Moving from NBC to ESPN cost The Contender more than 5.5 million viewers. Last week’s debut was watched by 1.03 million people, compared to the 6.7 million that watched the first episode on NBC last spring.
While some of that change could be blamed by the show’s move to cable, which has traditionally drawn fewer viewers than network TV, that excuse doesn’t work this time.
On the same night, ABC’s debut of The One, the US version of Fame Academy, was pounded into the ground by SciFi’s new show Eureka. Despite the drama’s poor execution of an intriguing concept, Eureka “bested the new ABC reality series … by 32%,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.