The debut episode of the much-hyped The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 on April 5 fell flat among viewers at home, drawing an overall rating of 1.4, according to MMAWeekly.com.
It is the lowest rating for a premier episode since the first season of TUF, which also registered a 1.4 rating.
However, as article author Ivan Trembow points out, there's no need to hit the panic button ... yet.
Here's a snip:
"The pertinent question now is whether or not TUF 5's ratings will decrease as the season progresses, as was the case with TUF 4. It would still be a successful show if it can draw a 1.4 overall rating every week. However, if the ratings were to decrease over the course of the season to the extent that TUF 4's ratings decreased, the show would fall well below the series' ratings expectations and it would be an alarming sign."
Other programs on major networks such as "Shark," "October Road," "Andy Barker, P.I." and "My Name is Earl" all faired better in the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. time slot.
This news comes as a bit of a shock, considering all the expectations and praise heaped on this season before it even began. It'll be interesting to see if the recipe for this season — 16 apparently off-the-wall lightweights — can get the series back on track after the TUF 4 debacle.
Time will tell.
For a Jesse Holland recap of episode 1 click here. We'll be back this Friday -- and every Friday -- morning with a full write up of each episode.