It may be time to start preparing to say goodbye to Sam Tyler and his 1970s band of moustachioed policemen; ABC's Life on Mars apparently can't stop shedding viewers in its new time slot.

This week's episode was down in terms of viewership again, with only 5.15 million viewers on average for the hour, a figure that may even be deceptively high considering Lost slight overspill into the 10pm slot. To put that number into some kind of perspective, it's not just the lowest figure to date for the series (and less than half of what the show got for its premiere), it's also almost a million viewers less than last week's episode, which was more than two million viewers lower than the episode before that. It's a lower rating than NBC's similarly-failing Knight Rider (which averaged 5.4 million for the hour), and almost half as many viewers as this week's weak (in terms of ratings; it was against an extended American Idol) Lost, which averaged 9.77 million.

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If there's some light at the end of the tunnel, it's that the rate of attrition seems to be leveling out, and the show may be finding its level... But with a cast as expensive as LoM's, the question then becomes "Are five million viewers enough to make the show cost-effective for ABC?"

(For those as curious as I was; Pushing Daisies was cancelled by ABC with ratings of 5.4 million.)

Overnight Ratings for Wednesday [TV By The Numbers]