So How’s That Summer Show Actually Doing?

A look at the potential staying power of four new cable series

Networks like nothing better than a big premiere. It gives you bragging rights for a whole day's news cycle if you have big enough numbers and can spin them convincingly. Here's the thing, though: By themselves, premiere ratings mean less than nothing in the life of a show. They mean the program's marketing was successful and that a large number of viewers were enticed to check it out, but there's no actual evidence that anyone actually likes the show until the following week. Here's a look at four high-profile series starts that have logged at least three episodes—enough to give us a better idea of how well they'll do into the future.