Four episodes into its first-season run, TNT's Raising the Bar last week was tossed out of the nest, flung into the thick of broadcast's premiere week without the benefit of its gangbusters lead-in. In the absence of a new installment of TNT hit cop drama The Closer, and shouldering the additional burden of going against season openers of broadcast performers CSI: Miami, Boston Legal and Heroes, Raising the Bar did not take wing, averaging just 2.26 million viewers on Sept. 22.
Since bowing to a record 7.74 million viewers on Sept. 1, the Steven Bochco strip has lost nearly 71 percent of its audience, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Bar also weathered a 44 percent week-to-week drop in its core demos, averaging 958,000 adults 25-54 and 766,000 adults 18-49.
Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin said the ratings skid didn't come as a surprise, given the circumstances. "Going against broadcast isn't something we wanted to do, but we were forced into it by the writers strike," Koonin said. "We knew that we were going to take a tumble, but the alternatives were not attractive."