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Milleniums Last Days

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I was thinking about this today while reading come critiques on Season Three. Could the MM series been saved if Season 2 was more like Season 3?

Could MM actualy been saved if some things where tweaked? i remember reading that MM actually did well in its time slot on Fri. Chris Carter knew season 2 was losing viewership even though it was critically acclaimed. I remember reading somewhere of someone talking about this show could of lasted at least 5 seasons if it was handled right. Does anyone remember MM last days on network TV?

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Guest Copper1234

If Memory serves right it unfortantly didnt go out with a bang..I do rember the hype of Columbine around the time and the focus on it but viewership lost alot of steam in the 3rd season goes without saying...

I do remeber just about every season was acclaimed..and highly regarded by crtitics...

but the gore of the show was too much for the masses..it might have done much better on a premiumium channel like HBO or Showtime...but Fox was tweaking too much..it lost its flavor with too man cooks..

again in my humble opion..


"So lonely you can die iis not merely a phrase:

Jose Chung

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Guest zombieromero

It was true that each season of Millennium achieved critical acclaim, the reviewers loved the show. I think I read somewhere that at its highest peak; Millennium beat The X-Files in the number of viewers watching!


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Guest Copper1234

Would love to see the stats for the seasons .and compare x files 4-6 and millennium..IM sure its somewhere..now I have to do some sleauthing..

..great there goes my slack time.


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"There is a terrible urge to kill, murder, and destroy in people. Unless there is a complete

metamorphosis in people, everything that has been built up will be destroyed." --Anne Frank

As everyone and their Mother knows, well at least 'us' at TIWWA, "Millennium" aired from October 1996 to its eventual demise in May of 1999. Chris Carter was under heavy pressure by Fox to make another prime time series and Millennium blasted off to some of the highest ratings for a television show ever. However, the subject matter within each episode seemed to scare off the average viewer and, over time, the show ran into ratings problems on it's Friday night time slot. Part of the problem was, it is said in retrospect, the 'hype' - billboards, busses and buildings were all adorned with the 'wait - worry - who cares?' mantra, Fox simulcast a big screen opening of the premiere episode over the Internet, hosted a party in Scotland for the theatre release of Millennium: The Pilot and made record sales of an unseen project to the UK and Spanish Pay TV.

To everyone's surprise both FOX and NBC had both independently developed programs that, on the face of it, were virtually identical and with the introduction of NBC's Profiler it was inevitable that people would ask "who copied who?" For those who are wondering what Profiler was, i.e. anyone not in the US I would imagine, the premise revolved around forensic psychologist Sam Waters who had a unique ability to read the criminal psyche but was being stalked by the serial killer 'Jack of all Trades' who had killed her husband......sound familiar? On this and other enigmas Ginia Bellafante wrote, "Yet as over the top as Millennium can get, the show does succeed at creating a marvelously unrelenting sense of unease. Black is a former FBI agent who now works for a quasi-governmental law-enforcement organization known as the Millennium group. He has amassed enemies over his long career, and every time the camera turns to one of his co-workers or a friendly new neighbor attempting a chat, there is the sense that his haven could crack like a Pottery Barn picture frame. Profiler tries hard to create a similar aura of ceaseless tension, but it doesn't pull it off. The show is too pat and tidy to make you check under the sofa during the commercial breaks."

For those interested in Millennium vs. Profiler the following links makes interesting reading. As a Limey I can't possibly comment on Profiler as it was, as far as I am aware, never to make it to these shores.

Millennium vs. Profiler

Millennium vs. Profiler II

Though there was, initially, very little difference between Profiler and Millennium in the ratings for their pilot episodes, a graph depicting the ratings for MM's first twelve episodes does reveal it to be slightly below Profiler in popularity but still riding head and shoulders above the X-Files.


This is all the more suprising considering the ominous prediction that Millennium would be a one-season-wonder as one reviewer proclaimed after it's preview screening...

"Millennium - FOX, Friday, 9 p.m: A former FBI agent with the ability to get inside the minds of violent criminals aids a super secret organization, known as The Millennium Group, in fighting crime. This anticipated new show from the mind of The X-Files creator Chris Carter promises to be dark and disturbing.

Prediction: Undoubtedly, Millennium will have a following, especially fueled by its time slot (as The X-Files moves to Sundays). The big question remains whether such a dark show can grab the crossover mainstream audience that The X-Files and Star Trek have managed to capture. However, FOX will probably give this one some time if there are any ratings there at all, hoping the audience will grow to X-File proportions. Best guess: It won't, but it will probably make it through the year."

As Millennium settled into its run things looked decidedly more rosey. It was now head and shoulders above the Profiler but unfortunately, for those who had hoped it would emulate the success of it's sister show 'X-Files', this chart illustrates that X-Files was riding high at number 23. In the rankings below, for the week of Dec. 2-8, the program is followed by its network, rating and share. A rating point represents 1 percent of the nation's 97 million TV households. The share is the percentage tuned to a program of all households watching TV at the time. Repeated rankings indicate a tie.

23. ``The X-Files'' (Fox) 10.6/16

62. ``Millennium'' (Fox) 7.5/13

80. ``Profiler'' (NBC) 5.9/11

© 1996, New York Daily News. Distributed by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

Unfortunately, don't you just hate that word, things did not continue so auspiciously. Millennium dropped out of the top 100 for the first time a few episodes later landing in 110th place on the chart which may have been due to a broadcast of Dallas: J.R. Returns, taking on Millennium that week, which drew a 7.8 rating in the 18+ category, a 9.1 in 25-54, heads and tails above ratings for regular Friday night offerings.

In September of 1997, upon the advent of Season Two, Kathie Huddleston, Craig E. Engler and Tamara I. Hladik wrote the following with regards to forthcoming "Speculative fiction" shows. Sci-Fi to the rest of us I guess.


Fox, Fridays 9 p.m.

Premiering Sept. 19

While Millennium's first season was intense, unpleasant and dark, Executive Producer James Wong promises to lighten things up just a bit. Hard to imagine considering Frank (Lance Henriksen) and Catherine (Megan Gallagher) will split, and their daughter will begin to show signs that she may have Frank's vision. Allan Zinyk (Roedecker) joins the cast as a member of the Millennium Group. Charles Nelson Reilly makes an appearance as Jose Chung, a character originated on The X-Files.

Prediction: Millennium's ratings didn't stun anyone last year. However, they weren't bad for such a dark show about nasty things. Creator Chris Carter has begun to mold the complicated kind of world for Millennium that has worked so well for The X-Files. While it's unlikely Millennium will ever reach the success of The X-Files, it should have another successful year."

It would appear that Huddlestone et. al. were correct in their prophecy as by November Millennium's Second Season had begun to increase it's ratings. Both Millennium and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine made substantial inroads in the Sci-Fi Wire top 20 list of speculative fiction TV shows for the period between Nov. 10-16, climbing an impressive 0.6 and 0.4 in the Nielsen ratings respectively to finish fifth and sixth for the week, up from seventh and ninth the week before



1 Fox The X-Files 13.0

2 NBC 3rd Rock from the Sun 9.1

3 CBS Early Edition 8.8

4 NBC The Pretender 7.2

5 Fox Millennium 6.7

6 Paramount/Premier Star Trek: DS9 6.4

7 Universal TV Xena 6.2

8 NBC The Profiler 6.0

9 Universal TV Hercules 5.9

10 FOX The Visitor 5.5

11 UPN Star Trek: Voyager 5.2

12 Warner Buffy 3.7

13 UPN The Sentinel 3.6

14 Tribune Earth: Final Conflict 3.5

15 Buena Vista TV Honey, I Shrunk the Kids 3.2

16 Tribune Nightman 3.1

17 MGM The Outer Limits 3.0

18 Universal TV Team Knight Rider 2.6

19 MGM Poltergeist: The Legacy 2.4

20 Rysher Highlander 2.3

Source: Nielsen Galaxy 11/10-11/16, 1997. Nielsen data subject to qualifications to be supplied upon request.

Whatever gains Season Two made upon the ratings decline at the end of Season One things were, as we all know and lament, about to become less pleasing. Early indications for Season Three showed ratings on a continual downward trend until it garnered a 5.1 rating which marked an all time low and rumours began to surface that the new FOX President had asked for Millennium to be axed. On the 6th of May the penny dropped as Millennium was pulled off the air by FOX with no official word on whether or not the series had been cancelled (from Cinescape) and many believed that 'Harsh Realm' may have given Fox executives the reason they needed to sound the death knell. The Millennial Comet noted at the time that

"There are also rumours that Lance Henriksen is tiring of the show - and with good reason, really. I bet he makes much more money in the low-budget films he's been doomed to since the 80's...Hopes for a terrific final episode are also very low, too, given the fan griping over their "Innocents"/"Exegesis" two-parter. Personally, I hope the last few episodes of the series jump ahead in time to the year 2000... but I doubt it. That's an idea far too revolutionary to occur to Mr. Johannessen and Ken Horton. I don't like to smash peoples hopes, but thoughts of a TV-movie and another network picking up the show are very unlikely. 1013 Productions are unofficially bored with the show too, and would rather put it out of its misery before starting "Harsh Realm". A relatively small company like 1013 won't be able to run three primetime shows together - even Star Trek can't handle that!" There's no need, I guess, to dwell on what comes next suffice to say it came.

I wholeheartedly agree with Ravenwolf that we represent the special few and I have never cared much, in fact at all, for the wranglings of 'who was responsible' for the end of Millennium but whilst I was looking back through magazines and such to write this it was so terribly sad to see the optimism of 'The Pilot Episode' become the onslaught, from fans, to the opening episodes of Season Three. There can not be a soul out there, though I know there are, who doesn't conclude that axing Millennium was the single greatest travesty ever committed by a Television Network. Kill shows by all means but leave 'art' alone.

But we love it don't we...

Sorry to go on and on but I guess you're all used to it by now.


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