ABC Family’s ‘The Fosters’ Surges in Second Week; Did Controversy Help?

The Fosters Noah Centineo
Courtesy of ABC Family

Jennifer Lopez-produced drama about a foster family was targeted by anti-gay group

ABC Family drama “The Fosters” — assailed by One Million Moms for “pushing an agenda that homosexuality is acceptable”— saw a surge in viewership on Monday for its second episode.

The conservative group, a spinoff of the American Family Association, didn’t take too well to the new drama, which is exec produced by Jennifer Lopez’s production company and stars Teri Polo and Sherri Saum as an interracial married lesbian couple raising a mix of biological, adopted and foster children.

Even before the show was officially picked up to series last summer, OMM started a campaign to stop the show from airing; and in a statement on its website last week following the “Fosters” premiere, it urged members to write to specific advertisers of the first episode. But if it did anything, the controversy may have brought more attention to the drama.

“The Fosters,” which received generally positive reviews from critics, was cable’s No. 2 scripted program in the 9 o’clock hour among females 12-34 — increasing 20% from its premiere to  798,000 viewers in the demo, according to Nielsen. It was also up 20% in total viewers (1.70 million vs. 1.42 million).

It meshed well with its lead-in, the season premiere of “Switched at Birth” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.66m), with “The Fosters” matching or building on “Switched” in the net’s target demos.

One Million Moms initiated a protest of the Ryan Murphy comedy “The New Normal” for NBC before it was in production last year. Last December, it objected to JC Penney’s use of Ellen DeGeneres as spokesperson in a Christmas-themed commercial.

Elsewhere Monday, the only scripted series to top “The Fosters” in females 12-34 on Monday at 9 was VH1’s “Raise the Floor” (1.0/3, 1.98m), which drew about 894,000 in the category and continues to be a good sked partner for the net’s unscripted series “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” at 10 (1.0/3 in 18-49, 1.65m).

Another young-skewing scripted show shining on Monday is MTV’s “Teen Wolf” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.11m), which was in line with its record-setting season premiere of the previous week. It led all of television for the 10 p.m. hour Monday in persons 12-34 (1.7 rating or about 1.55 million viewers in the demo).

At TNT, the season premiere of “Major Crimes” was solid (0.9/2, 5.02m), on par with its first-season finale last October. The series launched to more than 7 million viewers last August when it premiered after the series finale of “The Closer.”

“Major Crimes” was followed by the series premiere of “King & Maxwell” (0.7/2, 3.52m), which held about 70% of its lead-in. It certainly was a step up from TNT’s most recent Monday drama premiere, February’s “Monday Mornings” (0.3 in 18-49, 1.34m).

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  1. eprobono says:

    I’ve watched the first five episodes of “The Fosters” and am surprised at how good this show is. Yes, the plot and acting have some weak spots, but those are more than offset by the depth and tone of the show’s messages and themes.

    Kudos to everyone who bring this show to the small screen.

  2. brian groves says:

    I think this is one of the best shows i have ever seen me and my wife look forward to the show every week keep making great shows and dont listen to any bad comments

  3. tracy says:

    I wish the show would go.off the air. I have lost all respect for Jho . This should not.be targeted to children. Its one thing if this were not called family tv and just on tv. Then I would have less of a problem.
    Jho is rumoured to have engaged in lesbian behavior herself. But why do kids have to see this. For straight kids seeing two people of the same sex is extremely gross and unnerving. No one wants to see this.

    • Stephanie Littlefield says:

      I find it odd that you want a show off the air for same sex being “gross” yet you call Jennifer Lopez “Jho”. My advice is if you want something off the air, come up with an intelligent debate rather than name calling. No one is going to take your point serious if you sound immature and idiotic.

    • Caroline Ibarra says:

      People like you are precisely the reason we need more shows like this. This is targeted at families because it is a FAMILY orientated show! What don’t you understand about two parents, regardless of their gender, raising a family? I dare you to open your heart, put aside whatever misconceptions, beliefs and hate you might have about gays and lesbian and actually watch the show. It is about family; a different family than yours but it is still a family. Tell me how different would this show be if the parents were heterosexual? Truth is it wouldn’t; a family is still a family, gay or straight. People like you are so willing to pass judgement, to act as if anything that is different from what you have in your life or what you believe is wrong. How dare you? Stop spreading your hate and fear please!

  4. lynn says:

    This is the best show I have seen in a long time. The acting and directing is wonderful. Bravo to the cast and Bravo to
    ABC Family. Now we need to spead the word and keep this show on television.

  5. Foster Watcher says:

    I think The Fosters is a great show especially when compared to The Secret Life. The fact that One Million Moms targeted it simply because of it’s gay characters is wrong. I have no respect for a group that has no tolerance for any gay friendly show, be it good or bad.

  6. Antonia says:

    I love that you’re highlight The Foster’s, it’s a great show. However, you need to do some fact checking on the Vh1 shows you mentioned. It’s “Hit the Floor” not “Raise the Floor” and Love and Hip Hop Atlanta airs at 8pm on Mondays. The 10pm showing you mentioned is a rerun of the earlier episode.

  7. One Million Moms — or 57,000 Facebook “Likes” as it’s known in the real world — is really sending a sad message to their kids. I sincerely hope none of their children are gay or lesbian.

    I am rarely a fan of network television, but THE FOSTERS is a solid family drama with a lot of heart. The show, cast of characters and the settings have texture and believability; and there are some authentically unattractive things that happen to the members of this family that shape them. Good and bad decisions are made by the players, and I’m really enjoying the multi-ethnic cast. This is not a clean-scrubbed view of family and society.

    Bravo for ABC Family for having the grit to take on the false hysteria of the religious right.

  8. Lynettephoto says:

    THE FOSTERS IS AWESOME! My new favorite show for sure :)

  9. Ash says:

    I agree with all the other reviews it’s an excellent show who cares about 1,000,000 moms I love the diversity and I’m so glad it’s doing so well in the ratings and I absolutely agree it is 2013 come on people we’re not living in the dark ages. And I love that cast its a good mix I hope Jesus tells Mariana about the pills.like all the other reviews you don’t like it don’t watch nobody’s forcing you. ABC Family has a real hit on their hands.

  10. neitherday says:

    “One Million Moms” is nothing more than an online astroturfing project of the American Family Association, which itself has nowhere near 1 million members.

  11. Lisa says:

    This show is excellent – for all ages. It focuses on an issue which hasn’t been done before: foster families. The fact that the parents are bi-racial and lesbian is a bonus. Very well done. So pleased that the ratings jumped up for the second episode. If the “controversy” helped, that is even better. This is America in 2013. If you don’t like it, don’t watch.

  12. jackie souza says:

    i totally love this show. i think its time for people to become more comfortable with same sex marriage. i think its ridiculous that OMM tried to stop it from airing. its not hurting them, so they should really shut their mouths. at least this show is being honest. its the year 2013 people, get with the program. if you cant accept it for yourself, then just sit in a corner and be quiet. i absolutely love the mix of kids in that house. i hope brandon and callie get together <3

  13. chaospheonix says:

    They are not raising three bio kids. Brandon is the only biological kid, Jesus and Mariana are adopted, and Callie and Jude are temp fosters.

    Glad that it is up in viewers, the show is awesome.

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