V overtakes FlashForward as number one debut

Remake edges stiff competition to become highest rated pilot in 2009/10 season.

monica_baccarin_tv_image_abc_V_01V, the remake of the Eighties miniseries and television show, has overtaken FlashForward as the season’s highest rated premiere, with massive numbers from preliminary ratings in the United States.

The show garnered 13.9 million viewers, with another few million likely to be added once DVR figures are released. To put it in perspective, FlashForward scored 12.4 million in its overnight ratings, with another couple of million added from recorded viewing. Unless the numbers change dramatically once final ratings results are in, this also makes V the most-watched debut on Tuesdays at 8pm since Lost, another ABC show.

The network has certainly put in the effort for marketing the show. Recently, skywriters traced large red Vs over many US landmarks (except for those in Washington), and advertising was prevalent on popular internet sites on the day of release, including on the New York Times website. Critical reception of the pilot has also been favourable, if hesitant, as we reported yesterday.

ABC were originally planning to air four episodes of V before retiring it until after their coverage of the Winter Olympics, in a bizarre scheduling move. If the show manages to maintain these numbers, however, it’s likely that the network will attempt to keep the momentum and air the remaining instalments far sooner than initially planned.