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The Beginning Of The End For ‘Heroes’

One-time NBC signature show scores worst ratings ever

Not even a new season can solve the audience woes of “Heroes.”

The fourth season two-hour premiere of the NBC genre show averaged a 3.7 rating/6 share, according to Fast National ratings from The Nielsen Co., chalking up its lowest mark, well, ever. In fact, a new episode of “Heroes” have never reached the 3.4/5 the show scored in its second hour Monday, and its 3.9/6 was the lowest since earning the same rating on its penultimate third season episode April 20.

The premiere was down 7.5 percent from its third season finale April 27 and 39 percent off its third season premiere that aired Sept. 22, 2008, when it picked up a 6.1/9.

Monday’s audience was more than 23 percent off its third season average, which in of itself, was by far “Heroes” worst performing seasons.

The numbers didn’t help as a lead-in to “The Jay Leno Show,” which posted its lowest numbers yet, a 3.8/6, according to Zap2it.

“Heroes” was beat by handedly by “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC, “House” on Fox, and the CBS comedy block that included the season premiere of “How I Met Your Mother” and the series premiere of “Accidentally On Purpose.” In the second hour, “Heroes” once again was no match for “Dancing” or “House,” but also lost to the second hour of comedy on CBS that included “Two and a Half Men” and “Big Bang Theory.”

The second hour of “Heroes” lost 500,000 viewers while “Dancing” grew by 200,000 and “House” jumped by 1.4 million.

That landed NBC deep in last place for the night, picking up where it left off last season, with a 3.7/6, not even close to the 9.5/14 picked up by Fox and the 9.5/15 by ABC. CBS was third with a 7.5/12, while The CW managed only a 1.6/2.

There were a lot of questions surrounding whether or not audiences would come back to see how “Heroes” was “better than ever,” but it seems the naysayers have won. And unless “Heroes” fails to find its audience soon, Sylar, Parkman and the Petrellis may have to look for superhero work elsewhere.

Fast Nationals usually provide a snapshot of what Americans are watching by pulling numbers from the top urban markets that includes both live viewing and same-day timeshifted viewing. A rating point generally represents more than 1.1 million households while the share indicates the percentage of televisions turned on that was tuned to the specific program. These numbers typically shift when final ratings are issued.

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