Here was an idea for NBC: Adapt the life and times of the most famous vampire of all time into a TV show, and make it different from what has been known about the most famous vampire of all time. Co-produced with the British channel Sky Living, and shot in Budapest, DRACULA was given a 10-episode series order, without checking if an eventual pilot episode gives the channels eyes and ears to what the show might look like throughout its run. Because no one really had any interest in another reimagining of Bram Stoker’s famous story, even if it starred Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the bloodsucking villain and Thomas Kretschmann as the vampire hunter Van Helsing. Probably not even the five million viewers who tuned in for the first episode on NBC, or otherwise almost 40 percent of them wouldn’t have tuned out for the second episode.
If NBC would have retained the ratings for the pilot episode, then there might have been a really good chance for a second season, but since the interest of the viewers was quickly established (as in: There was no interest), DRACULA began fighting staying alive above a 1.0 rating in the target demo. To pay respect for the show though, it must be said that it never crashed and burned. In fact, the lowest watched and rated episode was the third-to-last one. Apparently DRACULA wasn’t that bad at all, when the season and de facto series finale had more than three million viewers – something more than half of the show’s episodes never managed to do.