Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ‘Cosmos’ premiere ratings: 40M first week?

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Was “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” a red giant in the TV ratings or more of a white dwarf?

Well, that depends on whom you ask.

The science-minded people at Fox predict that Sunday’s premiere of “Family Guy” producer Seth MacFarlane’s reboot of the classic Carl Sagan docu-series — this time hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson — will be seen by more than 40 million total viewers this week, according to Nielsen numbers.

How did the network arrive at that figure? Nielsen estimates that a total of 8.5 million watched Sunday on a total of 10 Fox-owned networks, including Fox broadcast, National Geographic and FX. Throw in foreign territories and time-delayed viewing via DVR, and supposedly you’ll quintuple that figure by week’s end.

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That sounds a bit blinded by science, though. “Cosmos” failed to throw off much light on Fox Sunday, gathering fewer than 6 million total viewers despite heavy promotion. It was trounced by ABC’s premiere of “Resurrection,” a life-after-death drama that animated more than 13 million.

Fox points out that “Cosmos” aired against some heavy competition, which besides “Resurrection” included AMC’s zombie smash “The Walking Dead” (12.7 million) and HBO’s season finale of the critically acclaimed crime drama “True Detective” (3.5 million).

Which is all true enough, but then again there are people who do TV scheduling for a living and Fox knew what the whiteboard looked like when “Cosmos” was put there. But we still have 12 more episodes to see if “Cosmos” catches on.

What do you think of the show?


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