American Odyssey: Second Episode Slip

The second episode of American Odyssey premiered on Sunday night to a bit of a smaller audience than last time.  The second episode brought in a .8 rating/2 share in 18-45 with 4.05 million total viewers according to Tv By the Numbers.  It came in second for its 10 o’clock time slot behind Revenge on ABC which earned a .9 rating in 18-49 but 3.84 million total viewers.  The time slot is very interesting because Battle Creek lost in 18-49 with a .7 rating, but won overall pulling in 6.48 million total viewers.  Revenge is the most popular for younger audiences, and Battle Creek is the most popular overall with older demographics, leaving American Odyssey in second overall, appealing to some people 18-49 but also a slightly older demographic.  American Odyssey’s lead-in A.D.: The Bible Continues brought in strong numbers with 7.75 million total viewers.  This could be helping keep some viewers for American Odyssey since the demographics may be similar.  According to Deadline, American Odyssey fell -27% from its first episode, which did not have the most successful turnout to begin with.  It is normal for numbers to fall a little bit from the pilot episode, but when the numbers start relatively low it is hard to come back from.  Deadline is already predicting the show to not be renewed, and possibly cancelled before all of the first season airs.  Tv By the Numbers is also predicting the show to be cancelled, but only time will tell.

Publicity wise, the Facebook page is doing another Twitter Q&A with one of the stars of the show, Jake Robinson, this Tuesday at 8:30 pm.  The Explore American Odyssey page has been updated to reflect material for each new episode. They have also been running promos on NBC, but there hasn’t been too much other publicity being pushed. I think the best way to sum up all of the reviews for the show so far is from Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus: “With a been-there-seen-that premise and multiple muddled plots, American Odyssey can’t escape the shadows of its superior predecessors in an age of solid spy/action television”.  The people who are already fans of the show are very engaged.

The writer/director of American Odyssey Peter Horton did an interview with the Hollywood Reporter about the show.  He said that he thought the show was better suited for a television network as opposed to cable because it’s a big enough show to handle a network, while it’s good enough quality to raise the bar for networks to compete with cable networks.  Horton also spoke about one of the show’s biggest challenges which is balancing the three separate main characters storylines.  He said that this season is mostly focused on Odelle and her journey home, but the focus will shift to the other two characters in the future.  You can find the full interview here.


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American Odyssey: The Pilot

American Odyssey debuted on Easter Sunday in the 10 o’clock slot on NBC.  TV By the Numbers reported that it received a 1.2 rating and a 4 share with 5.4 million total viewers in 18-49.  It beat Battle Creek on CBS in 18-49 ratings and share, but lost in total viewership.  Battle Creek received a .7 rating and 2 share, but had 5.6 million total viewers. A.D.: The Bible Continues was the lead in which brought in 9.5 million total viewers, so there was a significant drop-off between the two programs, but I attribute that to the biblical nature of A.D. on Easter Sunday.

The first episode has received mixed reviews so far, with slightly more positive feedback than negative.  American Odyssey has a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 59% on Metacritic– not overwhelmingly good, but not terrible for the first episode of a television series.  Critics are saying that there are too many storylines going on that are too contrived.  Another critique of the show is that there are a few lapses in logic and coincidences that held advance the storyline. Positive reviews of the show have complimented the complex storyline calling it clever and fresh.  It is difficult to make a conspiracy story with a unique story that also sticks as close as it can to reality, and it seems to me that American Odyssey is accomplishing that pretty successfully.


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American Odyssey: Before the Premiere

One Week Until the American Odyssey Premiere

Less than a week before the premiere of American Odyssey NBC has started an interesting advertising concept.  On Monday, Variety reported that NBC worked with Google Maps to create a companion online immersive experience for American Odyssey.  Fans can go online to the new “Explore American Odyssey” website to see a branded Google Map featuring different videos, photos, and blogs at the different locations within the show.  The concept is truly unique and smart, I have never seen anything like it before.  As episodes are released and the season continues, more information will be available at the key cities within the interactive map so fans can follow along with the show and immerse themselves within the mystery of the storyline.  The interactive exclusive content is available online at  Google did a great job with it and the production value is very high, it seems like an interesting way to engage viewers and help them get to know the characters, I know clicking around the map peaked my interest.

TV By the Numbers reported about another promotion the show is doing. NBC held screenings of American Odyssey on March 25 at 10 different locations across the country in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago.  At these screenings NBC honored female veterans and active servicewomen as “women warriors” since the main character of the show, Sargaent Odelle Ballard is in the military.  They are encouraging the use of the hashtag #WomenWarriors on social media for fans to tweet their support of females in the armed forces that they know.  In addition to those promotions, American Odyssey held a Twitter Q&A with one of the stars of the show Peter Facinelli who is known for his role in Nurse Jackie as well as in the Twilight series.  The Q&A generated a moderate amount of activity on their feed.

As far as advanced reviews go, Hank Stuever from the Washington Post said that the show built the necessary suspense it needs to succeed.  Metacritic only offers three reviews, but all three so far have been positive.

Things are looking up going into the premiere this Sunday, April 5 at 10PM on NBC.  The pilot will follow the premiere of the miniseries A.D. The Bible Continues in the 9 o’clock slot.  It is interesting for NBC to premiere a biblical themed show on Easter Sunday, maybe they are expecting that the encourage viewers to tune in and then stick around for American Odyssey.  The show will premiere against Battle Creek on CBS and special holiday programming, the Ten Commandments, on ABC.  Battle Creek has been doing pretty well with ratings, averaging about 6/ 6.5 million viewers every week in the 18-49 demographic.  We’ll see next week how the shows compete against each other!

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American Odyssey: The Beginning

NBC American Odyssey

On Sunday April 5, 2015 NBC will premiere its new intelligence drama series American Odyssey in the 10 pm slot.  American Odyssey is the story of female American Sargent Odelle Ballard (Anna Friel) fighting jihadists in North Africa and her struggle to return home to her family in America. Two other Americans, attorney Peter Decker (Peter Facinelli), and Harrison Walters (Jake Robinson) gets tangled up with the jihadists as well.


The full series, originally named Odyssey, was ordered originally at the NBC Upfronts in May along with Allegiance which has already been cancelled.  The show is a co-production between Universal Television, London based Red Arrow Entertainment and its US partners Fabrik Entertainment.  Red Arrow is part of the larger Red Arrow Entertainment group which is part of the German based ProSiebenSat.1 media group.  The series was created by Peter Horton, Adam Armus and Kay Foster who will serve as the shows executive producers.  Both Armus and Foster were previously executive producers on The Following and Heroes. The show was shot in Morocco and New York.


The main character is played by Anna Friel, a British actress best known for her role in the ABC television series Pushing Daisies.  The other two lead characters are played by Peter Facinelli and Jake Robinson.  Facinelli gained a large following after his role in the Twilight movies as the father vampire Carlisle.  Robinson has appeared in many episodes of the show The Carrie Diaries, the prequel to Sex in the City.  An interesting thing about the show is that it was shot in Morocco and some casting was done there as well.  Omar Ghazaoui who will play Aslam is a Moroccan teenager who was chosen during casting in Morocco.  This will be his first professional acting role.


American Odyssey will be up against Revenge on ABC and Battle Creek on CBS for the Sunday 10pm slot. Last week Revenge received a 1.1 rating/3 share with 4.42 million viewers total in 18-49 which is pretty standard for how it has been performing all season.  Dateline will be the lead-in for American Odyssey which has averaged around 5 million viewers in the past few weeks in 18-49 which is the highest that its been since January, according to TV By the Numbers.

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