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October 13, 2015

Burn Notice quietly catches fire in the ratings

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 28th 2009 9:29AM
USA Network's Burn Notice is quietly becoming one of the biggest hits on cable.Lost in all the news of the major networks' summer decline and the struggles of the pay channels and the ongoing soap operas of the endless reality shows is the news that Burn Notice is very quietly becoming a major ratings player on cable.

What originally looked like a silly, self-referential genre show tucked in after wrestling on the USA Network, Burn Notice is one of the biggest hits on cable. It doesn't get the critical love of Mad Men, but it has a lot of fans.

According to a USA press release, the show's August airings are burning down nine million viewers at a pop -- making it the period's most watch scripted episodic on cable.

It's now USA's most-watched original series ever with 9.1 million viewers during August episodes -- the first time a USA original series has broken the nine million viewers benchmark.

World Wrestling Entertainment's Monday Night RAW is still the network's most-watched show, but that's a two-hour live event -- a very different animals. Burn Notice is a scripted hour drama, and it's bringing in numbers that would rival the major networks hits and humble all of their flops.

It'll be interesting to see what USA does with its franchise here. It should work well in syndication. But could it make a modest jump to the big screen? A long shot maybe, but so was bringing in nine million viewers.

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Bottom line. USA has the best original programming on network and basic tier cable. In fact, I like a lot of their stuff better than pay cable.

Now, if only they could get the US Open back from ESPN...

September 06 2009 at 7:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show's first episode hooked me totally. It's the ONLY tv show I always watch, and it is, hands down, the BEST overall drama/comedy/cult story in twenty years. There is little on any network worth watching. This story has it all: intrigue, mystery, humor, terrific action, several layers of internal dialogue, ethical questionings, tremendous acting, super settings and cinematography and an old-fashioned Robin Hood style morality that demonstrates the shades of gray inherent in modern society. Sam is one helluva second-man character.

August 29 2009 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Burn Notice is the best show on TV today. What viewers love is not only the action and fun of the show, but the clever writing that leaves us laughing or can tug at our heart, but is not dumbed down. It is wonderful to have an intelligent script where the audience does not feel miserable after watching.

And the most important ingredient is the amazing cast.
I would watch classically trained Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, and Sharon Gless together in anything now. They are brilliant!

August 29 2009 at 7:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott R

All good points, but I'd also add the razor sharp wit, fun banter, and plausible dialogue and characters. It's a simple premise and story, but the details are the real winner.

August 28 2009 at 11:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This show should get more acclaim! It is so good! I'm glad it stayed on USA because I remember watching these commercials during re-runs of House and thinking "Not another cop/spy show..." People are really tuning in to this well made scripted show. It would be nice to have it run on syndication and maybe even like Dexter did a while back run in the summer/Saturdays. And a movie? If the script is good, yes.

August 28 2009 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

2010 "Burn Notice will do it again Love My show.

August 28 2009 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm glad the ratings are good, I love this show 2010 "Burn Notice hit it again. I'll be watching next mid season show USA best characters welcome.

August 28 2009 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben Clark

I just recently got into Burn Notice & I love it! Now I hear Michael Weston's voiceover in my head... for example, while reading this blog post. The second paragraph works really well as a Michael Weston VO.

August 28 2009 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After that last finale I've been rewatching all the old episodes of Burn Notice. It's just as awesome the second time around! I'm glad this show didn't get picked up by one of the "Big 4" networks, or else it probably would've been canceled, or at least not given the treatment it deserves, like another spy show I know of (*cough* Chuck *cough*).

August 28 2009 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Love, love, love the show. Definitely the most underrated show on television. Mad Men is my favorite current show, but Burn Notice is second. It's so consistently stellar.

August 28 2009 at 11:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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