‘Supernatural’ Season 4 Experiences a Ratings Surge

Now that the fall TV season is in full swing, it’s starting to look like the writers’ strike caused a lot more damage to television than we originally thought. Many sophomore shows have plummeted in the ratings compared to last year, including Pushing Daisies, Life, Dirty Sexy Money, Private Practice, Chuck, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Even Heroes, an already established hit, is down about 32 percent compared to last year, leaving many experts claiming that we’re in for some sort of television apocalypse.

As sad as it is to see so many great shows struggling for viewers, it’s not doom and gloom everywhere on the tube. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Supernatural has experienced more ratings growth among the 18-49 demographic this season than any other show on television. It’s up 42 percent from its season 3 numbers, beating out second place gainer Criminal Minds by an impressive eight percent.

Supernatural season 4 kicked off with an impressive 3.96 million viewers, though the first episode was up against limited competition. The second episode, which had to compete with the premieres of Survivor, The Office and Grey’s Anatomy, fell to 3.2 million, while the latest installment, which landed on the night of the vice presidential debates when many shows were delayed, surged to 3.5 million. To put things in perspective, the highest rated episode of season 3, “Bedtime Stories,” was seen by 3.24 million people. The ratings average for season 2 was a mere 2.91 million, while this year it currently stands at 3.55 million.

I wish I could point to something to explain why Supernatural is experiencing a ratings surge, but I have no idea why more people are tuning in now versus last year. I personally know of three people who just started watching the show this season, and after seeing the quality of the first few episodes they’ve become quite addicted. Maybe all the buzz from the fan base is finally starting to pay off, or maybe the new twists and turns in the mythology have pulled some people in.

As much as I hate to rain on the parade of Supernatural fans everywhere, chances are the season 4 average will take a bit of a hit once the show goes up against heavy competition. Thanks to some crafty scheduling, the series has only had to square off with the likes of Grey’s Anatomy and The Office once in its first three weeks, but that’s going to change beginning this Thursday. 30 Rock will also be premiering against it in the next few weeks, though that’s hardly a ratings juggernaut.

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