We’ll be listing the top 5 most viewed Sliders episodes via the Nielsen ratings. If you’re new to Nielsen ratings there are various categories and ways to calculate the performance of a television program. For this list we’ll be focusing on viewers (in millions) from the Nielsen ratings of seasons one through three which aired on the broadcast television network, FOX.
Honorable Mention: Prince of Wails, 10.3 Million
The Prince of Wails follows the Sliders to a world where America is the British States of America. The historical what ifs and the constitutional rights we all hold dear brought this episode to the forefront and gained one of the highest viewerships of season one with 10.3 million.
5. The Guardian, 10.3 Million
The Sliders travel to a world where time moves slower, to the tone of 12 years to be exact. Here Quinn meets his younger (double) self, and tries to safeguard his childhood from the same horrors he faced as a child. Conceivably, time travel, which the episode technically is not, an 80s landscape and the opportunity to see a younger version of yourself and change the past for the better makes this episode one of the most viewed. We can’t forget the episode was written by co-creator of the series Mr. Tracy Tormé, which played a significant factor.
4. Paradise Lost, 10.7 Million
A cult-like community shuns the Sliders while a big worm needs human victims so it can produce a blue fountain of youth slime. 10.7 million viewers is honestly hard to believe. It’s a bizarre and poorly produced episode. But who can’t love this campy and wildly ridiculous storyline. I know I did. What got this episode better ratings was leading everyone on that one of the Sliders would die in the episode. I can’t help but remember that’d be the end of the Professor; well I guess they were conditioning us weren’t they?
3. Electric Twister Acid Test, 11.1 Million
It was the year of the twisters. The mildly successfully film “Twister” had premiered nearly 5 months ago pre “Electric Twister Acid Test.” I guess everyone loves a disaster movie and Sliders decided to up their game with not twisters but electric twisters. Pitch forks, water torture, and Jerry O’Connell’s abs pushed this episode to the next level. Really though; it was ripping off a disaster movie, perfect time slot placement and a special guest appearance from actor Corey Feldman.
2. Fever, 11.6 Million
The Sliders land on a world where penicillin was never invented and a plague thrives with deadly consequences. I think this episode was highly rated just because it lays out the ‘what if’ scenario so plainly. Something that seems so insignificant can become something monumental, for better or worse. At the time the network wanted creator Tracy Tormé to show how sliding to parallel universes could make a difference. And it did by bringing a cure to a nation.
1. Pilot, 14.1 Million
The Pilot episode comes in at number one with 14.1 million viewers, and rightfully so. After all it is the premiere episode and I’d be a bit worried if it didn’t come close to the top of the charts. For many viewers its an unusual and confounding episode that brought amazing adventure. The concept of parallel worlds was confusing to many but after being enlightened to the subject they only craved more. The episode carefully crafted science fiction, satire and action in a brilliant way which is one of the reasons this episode is second to none.
Broadcasting & Cable Magazine