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Jane By Design


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#1

blugirlami21

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 4:25 AM

I couldn't find a thread for this anywhere. It premiered January 4th on ABC Family.

Jane By Design is a light-hearted drama about Jane, a teenager who lands a job at Donovan Decker, a hip fashion house, when they mistake her for an adult. Jane soon finds herself juggling life both as a regular high school student and as an assistant to a high powered executive in the cutthroat world of fashion... all while trying to keep her true identity a secret.

Jane By Design stars Erica Dasher (The Lake) as Jane Quimby; Nick Roux (Lemonade Mouth) as Billy Nutter, Rowly Dennis (Desperate Housewives) as Jeremy Jones, India de Beaufort (One Tree Hill) as India Jourdain, Meagan Tandy (10 Things I Hate About You) as Lulu Pope, Matthew Atkinson (CSI) as Nick Fadden. And featuring Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) who stars as Gray Chandler Murray - Jane's steely boss whose constant demands keep her on her toes.

The series will be executive produced by Gavin Polone (Gilmore Girls), John Ziffren (Melissa & Joey) and April Blair (Lemonade Mouth).


I really liked it. All the characters, the best friend, the brother, the co-workers, and Jane herself of course. I like that it's a boy and girl being best friends and there doesn't seem to be any romantic undertones going on. I did question his secret relationship with the uber popular girl who treats his bff like crap but time will tell with that one. I do find it hard to believe that she is unpopular in school considering her looks and fashion sense but I'll let that one slide as well. I thought the relationship between Jane and her brother was cute. I think Andie Macdowell does a great job at the over the top boss, Grey.

The paperwork for the job is kind of a head scratcher though. Can't they tell how old you are from your social? Unless I'm thinking about it too hard, but these days a background check is sort of the norm. This show reminds me a lot of Tru Jackson VP, kind of what it could have been without the slapstick humor and a more mature network.

#2

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 6:05 AM

I could only see bits and pieces of it--I was switching between this and the far more ridiculous Iowa Caucuses--but what I saw I enjoyed. While I can't buy the premise at all, it does what it aspires to be--The Devil Wears Prada via The Disney Channel--quite well. I can't guarantee that I'll stick around, but I'd definitively watch if I happen to catch it.

#3

Anjelgal

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 6:42 AM

Not a bad little show, if you ignore the extremely implausible premise. I was charmed by most of the cast, and like the BFFs - they kind of nailed the boy-girl friendship thing with the mostly platonic vibe but a little side of casual, jokey flirtation. It reminded me a lot of my relationship with my best guy friend, so props there. Wonder how long it will be before they throw in a romantic angle there - I'll be pleasantly surprised if they don't, of course, but I think the actors' chemistry might ease the blow if they do.

I have to say, I was definitely expecting more wacky hi-jinks in the work scenes and I'm glad they went a bit more toned down with that aspect instead of Hannah Montana-ing it up. I'd rather see interpersonal conflicts and the identity angst of juggling a double life than zany, slapstick antics.

And... we all think Andie McDowell is going to turn out to be the long lost mom, right? I mean, that was telegraphed pretty clearly with the casting alone, yeah? My guess is the old 'Woman had to abandon her kids to have the career and life she wanted, blah blah, couldn't hack suburban wifery, yadda yadda, Feminine Mystique, whatever.' Looking forward to that drama.

So, yeah, I'll stick around for awhile - I don't know if it's a keeper, but I'll give it a chance.

Edited by Anjelgal, Jan 4, 2012 @ 6:45 AM.


#4

Peterased

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 11:03 AM

I'll be pleasantly surprised if they don't, of course, but I think the actors' chemistry might ease the blow if they do.

If they go there, I hope it's not for quite a while; she currently has one potential love interest at work and another at school, and surely that's enough for now.

I do find it hard to believe that she is unpopular in school considering her looks and fashion sense but I'll let that one slide as well.

I am happy the show's finally arrived, both because I wanted to see it and because I am extremely tired of the ads referring to Erica Dasher as a "plain Jane" when she's clearly not that. "It was the first time I didn't feel invisible" made me laugh.

#5

jessied112

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 11:10 AM

There was a lot going on in the pilot and they introduced quite a few characters. It's definitely a show that has the potential, as all the actors seem capable but will the premise be enough for more than one season? I did like certain aspects, like the secret romance between Lulu and Billy and I did like how Jane and her brother live on their own with struggles (but I gurantee either their mom appears in the finale or Gray IS their mother! Haha, soap operaness!) and I also enjoyed the friendship between Jane and Billy (but still expect them to at least 'explore a romantic relationship' sometime during the show's run).

There were a few things that bugged me, though. I didn't really like the two potential love interests. I mean, designer guy is probably a good six years older than her and school guy...well, I don't actually remember him very well, never mind his name, so I'm not very happy with that. What is with ABC Family and having a significant age difference for couples, BTW? First Chloe and Borian from Nine Lives and now Designer Guy and Jane.

But it's a good show so far. The only character that ticks me off is India and that's because I'm so sick of the typical bitchy designers/models and I know it causes for good drama, but come on! I also would like to see more Gray and I sense a romance between Jane's brother and the guidance counsellor. Other than that, I think I'll tune in again next week.

#6

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 11:35 AM

I've only seem the promos but it seems to me the lead should be in junior high, not in a high powered position. That is enough for me to avoid the show.

#7

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 12:51 PM

I liked the show. It was cute and funny, a perfect compliment for switched at birth.

I hope they don't go there with the statutory rape crush. I hope she pushes him away because she knows that the relationship is wrong because of the age difference (perhaps making it a running joke) instead of going there with the inappropriate relationship.

#8

WileyCoyote

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 1:09 PM

Its pretty absurd. First the part-time job with the IDEAL hours for her. The bad HR department who didn't check her social security record (its not like a fake driver's license can be enough). The fact that NOBODY at that place thinks she looks too young (per wikipedia the actress is a college graduate but note they cast her for how YOUNG she looks, so logically she should also look young to the people in the show world).

I hope they don't go there with the statutory rape crush. I hope she pushes him away because she knows that the relationship is wrong because of the age difference (perhaps making it a running joke) instead of going there with the inappropriate relationship.

The older guy/teenager thing seems like an obsession with ABC Family. Is there a single show they have where this DOESN'T happen? At the very least PLL and MIOBI and that Nine Lives show, and now this one.

I am extremely tired of the ads referring to Erica Dasher as a "plain Jane" when she's clearly not that.

That's almost the most ridiculous part of all. She's got to be the best dressed girl at that school, and she's a looker they didn't even BOTHER to disguise for the pilot as an ugly duckling (so she's not even "TV ugly", where they put a beautiful girl in bad clothes and a pair of glasses). The basis for her outcast status seems pretty thin. If it was just being poor, the show did a bad job of posing it that way.

Edited by WileyCoyote, Jan 4, 2012 @ 1:15 PM.


#9

ElleTell00

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 4:43 PM

I liked it, but there were some things that bugged (other than the actual premise).

What I found strange is that Jane had no problem flirting with an older more experience grown man, but had trouble flirting with a high school boy.

And why would she go into a practical strangers closet and try on her clothes? These things always annoy me, but just because you have the keys to someones house does not give you the right to rummage through their stuff and drive their very expensive car. I know it's part of the story so popular boy could see her get out of the car and be oh so intrigued, but I found it disrespectful to her boss (oh and illegal).

That's almost the most ridiculous part of all. She's got to be the best dressed girl at that school, and she's a looker they didn't even BOTHER to disguise for the pilot as an ugly duckling (so she's not even "TV ugly", where they put a beautiful girl in bad clothes and a pair of glasses). The basis for her outcast status seems pretty thin. If it was just being poor, the show did a bad job of posing it that way.


I could buy it. All it takes is one person not to like you (like that Lulu girl), and you're out. I was always somewhere in the middle during my high school experience but I knew one girl who was beautiful, smart, athletic, ect and everyday her mom would pick her up for lunch because of this one group of girls.

Edited by ElleTell00, Jan 4, 2012 @ 4:44 PM.


#10

meatball77

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 5:32 PM

The older guy/teenager thing seems like an obsession with ABC Family. Is there a single show they have where this DOESN'T happen? At the very least PLL and MIOBI and that Nine Lives show, and now this one.


It's not just ABC Family. It's almost every single show on TV that features teenagers. Hard to make it clear to kids that adults that want to date teenagers are screwed up when it's all over the media they watch as normal and romantic.

#11

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 6:12 PM

I'll stick around because I like the actors playing Jane, the best friend and the brother. Everyone else shows potential and the writing isn't too cringe-worthy. I do wish the pilot was executed better though. They fit soo much in but at the same time not enough. How does that work?

Anyway, of all the things that bugged me about the pilot the Billy and Lulu relationship was most puzzling. I'd like to know what he sees in a girl who tortures his best friend besides the obvious. And I agree with everyone when it comes to older fashion designer guy. Please do not go there. I get enough of that nonsense on Pretty Little Liars.

#12

jmarrise

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 10:53 PM

I found it mildly interesting and I'll tune in again. It is incredibly implausible, but so are half the shows I watch. The statutory rape crush, however, creeped me out a bit.

I'm not a fan of the once cool/loser older brother though. I feel like he is a bad version of David Arquette's character from Never Been Kissed.

#13

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Posted Jan 4, 2012 @ 11:15 PM

I'm not a fan of the once cool/loser older brother though. I feel like he is a bad version of David Arquette's character from Never Been Kissed.


I liked him up until the point where he reacted to his teen name calling with "I could do better than that." He then blew it off to being a teen, but to me, he should have been more ashamed and less, hey, boys will be boys.

#14

WileyCoyote

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Posted Jan 5, 2012 @ 7:38 AM

I gurantee either their mom appears in the finale or Gray IS their mother! Haha, soap operaness!

Yes, it was IMMEDIATELY suspicious to me, from moment #1, that they cast two actresses who well... look so alike. And Jane just HAPPENS to be missing a mother since infancy.

I mean come on... http://blog.zap2it.c...e-by-design.jpg

Of course they'd have to get over the considerable obstruction of neither of them recognizing the other. Presumably even if "mom" left when Jane was an infant, she left photos behind and they knew her name. And under normal circumstances, Jane's last name wouldn't have changed, since she got that from you know... her father.

To me the obvious wank would be Witness Protection. Mom & Dad are both put into it but are on the verge of Divorce. Mom opts for no visitation for whatever Soap Opera reasons they can come up with, so of course both names change and neither knows the other's new names (and Jane being that young of course wouldn't even remember they'd ever had another). The big issue with this wank is that no real witness protection program would have let them wind up in the same city (unless one of them left the program but kept the changed name).

Oh all right. This is all far-fetched and its likely a coincidence that the two actresses look so alike. But this IS ABC Family. They do crap like this. If it happens though, obviously its a Season ender type thing. But maybe even Season 2. Season 1's obvious ender is Jane's deception being uncovered (followed by some machination where Gray winds up admiring her gumption and hires her back as an intern).

Edited by WileyCoyote, Jan 5, 2012 @ 7:44 AM.


#15

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Posted Jan 5, 2012 @ 10:22 AM

I accepted the weirdly implausible premise but I WAS struck by the fact her interview never included questions like
"Where did you go to school?" and "What have you done so far that'd make you a good fit for the position?"
I mean, who hires ANYONE without asking them at least one question?
I know this isn't supposed to be realistic but they really need to be relatively convincing within their own world.

Other than that I can suspend disbelief to accept a high school internship that is paid (originally that's part of her reason to accept, even if we're made to understand it's considerably less than the $34,000), an executive assistant position that's part time (I can rationalize this by thinking that Gray"s abroad so she only needs her assistant when it's daytime in both timezones), a sophomore taking a class titled "AP world literature", jane being the butt of jokes for her sense of style, a teenager driving a sports car at reckless speed and not getting stopped, etc. :)
But they need to establish the high school identity and the professional identity pronto.

The fact that head designer thinks Jane is cute is ok since he thinks she's 22 but let them NOT go anywhere near a "triangle" that involves him. Yeah, the hint they might "go there" screamed staturoy rape to me. In order to be head designer, even in a make-believe world, he'd have to be at least in his late 20s if not in his early thirties. (I could see him as 32, twice Jane's age, in fact...) I WOULD like it, though, if Jane kept turning him down for reasons he can't fathom (but she does, i.e., she's nowhere as mature as he thinks she is) and that he finds vexing because until Jane every woman fell for him. It could be a running joke.

I enjoyed it okay but I really disliked the hiring process; they really should have made it a little bit more convincing.
Of course, we could learn later on that Gray knew all along who Jane is (i.e., her daughter) and that's why she hired her, to get to know her better etc.

Edited by Myos, Jan 5, 2012 @ 10:23 AM.


#16

jessied112

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Posted Jan 5, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

I just rewatched the scene where Gray meets Jane for the first time and something she said just made me even more sure that Gray could be Jane's mother. Gray says that she likes Jane's belt and Jane replies with 'Oh thanks, I made it. My dad always said I got it from my mom because she used to make all of her own clothes'. Well, so does Gray.

And it would be pretty obvious if Gray was Jane's mom and it would kind of fit really well. Jane is about sixteen by now, right? Gray looks like she's in her late forties, early fifties and Jane's brother (Ben? I'm not actually sure of his name) is at least twenty years old, twenty three at the most. Gray could have left Jane and Ben because she wanted to start her career and maybe she thought that having children and a husband would hold her down. And come on, all those mentions of Jane's mom; there must have been at least five different references. If that doesn't scream plot device, I don't know what does.

#17

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Posted Jan 5, 2012 @ 11:44 AM

I am wondering if Grey will turn out not to be Jane's mother, but her aunt. That would make more sense to me. And it seems plausible that if her mother left her as an infant, her father might never have even told her about this aunt or she was estranged from Jane's mom. I just can't imagine that the mom would choose to leave and hole up in a city that is apparently not very far at all from her former family, even if she's traveling all the time.

I also wondered if Grey kept tabs on the kids for whatever reason (Missed her sister, was doing it for her sister) and knew who Jane was. That's why she hired her on site with no interview and why she is relatively forgiving of Jane's mistakes - she wants to get to know her and keep her around.

I also hope they have no love triangle with older guy. I wonder if Jane's so confident because she knows she will never date him due to her age. High school guy makes nervous because he is a real possibility.

Regarding Jane being a loser - I can buy it. Possibly something deeply embarrassing happened years past. Kids hold a grudge and sometimes everyone brands you an ugly dork and they never notice when you get pretty. Also if you cross the wrong person, you're out.

#18

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Posted Jan 5, 2012 @ 11:51 AM

Maybe Gray didn't live in the city the whole time. Maybe she lived elsewhere before moving back to further her business. Besides, it seems like she travels often so there's less chance of getting caught. But even then, wouldn't the father recognize Gray eventually? And if he did, why wouldn't he tell his children who their mother was? Unless he did know and has left a soap opera note to tell the children who their mother is, which Jane will find by the season's end.

So, of course going on the hypothesis that Gray is in fact Jane and Ben's mother, does she know who Jane is or is she completely clueless?

#19

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Posted Jan 5, 2012 @ 1:09 PM

I like the Gray being Jane's aunt or related to her in some way theory. If this turns out to be the case I can let the crappy interview process slide but only if Gray knew who Jane was all along. However I don't think she will turn out to be their mother. I'm assuming they know what their mother looks like via pictures. She left when Jane was a baby but Ben probably remembers what she looked like depending on how old he is...

#20

jessied112

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Posted Jan 5, 2012 @ 1:16 PM

However I don't think she will turn out to be their mother. I'm assuming they know what their mother looks like via pictures. She left when Jane was a baby but Ben probably remembers what she looked like depending on how old he is...


I think it could go either way. Honestly, I keep leaning toward Gray being their mother but I wouldn't mind if it wasn't the case. But if she was, Ben probably would be old enough to remember her. However, he hasn't met Gray yet and who knows when they will eventually cross paths, especially with Jane lying about her internship. But we'll probably get confirmation when Ben and Gray finally meet. Unless the writers become stupid and have Ben not recognize Gray.

#21

WileyCoyote

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Posted Jan 5, 2012 @ 3:37 PM

I just rewatched the scene where Gray meets Jane for the first time and something she said just made me even more sure that Gray could be Jane's mother. Gray says that she likes Jane's belt and Jane replies with 'Oh thanks, I made it. My dad always said I got it from my mom because she used to make all of her own clothes'. Well, so does Gray.

And it would be pretty obvious if Gray was Jane's mom and it would kind of fit really well. Jane is about sixteen by now, right? Gray looks like she's in her late forties, early fifties and Jane's brother (Ben? I'm not actually sure of his name) is at least twenty years old, twenty three at the most. Gray could have left Jane and Ben because she wanted to start her career and maybe she thought that having children and a husband would hold her down. And come on, all those mentions of Jane's mom; there must have been at least five different references. If that doesn't scream plot device, I don't know what does.

Honestly, as dumb and contrived as things will have to be for this plot to work out, the more I think about it, the more I know they couldn't POSSIBLY have cast two actresses who look MORE alike, but the right number of years apart. Andie M's height in the only major discrepancy, and its certainly far from uncommon for something like that to be uninherited (the Dad being super-short would be weird next to Andie, but it could also be a recessive thing).

However, he hasn't met Gray yet and who knows when they will eventually cross paths, especially with Jane lying about her internship. But we'll probably get confirmation when Ben and Gray finally meet. Unless the writers become stupid and have Ben not recognize Gray.

So maybe the reveal of Jane's internship deception and the mother reveal won't be separate but together, with the brother being the lynchpin unlocking both.

I'm assuming they know what their mother looks like via pictures. She left when Jane was a baby but Ben probably remembers what she looked like depending on how old he is..

Well this is one of the easier wanks. Ben hasn't SEEN Gray (and as I said before, presumably names have changed if they go with something like a Witness Protection explanation). And Jane may never have seen photos of Mom if the parting was... bad. I could easily see a scenario with the Dad tossing out all of the old photos (especially if the family was relocated by Witness Protection and instructed to throw away all old documents and photos relating to their old life).

#22

jessied112

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Posted Jan 5, 2012 @ 5:24 PM

So maybe the reveal of Jane's internship deception and the mother reveal won't be separate but together, with the brother being the lynchpin unlocking both.


I would actually give the show MAJOR props if they went down this route, as it would be interesting for Ben, a secondary major character, to discover this important secret before Jane.

#23

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Posted Jan 5, 2012 @ 9:56 PM

I would actually give the show MAJOR props if they went down this route, as it would be interesting for Ben, a secondary major character, to discover this important secret before Jane.


That'd be interesting but only time will tell when Jane's two worlds will collide. I wonder if it is something they will drag out or if he will find out the truth about her "internship" within the course of these 10 episodes. I look forward to Gray and Ben crossing paths. Now that the idea's been put in my head I'll be surprised if Gray isn't somehow related to them.

#24

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Posted Jan 6, 2012 @ 1:38 AM

a sophomore taking a class titled "AP world literature"


Did it say in the show that Jane was a sophomore and I just missed it? I assumed that she was a senior (AP classes, taking on an internship, etc.) which would make her 17/18 and then make the age gap between her and designer guy less creepy (but still creepy).

I accepted the weirdly implausible premise but I WAS struck by the fact her interview never included questions like
"Where did you go to school?" and "What have you done so far that'd make you a good fit for the position?"
I mean, who hires ANYONE without asking them at least one question?


I assumed (I make a lot of assuptions, apparently) that "Plain Jane" wasn't the Jane that was being called in for the interview initially and MIA Jane probably filled out an application that answered all those questions. And for someone who goes through a few assistants a month, Grey has probably gotten tired of asking the same questions so "hey, I like your belt" probably qualifies as good enough.

#25

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Posted Jan 6, 2012 @ 11:45 AM

I wonder, though, what happened to MIA Jane. Where is she, why did she miss her interview and is she gonna pop up during the season to claim her rightful job?

#26

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Posted Jan 6, 2012 @ 12:40 PM

The show's original script opened with the Other Jane getting engaged, thus helping explain why she missed her interview. I guess they might've dropped that so they could bring in Other Jane later, but I find that doubtful; in real life if she were to call and say she'd missed her interview, she'd just get told that someone had already been hired and that would probably be that.

The ratings weren't especially great for the premiere. Here are ABC Family's 4 shows from this week for comparison purposes:

Total viewers
3.3 million viewers Pretty Little Liars
2.7 million viewers Switched at Birth
1.8 million viewers The Lying Game
1.6 million viewers Jane By Design

18-49 rating
1.3 PLL
1.0 Switched
0.7 Lying Game
0.6 Jane By Design

Women 18-34 rating
3.0 PLL
1.8 Switched
1.4 Lying Game
1.2 Jane By Design

#27

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Posted Jan 6, 2012 @ 8:55 PM

Ouch! Even Chloe King got better premiere ratings than that. I wonder if this show would've fared better debuting in the summer but the ratings can always go up in the upcoming weeks.

#28

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Posted Jan 7, 2012 @ 9:24 AM

While Andie McDowell is not exactly a lure for ABC Family's demographic, those are still depressing ratings. I mean its depressing thinking that someone like (blargh!) Candace Cameron might be more of a draw to this audience.

The concept should resonate with the same kind of audience at ABCFam's usual audience though, so maybe its just the timing of the premiere. I DO wonder what the UNDER 18 ratings are, since that might be a good portion of ANY ABCFam audience.

#29

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Posted Jan 7, 2012 @ 9:41 AM

Among teenage girls it's:
Almost 1.1 million PLL (31 percent of audience)
570,000 Switched at Birth (21 percent of audience)
540,000 The Lying Game (30 percent of audience)
422,000 Jane By Design (26 percent of audience)

#30

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Posted Jan 7, 2012 @ 12:12 PM

Is there any way to get the numbers from the premiere repeat that following hour?

And I'm not too worried about the ratings yet considering The Lying Game debuted with even less than that last year (1.3 million), stayed in the 1 millions weekly yet still managed to pull out a second season which surprised the hell out of me.