June 7, 2013

THE SKED: A Mixed Night For USA


Like the San Antonio Spurs, USA Network provided an example last night of aging veterans showing up some ultra-hyped newcomers.  BURN NOTICE, beginning its 7th and final season, held almost all of last season’s premiere audience in 18-49s and managed to increase its older-skewing total audience.  (Note:  last season’s premiere also aired against an NBA Finals game on ABC.)  Burn hung in with a strong 1.2 rating in the demo, and its total viewers rose from last year’s 3.9M to 4.3M last night.

The debut of GRACELAND was altogether softer.  Despite literally months of promotion all over the network’s air and elsewhere, the show’s 18-49 rating was a modest 0.8, and it had 3.3M total viewers.  It’s particularly worrisome that the show is so old-skewing, with only 30% of its viewers under 50–that’s even older than the Burn Notice audience, which was at 35% in the demo.  (And worse still compared to Suits, which had the post-Burn Notice slot last summer with 40% of its total viewers under 50 and a 1.1 rating in the demo.)

Last June, Suits rose in its second week airing after Burn Notice, and USA will have to hope that Graceland can generate similarly strong word of mouth, before the comparisons to Fat Elvis begin.


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."