The leaves are changing colors, the smell of pumpkin spice is everywhere, and DC’s superheroes are back on TV, starting with The Flash.
The CW’s top-rated series returned this week for its third-season debut, and the results were somewhat anemic.
The season premiere, entitled “Flashpoint”, scored only 3.17 million viewers according to Nielsen, making it the second-lowest rated episode in the show’s history. Only last season’s “Return Zoom” episode, which suffered from the three-week spring hiatus, scored lower, bringing in 3.03 million viewers.
Since its debut in 2014, The Flash has been a keystone show for the smallest of the big broadcast networks, and may finally be losing steam as it enters its third year. Most shows see a drop between seasons, but The Flash managed to suffer only an 8% drop in viewership between seasons 1 and 2. The 3.17 million number for the season 3 premiere marks a precipitous drop of over 10% from last season’s average. In comparison, the season 2 drop was only 6% from the previous year’s average.
The producers of the show will likely rely on upcoming crossover events to boost the show’s average ratings, as last year’s Legends of Tomorrow crossover saw the show climb to it’s highest ratings of the year before trickling off as the season wore on.
The Flash is by no means in trouble, as its numbers still put it well above those predecessor show Arrow has enjoyed for its last two seasons, but the drop-off may be indicative of the broader trend of audiences steering more towards streaming sources rather than watching shows live.
Episode 1: “Flashpoint” – 3.17 million
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW