could Get Full-Season Pickup


A ratings revival for a much-hyped new NBC drama could ensure its survival, at least this season.

While the industry’s attention Monday nights has been primarily focused on CBS’ comedies, NBC’s rookie Surface--its entry in this season’s sci-fi derby--has resurfaced in the ratings the past two weeks, leading some to suspect that it could be headed for a full-season pickup soon.

The scripted replacement for longtime 8 p.m. occupant Fear Factor (waiting on the bench for midseason duty) debuted Mondays with a promising 3.8 rating in adults 18-49, before falling in week two to a 2.9—spurring some to start looking for a return to people eating bugs and other disgusting things in the hour.

But the next two airings of Surface have produced 3.0 and 3.4 ratings, respectively.

In NBC’s current last-place state, any sign of ratings improvement is going to get noticed. The network initially provided Surface, from NBC Universal Television Studios, a 13-episode commitment.

If NBC does give Surface a full-season order, it would take one troubled hour out of the mix.

The network still has 8-10 p.m. Wednesdays—with E-Ring and the Martha Stewart version of The Apprentice—and 10 p.m. Fridays (where the cancelled Inconceivable couldn’t conceive ratings) to worry about, however.

NBC also has the midseason dramas Windfall and Book of Daniel waiting in the wings. One or both could be on the air before the big promotional platform of the Winter Olympics begins, that would be anywhere from November to January.