Starting this Thursday, ABC will air two episodes of The Quest every Thursday, concluding the series on Sept. 11–though some markets won’t see the show until later, because it’ll be pre-empted by pre-season NFL games.
The series has lost viewers every week, dropping from a low debut of 2.8 million people and a 0.7 rating in 18-49 on July 31; on Aug. 22, it had 1.91 million viewers and a .5 rating and was fourth in its timeslot, behind repeats of The Big Bang Theory, Hollywood Game Night, and Bones. These are abysmally low ratings, and the football preemptions will likely further screw the show.
While ABC is burning off the remaining six episodes, that was inevitable with the show’s late-summer start, and I actually think airing back-to-back episodes isn’t the worst thing to happen to The Quest. With the episodic cliffhangers, it’s better to just keep watching than wait a week, and that’s certainly true for the remaining episodes, which increase in their intensity.
I actually wish ABC had aired the first three episodes all together, perhaps in one evening, or possibly just by putting them all online after or even before the first broadcast, to generate interest and conversation. Then again, I also wish ABC hadn’t sent such a high-quality show out in the woods with no food.