May 14, 2011

THE SKED: 2 1/2 Ratings Points and Other Friday Updates

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Written by: Mitch Salem


Now that we have restored the site after a frustrating web host disruption, we can focus on the latest news from the world of television.
ASHTON KUTCHER on TWO AND A HALF MEN:  Excellent move by CBS.  He’s a TV veteran with a huge following (on Twitter at the very least) and a great fit for the show.  I am going to have to raise my estimate for CBS Monday at 9 at least two tenths of a rating point.
This is a good time to mention:  we’re standing our ground with The Sked we released on Thursday, and resisting the temptation to tweak it with every new announcement, rumor and leak today and over the weekend.  Of course, as the official network schedules are announced next week, we will update our grids, our ratings estimates, and our analysis.  NBC and FOX announce Monday, CBS Tuesday,  ABC Wednesday.  and the CW winds things up on Thursday.
CHUCK on NBC:  We did not place CHUCK on our fall schedule for NBC, and even though we now know they will have 13 episodes next year, we still think they’ll save it for mid-season to (a) provide a back-up to a drama failure and (b) run it continuously to avoid terrible repeat numbers.
PILOT PICK-UPS:  So far no big surprises, although some intriguing additions (not one but two adult fairy-tale series, GRIMM on NBC and ONCE UPON A TIME on ABC?) .  We don’t have a pilot on The Sked that hasn’t been picked up to series.  Of course, not all the announcements have been made, and there is plenty of time for us to be proven wrong.  And no doubt we will be surprised by at least one or two scheduling moves–as noted, we’ve been figuring some of the new shows for midseason, and a few may well be juggled to fall.  Remember, these are prognostications and not mystical predictions.  The Sked is a collection of best guesses, based on limited information, and we’ll refine our ratings estimates as we know more (actual schedules and seeing the new show trailers and pilots).
So don’t touch that dial (OK, that browser)… we’re just getting started.  

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."