It shouldn't be too much of a surprise, but just in case you're one of those fans that don't believe something until it's official -- then well, it's official: "Once Upon a Time" will be back for a second season.
ABC officially renewed the show Thursday along with a dozen other non-genre shows. making it clear that we'll get to see fantasy at least for a little while longer on the Disney channel.
"Once" is actually ABC's highest-rated new show, and is No. 6 on the network's schedule with a 5.8 rating/9 share, according to Fast National average overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co. It's the top-rated genre program, and is ranked No. 6 among new shows overall behind four CBS shows -- "Person of Interest," "Unforgettable," "2 Broke Girls" and "Rob," and Fox's "The X-Factor."
"Once" premiered quite strongly for ABC in October, capturing a 7.4 household rating, and then holding on to that audience pretty well through its first four episodes.
However, by Thanksgiving, the numbers started to slip a little, and by March it was staying consistent with 5.0 household ratings. The show has picked up in recent episodes, however, as it comes roaring in to a first-season finish. It has averaged a 5.3/8 the last three weeks, keeping pace with "The Amazing Race" on CBS and actually beating out NBC's hottest scripted show, "Harry's Law."
It will finish the season as ABC's best Sunday show, well ahead of the departing "Desperate Housewives" as well as "GCB," which has an unknown fate so far.
"Once" lives just outside television's top 30 with only ABC's "Body of Proof" and CBS' "Undercover Boss" in the way. And it's had to do it despite a weak 7 p.m. lead-in from "America's Funniest Home Videos," which is averaging just a 3.8/6 this year, a 6 percent drop from last year.
The news doesn't look good for ABC's other genre show this year, "The River." It was not a part of the early renewal list, and is averaging a 3.3/5. That was good for No. 28 (out of 30 shows) on ABC's schedule, and No. 76 overall. It also has an Audience Loyalty Index rating of 64.0, meaning of all the people who have tuned in to see one episode of "The River," only 64 percent return each week to see more.
For a complete look at the other shows renewed by ABC, check out our story at Inside Blip by clicking here.
"Once Upon a Time" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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