It's the dawn of a new era as 1.3 million viewers caught the debut episode of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15, which kicked off its "live" season last Friday night (March 9, 2012) via the FX Channel.
Under the tutelage of bantamweight rivals and reality show coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, 32 lightweight fighters went to war for a spot in the TUF house in one-round elimination fights. The results produced 16 next-generation stars, as well as 0.95 household rating.
Those numbers failed to meet the 1.5 million established for the season 14 debut, according to Sherdog.com.
That doesn't necessarily mean the sky is falling, as the promotion (and network) will need time to find its groove as fans are not only growing accustomed to a new time, date and channel, but also a new format. Considering the massive overhaul for TUF 15 (and counter-programming efforts from Spike TV), 1.3 million viewers doesn't sound half bad.
Let's see what they get for episode two.