The Leftovers is a Fantastic Show that Nobody Watches


The Leftovers is critically acclaimed, but why is nobody watching?

The second season of The Leftovers is set to bow this upcoming Sunday. By all accounts this season has been a major improvement on season two and is now considered must-see Sunday night television, but that hasn’t translated into viewers. This could be part of the reason that HBO has not talked to the production team about a third season just yet.

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If you’re currently watching The Leftovers, you know how good it is right now. Writer and Executive Producer Damon Lindelof has been given a huge, multi-part interview to Variety. It’s obvious that The Leftovers is doing very well critically, but a close look at the ratings paint a bleak picture.

The show experienced a small spike last Sunday according to Showbuzz Daily, but it still came in at 20, far below a juggernaut like The Walking Dead. It’s common for a series, especially a drama, to experience a small bump for the penultimate episode of a season. That’s exactly what happened to The Leftovers last week, but it wasn’t enough to do much damage.

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Part of the reason that The Leftovers is having trouble could stem from the first season. The ratings for the first season were higher overall, but it rated worse critically. Viewers could have checked out during the first season and didn’t feel like giving the show a second chance.

There is also the content to consider. The Leftovers is an especially dark show and doesn’t classify as an easy watch. A rapture-esque event could also ruffle some feathers and make for some uncomfortable subject matter. The Leftovers is currently HBO’s black sheep drama, and even though HBO doesn’t thrive on ratings like broadcast networks, it still won’t support an ailing show indefinitely.

Next: HBO will air a documentary on Robert Mapplethorpe.

It would be a shame if The Leftovers got canceled due to poor ratings, but it also wouldn’t be all that surprising. As it stands right now, the best thing the show can do is to keep getting critical accolades. Eventually, maybe, that may entice more people to give it a try.