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Defiance Premieres Strong for Syfy Channel

Tuesday - April 16, 2013
Category: RATINGS | Tags: ,

Syfy Channel’s long-awaited “trans-media event” made a big splash with its 2-hour series premiere yesterday. Defiance brought the cable network its biggest premiere since 2009, and the biggest audience in a couple of key demographics since 2006.

The premiere drew 2.7 million total viewers, according to a Syfy press release.  That’s the network’s biggest audience since the July 2009 premiere of Warehouse 13 (3.5 million).

In the key demographic of Adults 18 to 49, the 1.3 million viewers for Defiance is Syfy’s best scripted series premiere since Eureka bowed in 2006.  The demo of Adults 18 to 35 (479,000 viewers) was also the best since Eureka.

The 2-hour premiere averaged a 2.0 household rating, with more viewers still to be counted when the DVR-delayed numbers come in a few weeks down the road.

It’s also the first premiere of an original Syfy Channel scripted drama series since 2011’s Being Human — itself a remake of the U.K. series.  Other recent newcomers to the network, including Lost Girl and Continuum, were acquired by Syfy from other countries.  The network has focused almost exclusively on reality series in recent years, but earlier this month announced an ambitious new development slate for scripted series (story).

Defiance isn’t just Syfy’s first new original scripted drama in years — it’s also the network’s first return to what many viewers will regard as a more “pure science fiction,” contrasted with the “real life with a fantastic twist” type of shows that have flourished on the network, including Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Haven.

Defiance (Stahma)Defiance tells the story of a dramatically altered Earth after ships filled with various alien species fleeing from an intergalactic war crash onto the surface.  It stars Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Stephanie Leonidas, Graham Greene and Mia Kirshner.

Trion Worlds’ accompanying Defiance video game, meanwhile, debuted at the beginning of April with a mix of praise and server difficulties.  Syfy reports that players have logged more than 6 million hours of play since the April 2 opening.  The two projects will work together, with story elements and the occasional character crossing back and forth between the game’s San Francisco setting and the TV series’ St. Louis setting.

It its 2-hour premiere block the new show faced off against FOX’s The Following (6.41 million viewers), CBS sitcoms 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly (7.48 and 7.65 million, respectively), Hawaii Five-o (7.65 million), and the ABC powerhouse of Dancing with the Stars (hour two of a 13.41 million viewer average) and Castle (10.41 million).

NBC aired the second hour of The Voice (averaging 14.29 million over its 8-10 p.m. time slot), and then pre-empted genre show Revolution with news special Terror in Boston.

Next week, Defiance will square off against the music, dancing, and comedy shows in the 9 p.m. block, as well as scripted competition from The Following.  The show is also bowing around the world, premiering April 15 and 16 in a whopping 55 countries, including the U.K., Canada, Germany, and France.

Defiance continues next Monday at 9/8c on Syfy.  Season One includes a total of 12 episodes.  On April 29, the series will get a lead-out companion when Warehouse 13 returns with new episodes.

Keep up with the new show over on our sister site, SciFi Stream!

Darren created GateWorld in 1999, and today is the owner and managing editor. He lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three children.

COMMENTS (16):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • Defiance was okay, and I’ll keep watching. I hope O’Bannon can bring this show to life like he did for Farscape.
    As an aside, can anyone explain to me the attraction of Dancing with the (has beens) Stars?

  • I think dancing has the same attraction as a car wreck. You can’t look away.

  • I never rate a show until I have seen at least 4 full episodes. But, from what I DID see, WELL DONE SYFY – Welcome back after we lost sci fi and all of the wonderful shows they produced. It’s about time you got back to the sci fi genre!!! You lost your way for a couple of years. Jolly good to see you come back with this promising show. NOW, Don’t let us down, OK? We’ve been waiting patiently for you to clear your addled heads and get back into TRUE sci fi! Also, BIG BOO TO YOU FOR CANCELLING EUREKA!!!! You best have a phenomenal show after my first 4 shows – you owe us!!!!!

  • I watched the first episode. Not really sure what I think yet. It was ok. Not great. Defiance had a two hour premier and still not sure. I’ve been hooked on a show after seeing only the first 1 hour episode(SG-1, Atlantis, Sanctuary, Touch, Fringe, Terra Nova, and more) . I’ll give it a few more episodes and see how it goes.

  • I thought the show was alright but some of the acting wasn’t very good.

  • Good actors, good premise. I am not totally hooked yet, but intrigued enough to stay with it. Hopefully the writing will make the most out of the possibilities.

  • I enjoyed it. Story was decent, acting was good. There was some really bad CG though. I seen better CG in shows from 10+ years ago.

    I have high hopes for this show.

  • Am I the only one out there who was a bit bored by the show? I found myself waiting for something to happen. As I see it, it’s a sort of mash-up of Terra Nova & Firefly (without the humour), with a little Mad Max thrown in. I’ll watch a few more to see if they grab me, but I don’t know. The “crash test dummy” aliens were interesting though…

  • I found the pilot disappointing. Too many of the story elements seemed to be copied directly from the pilot for Tera Nova.

    I also found the amount of advertising extremely irritating.

  • To be honest, I found the show quite interesting and it sure does potential whether it will be given the chance to develop into what will make it amazing. For me I found that the show has a lot of difference talents and different categories of acting styles which is a bonus. I am not going to mention to much about cgi effects as like all other starting shows they do lack funds until a few seasons in (If it gets this chance and hopefully Syfy have finally listened to there fans which of what are left) the CGI was enough to keep me interested. Just to put it all in a nut shell DEFIANCE was my cup of tea 7/10. We need a long promising show like SG was for once.

  • Watched it, loved it. And now addicted. Disappointed though that Jesse Rath (Alak) WONT BE IN THE NEXT EPISODES. Says IMDB anyway. Hello, he proposed at the end, so wedding? But Nicole Muñoz (Christie McCawley) is. Keep the hot guy! Nolan cant be the main star AND totally gorgeous! haha.

  • Its good old line but hope it can make it into season 2 we all know what has happened.

  • Show appears promising and I enjoy that syfy is going back to their roots again. My only concern with Defiance is that the acting seemed a bit forced which I can only assume came from the writing as it happened with almost every actor/actress, and it appeared they tried to cram a bit to many actual events into the pilot episode instead of actually introducing each of the characters a bit first. An example being the “romeo & juliet” teens who just fawn all over each other every scene, to the point where I thought they might just have sex in the final scene. Other than these critiques it all looks good with definite congrats going to the makeup/ stage sets/special effects group.

  • I don’t really know what I think about this show yet. I watched the premier and it was ok. I’ll have to watch a few more episodes before deciding for sure. I really hope they fill in the back story of how Earth got to where it is.

    It is a SyFy show so there is the concern it will be cancelled regardless of how good it is. Sanctuary and Eureka were both much better and they got cancelled. It makes me really happy that Continuum is not produced by SyFy so even if they stop showing it it could still keep going.

  • ‘Twas nice to see ol’ Scuffy Channel go back to its base roots– sci-fi.

    “Defiance” was a refreshing cleanse of my fanboy palate for that network’s programming fare during the past couple of years. “Defiance” may be a tad bit cliched, perhaps… but, I have to admit that all sci-fi of late has grown a bit cliched to me anyway. Still- after seeing the last two eps- it stands a good chance of keeping me hanging around for more.

  • Episodic with an intriguing ongoing mystery. It is keeping me on the hook for more.

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