It's still the opening of the fall TV season, but I've already decided to jettison one show off my TiVo, and I have a dilemma with regard to another show.
First, the jettisoning. . . . I watched the second episode of Fox's "Sleepy Hollow" and I'm abandoning the show. To be sure, it wasn't a trainwreck or anything, but it was enough for me to get the strong sense that it's not a show for me. The pilot episode set up potentially interesting possibilities; the second episode really gave an "X-Files" rip-off feel, which in theory wouldn't be so bad, but it felt like a rip-off of the too frequently recycled not-so-good episodes. I don't want to sit through 20 episodes of some supernatural phenomenon arising in modern day Sleepy Hollow, which only Ichabod Crane understands dating back to his original time.
If there were fewer TV programs to watch, I might have given "Sleepy Hollow" a longer leash, but I only have so much time for TV watching, and the competition is stiff! (And it's not just competition from current shows, but also TV on DVD -- most notably "MI-5" as well as Amazon Prime TV.)
Okay, the dilemma concerns CBS's "Hostages," about which I was quite excited. Unfortunately, Nielsen viewers were much less excited than I was, with "Hostages" receiving a 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic. (For those of you who aren't TV ratings wonks, for the major networks on nights other than Fridays, 2.0 is kind of the minimally acceptable, with 3.0 being good, and 4.0 being really good.) It came in third in its timeslot behind ABC's "Castle" (2.2 rating) and NBC's "The Blacklist" (3.8) -- the last was no doubt helped by its lead-in, "The Voice" (4.9).
My dilemma is whether to invest time now in "Hostages," or to wait to see if it's going to get a quick yank from the network. If I were a Nielsen viewer, this would be a really bad pickle, because by waiting to watch, I'd be undercutting the show's chance of surviving; but it would be in my personal interest to let episodes accumulate on my TiVo until the show's fate is clear.
With episodic shows, it matters less if they get yanked. With serialized shows (such as "Hostages"), it's really aggravating if the show gets pulled in the middle with no resolution. . . .