The Washington Post

Kiefer Sutherland returns to Fox, ‘Touch’ scores 12 million viewers

Martin (Kiefer Sutherland, R) tries to understand his son Jake (David Mazouz, L) in “Touch.” (Richard Foreman/Fox)

About 12 million people caught Fox’s preview Wednesday night of its new Kiefer Sutherland drama series — this time with him chewing the scenery appropriate to a father desperately trying to find a way to communicate with his non-verbal son who, turns out, is too busy calculating out all the numbers in the world in order to predict upcoming drama-worthy moments of heroism for Dad.

“Touch” retained about 62 percent of its “American Idol” leadin, which is the highest retention ever for a drama opening after “Idol.” Of course, “Idol” is not the ratings behemoth it used to be — just a singing competition that beat its combined four network competition by 7 percent (19.5 million viewers compared to everyone else’s combined 18.3 million).

Among 18-49 year old viewers, who are the currency of the television industry, “Idol” out-rated the combined four-other-broadcast-network average by 21 percent Wednesday night.

But, let’s get back to Kiefer being BACK!

The “Touch” preview was Fox’s highest rated drama series opening in three years. Here we feel compelled to note that the drama that opened so well three years ago was “Lie to Me,” and we all know how that show panned out.

But let’s not dwell on unpleasant memories — Kiefer’s BACK!

“Touch” is the season’s second highest rated drama series opening this season, behind only ABC’s fairytale drama “Once Upon a Time” among 18-49 year olds, who, we cannot say too often, are the currency of television industry. The rest of you — watch whatever you want — nobody cares. Except us! We think everyone should count because, gosh darn it, these are public airwaves Fox is using to bring us Kiefer’s latest hair-raising ordeal, and you over 49-year-olds are still pay taxes, right?

So, while yes, “Touch” is the season’s second highest rated drama, behind only ABC fairytales, among 18-49 year olds, in the most comprehensive age bracket — the one Nielsen calls Viewers 2+, and we call “everybody” — the preview of “Touch” is this TV season’s fourth biggest new-drama opening, behind CBS’s cop who forgets nothing series “Unforgettable,” CBS’s JJ Abrams drama “Person of Interest,” and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.”


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