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ABC’s Alex, Inc. aired episodes on back-to-back nights last week. The show’s usual Wednesday air date was preceded by an additional episode on Tuesday, April 17. Interestingly, the untraditional air date gave the show its highest ratings yet. That night, Alex, Inc. received a 1.3 rating and garnered 4.85 million total viewers. The next night, the show slipped to a 0.6 rating and 2.86 million viewers. It is notable that the show saw its best and worst night in terms of ratings in the span of two calendar days. Perhaps a rescheduling of the program’s air dates could result in higher ratings. Alex, Inc. is by no means doomed, though, as the future is still uncertain. The show sits at three cancellation bears from TV By The Numbers, meaning it is too early or unclear to make an assumption about its future. The show returns to its regularly scheduled air date this week.

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Now three weeks into Alex, Inc.’s run on ABC, the ratings for the premiere episode appear to be the show’s ceiling. On Wednesday, April 11th, the show’s third episode aired to a 0.9 rating and 3.56 million viewers. Comparatively, the program received the same 0.9 in the previous week but had a slightly more impressive 3.83 million total viewers. The pilot episode, though, which premiered to a 1.1 rating and 4.6 million viewers, seems to be the mark to which ABC wishes to return to. As I noted in a previous blog post, the ratings Alex, Inc. received for its pilot episode were similar to those of ABC’s Speechless, which was renewed. However, the last two weeks illustrate that the show cannot maintain those ratings, at least not without an improvement in the program’s overall quality. As of now, there is no definitive news regarding the future of Alex, Inc. on ABC.

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Alex, Inc.’s second week on air did not meet expectations. In fact, the show’s ratings fell far enough to start worrying about its future. The new episode slipped 18 percent from the pilot episode, resulting in a 0.9 rating and 3.83 total viewers. In my previous weekly blog, I noted that Alex, Inc.’s premiere ratings were not a bad sign, given that ABC’s Speechless was renewed and had similar numbers. However, this decline in ratings illustrates that, in all likelihood, Alex, Inc. will not meet Speechless’ numbers, a troubling sign for Zach Braff’s new show. Another troubling sign is that ABC’s The Goldbergs saw a 1.3 rating and 5.4 million viewers, yet once Alex, Inc. started, these viewers did not stay. This shows that there is little carryover between the two shows. Overall, Alex, Inc.’s second episode ratings allow for doubt to arise. Unless the show can find its stride in the next few weeks, there is little to suggest that it can be renewed.

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Last week, Alex, Inc. finally premiered on ABC to decent ratings. The show scored a 1.1 with the 18-49 demographic and 4.6 viewers overall. For perspective, this is about what ABC’s Speechless was advertising during its run in the same time slot. Good news for Ale,x Inc.: Speechless was renewed. However, the following weeks will have to experience the same consistency in order to guarantee additional seasons. The show also had to compete with strong shows on rival networks. New episodes of FOX’s Empire and CW’s Riverdale were among the competition. The former brought in a 2.0 rating with 6.14 viewers, and the latter scored a disappointing 0.3 rating and a total of slightly less than a million viewers. Though Alex, Inc. did lose to Empire, it performed moderately well against an established, popular program. Next week’s episode should give a broader perspective regarding the future of Zach Braff’s new network vehicle.

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Zach Braff is continuing his press tour for Alex, Inc., which premieres this Wednesday. As part of this promotion, Braff gave an extensive interview with The Hollywood Reporter that was published on Sunday, March 25th. In the interview, Braff asserts that his return to television was contingent on the right opportunity, and Alex, Inc. was the first idea to cross his path since Scrubs ended that thoroughly sparked his interest. The actor-director says that he “wasn’t even entertaining the idea” of returning to the small screen until this new project came to him. Braff also notes that he saw parallels between himself and Alex Schuman, his character in the show, and that is part of what drew him to the project.

Braff has been doing interviews for multiple news media organizations as part of this press tour, all leading up to Alex, Inc.’s premiere, which is just a short three days away.

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As Alex, Inc. moves to within weeks of its release date, the big names behind the project are in the midst of vital press tours. On March 15th, Zach Braff appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, another ABC property, to promote the new show. While most of the conversation focused on Braff sharing a humorous celebrity stories, as late night talk shows usually do, the pair did dedicate three minutes to Alex, Inc. promotion. Hillary Anne Matthews, who plays a secondary character on the program, is also on a press tour.

Next, a few initial reviews are in for Braff and ABC’s new show. For the most part, the program is receiving generally positive reviews. For example, FanFest News calls the show “adorably inspiring.” It will be interesting to see if these positive reviews along with the potential benefits of word-of-mouth boost the show to the top of Wednesday’s primetime ratings.

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During the 90th Academy Awards on ABC, two short promos for Alex, Inc. aired. Each had a running time of only fifteen seconds and featured Zach Braff as the prominent figure to compel audiences to tune in. There was also a focus on Braff’s return to television in each of the ads. Interestingly, one of the advertisements contained a reference to Scrubs, Braff’s previous ABC show that attracted a large audience for almost ten seasons. However, it is unclear if this choice to incorporate Scrubs with this new show resonated with fans, as twitter users like @memles said “We’re promoting Alex Inc. with Scrubs jokes? I mean, I’m not mad, but that’s a choice.” Overall, though, the choice to promote Alex, Inc. during the Oscars as a general advertising decision from ABC appears valuable, as the network gets to promote its own television program on a night that attracts millions of viewers.

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Earlier this week, ABC released a short promo for Alex, Inc. titled “Raising a Family.” Four days later, the video has slightly over 7,000 views on the verified TVPromos channel on YouTube. The montage shows Zach Braff’s character trying to balance family life with his new, unproven business initiative. Here, it appears that ABC is trying to market the show towards a familial audience, as it tries to relate to viewers who struggle with the challenges of raising children. Such a tactic may prove valuable, as the show can simultaneously market to families and those who are interested in technology. By having a show that simultaneously focuses on two distinct subjects, there is more flexibility to appeal to audiences with broad interests. If the program experiences success at ABC, it can partially be attributed to the fact that the show’s concept and marketing has engaged both podcast devotees and families.

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ABC’s Alex, Inc. has the opportunity to achieve initial success through simply its subject matter. Given the recent surge in the popularity of podcasts, there is opportunity for the program to capitalize on this trend. ABC is not the only company attempting to capitalize on the newfound podcast craze, though, as HBO, FOX, and others have television shows based on podcasts currently in development. Such action illustrates that a variety of networks recognize the potential for monetary success with shows focused on podcasts. While the majority of these in-development shows are adaptations of these podcasts, Alex, Inc. seems to be the only one that depicts the story behind the podcast, making the concept itself the focus of the narrative. It will be interesting to see whether this unique take on adapting a podcast translates well to network television and draws enough of an audience to make the show a success.

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Zach Braff, Alex, Inc.’s star, director, and producer has a large social media presence, most notably on Twitter. With 2.03 million Twitter followers, Braff is able to reach a large audience without any filter. He also has over a million Instagram followers and 1.6 million likes on his official Facebook page. Braff has used his significant social media following to promote his new show, from tweeting out cast photos to alerting audiences of trailer premiers. The actor/director also promotes the twitter account for the show itself (@AlexIncABC), yet the account only has slightly over 2,500 followers. This can easily be explained by the fact that the show has yet to air, but it is still notable that the account lacks ample followers. Given Braff’s large social media following and his tendency to reference the show’s twitter account in his tweets, though, it remains likely that the program’s social media accounts will gain followers as the premiere approaches.