Traveler on Death Watch
Traveler on Death Watch
Despite a catchy serialized scenario and ABC's best marketing efforts, it appears the delayed mid season effort "Traveler" is entering its death throes.  The series, which got luke warm reviews from critics but slightly warmer buzz from fans, continued its rating decline this week posting a 6 in the Wednesday 10pm est slot, roughly half of the numbers LOST brought to the hour.

Traveler lost approximately five percent of its audience since last week, which is usually the type of variance that marks a trend, not a fluke.  

The problem for many followers of the show is the fact that Traveler did not keep the pace that was established at the end of its premiere episode.  The quoting of Jack Kerouac seemed to foreshadow a road show of vagabond sleuthing and close calls with Johnny law.  Instead we get sympathetic insiders and the sense of a third wall of conspiracy far sooner than we expected, while our leads hang low like startled squirrels.

Even with those faults in mind, it is not as if Traveler is entirely bad, it just happens to be occupying a time-slot of great expectations.   With its young cast and heightened serialized plot, the show may have fared quite well in teen dominated time slots.  The initial promise of a bizarre and twisted conspiracy played out with 'fugitive' like pacing ("It wasn't us, it was the one armed Will Traveler") seemed like a concept that would register well with LOST refugees looking for something to fill the void.

At this point, continuing to run Traveler seems more like an exercise in cutting losses than it does giving the show a chance to develop a keen audience.  No doubt, much of the decline in viewers is a reaction to negative press concerning the shows ratings.  Who wants to get hooked on a show they know will end, leaving them in frustration.

- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image © 2007 ABC)