Compared with the recording juggling act I achieved last week in order to view all four Tuesday-at-9 shows I wanted to catch, yesterday was a piece of cake. It helped that I was at home, House is on an American Idol-enforced break, and The Unit has dropped off my radar, so I could easily watch Scrubs on the Eastern feed and Sons & Daughters on the West Coast feed.
The Unit is doing extremely well without me as a viewer, down only slightly from its debut last week despite being head-to-head with the bloated American Idol. As I guessed, it’s not my kind of show, with a military theme, action-oriented plots, and testosterone-fuelled characters I can’t respond to. Worse, all the female characters make me want to smother them with pillows to put them out of my misery, and surprisingly, there’s no redeeming MametSpeak.
But Sons & Daughters … now here’s a show I could love. Except my inevitable heartbreak is foretold in the ratings, as it plunged 30% from its not-hugely-successful debut last week, for a total of 5.4 million viewers. Though I realize it’s taking the place of the troubled Commander in Chief, I find it hard to believe that ABC has no more supportive timeslot for this on their schedule than dead against another quirky comedy — Scrubs, which didn’t do much better in the ratings — in one of the most competitive timeslots of the week.
Despite the Arrested Development comparisons, I think Sons & Daughters has the potential for more widespread appeal, with likeable characters in a relatably dysfunctional family. But that won’t matter if it never gets in front of people. Co-creator Fred Goss has a blog on ABC, where he unfortunately sounds defensive and defeated.
I might whine about having too many shows to watch at the same time, but I hate it when cancellations make my viewing decisions easier. I hope this one finds an appreciative audience.