Counterpart: Season two ratings are down. Is it time to worry?


There’s no new episode of Counterpart this week. Last week’s episode, Shadow Puppets, was one of the best of the series. But with season two ratings unable to even match last season, is it time to worry about the future of the show?

Counterpart premiered in early December of 2017. Its second episode didn’t air till the end of January 2018. That’s a risky proposition for a brand new show that involves interdimensional espionage. But it paid off. According to TV Series Finale, Counterpart’s second episode actually saw a 37.50% rise in its demographic and added over 28% more viewers.

Overall, season one of Counterpart did not set records. Per Showbuzz Daily, it at least managed to stay in the neighborhood of cable television’s top 100 shows of Sunday night. TV Series Finale reported that it averaged 371,000 viewers and a 0.09 share of the coveted 18-49 demographic. With a couple of exceptions, viewership remained steady and even increased throughout the season. That is a solid performance.

Season two could not hold on to those numbers. The season premiere aired a little over eight months after the finale. In this day and age, that’s a pretty quick turn around for cable television. Yet, fewer than 250,000 viewers tuned-in to see the aftermath of Indigo’s attack on Dimension One.

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The first three episodes of season two were in a ratings free fall. Viewership fell to a series low. Episode four, “Point of Departure”, saw a much-needed uptick. It wasn’t big. Also, the audience did start to get a little more information about the characters. Plus, there was a build up to a gunfight in the next episode. Sure enough, the stellar “Shadow Puppets” episode saw healthy, yet modest, gains in viewers. But now that the show took a week off, will it be able to maintain those gains?

I hope so. I am really into this show. But, if we’re being real with each other, TV Series Finale has season two of Counterpart averaging 207,000 viewers (down 44%) and a 0.03 share of the 18-49 demo (down 64%). This is not good. We are at the halfway point of the season. These are not the rock bottom numbers of another vastly underappreciated STARZ show, Ash vs Evil Dead. But it might be headed toward a similar fate. Ever the optimist, that would mean we at least get a season three of Counterpart. But that’s not a given.

Counterpart stars J.K. Simmons, Olivia Williams, Harry Lloyd, Betty Gabriel, Nicholas Pinnock, Sara Serraiocco, and Nazanin Boniadi among others in a truly special ensemble cast. And it even has James Cromwell as a guest star this season. This is science fiction at its best. It’s also just a great show, regardless of the genre.

In the mid-1980s, a crossing to an identical copy of our world opened up under Berlin. The two dimensions offer humanity the chance to observe itself without bias. But, human nature kicks in and a cold war breaks out between the dimensions. Please, check this show out before its too late!

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Counterpart does not dumb things down, but it somehow manages to make the interdimensional nature of the show completely accessible. Another dimension appearing out of seemingly thin air is unnerving. And that’s how the characters act. The show is not glossy or slam bam. Counterpart is realistic and grounded in humanity. If you want a show that subverts expectations the right way and surprises you with how good it keeps getting, tune in next Sunday. 9 ET/ 8 CT on STARZ.

Are you watching Counterpart? How do you feel about the second season? Let’s discuss in the comments!