How Did the Riggs-Less ‘Lethal Weapon’ Premiere Do in the Ratings?
Lethal Weapon made its big, game-changing return for Season 3 on Tuesday night.
Many fans thought the Fox cop drama wouldn’t be renewed after its co-lead, Clayne Crawford (Martin Riggs), was let go over complaints of bad behavior on set. The future of the series was solidified when Seann William Scott was announced as the new co-star alongside Damon Wayans (Roger Murtaugh). But many continued to wonder how the revamped show would fare with viewers.
In the premiere episode, we met Scott’s character, ex-CIA operative Wesley Cole. He becomes Murtaugh’s new partner after Riggs tragically dies in surgery following a gunshot wound to the chest.
Crawford’s exit was controversial, to say the least. Although he accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized to the cast and crew, he’s also maintained that the blame is not all on him, pointing to issues with producers, the studio, and Wayans that weren’t addressed.
After the premiere aired, some fans weren’t happy with the way the character was written off the show, and spoke out on Twitter. One major complaint was that Riggs didn’t appear, even briefly, to say a few final words. But did this fan frustration reflect in the ratings?
The series was down 32 percent in the key 18-49 demo and down 21 percent in total viewers from the Season 2 premiere (.8 in the 18-49 demo, and 3.45 million viewers), Neilsen reports.
It should be noted that Tuesday is a tough night: This Is Us reigns on NBC with 2.9 in the 18-49 demo and 10.40 million viewers. The night also brought the series premiere of Dick Wolf’s new procedural drama, F.B.I., which aired on CBS. It benefited from an NCIS lead-in, and debuted with a solid 1.3 in the 18-49 demo and 10.08 million viewers.
However, this is only the first week. Will Lethal Weapon rebound as viewers get to know the new Cole-Murtaugh dynamic? Time will tell!
Lethal Weapon, Tuesdays, 9/8c, Fox