September 30, 2013

THE SKED Cable & Network Ratings Scorecard – 9/29/13


For one last glorious night, Walter White truly was The One Who Knocks.

Daily Comparison 2013 Sun Sep 29 three way

AMC:  Ratings for the finale of BREAKING BAD smashed through even the huge expectations.  The show was watched by 10.3M people in its 9PM airing.  That was almost 40% higher than last week–which was itself a series record.  It was the highest non-football show anywhere on television last night.  In 18-49s, the show had a 5.3 rating, up more than 50% from last week’s record.  In the demo, it outrated every show on network TV last week except football and The Big Bang Theory–and the numbers will go up, once AMC reports the 12:15AM (east coast time) second airing.  TALKING BAD, which ran for the first time this season directly after Breaking Bad, also went through the roof, with 4.4M total viewers at 10:15PM and a 2.3 rating in 18-49s.  (AMC didn’t mention any numbers for Low Winter Sun in its press release, so presumably that flop didn’t benefit very much from its giant lead-ins.)

SHOWTIME:  All things considered, Showtime probably should have thought about waiting another week before launching its fall line-up.  But given last night’s massive competition, its shows did fine.  The Season 3 premiere of HOMELAND was its best ever with 1.9M total viewers for the 9PM run (plus 600K more for airings later in the evening), up from 1.7 last year–although down from the 2.3M who watched the Season 2 finale.  This was also the first time Homeland ran without the higher-rated Dexter as its lead-in.  (Showtime didn’t release demo information.)  MASTERS OF SEX, which has been available on VOD and other platforms for the past week or two, did an OK job of holding the Homeland audience with 1M viewers at 10PM (plus 400K for later airings).  That was just about the same as Homeland had in its series premiere 2 years ago.

ABC:  Oh right, shows aired on broadcast TV last night too.  ABC is probably giving a small sigh of relief, as ONCE UPON A TIME and REVENGE, while nowhere close to their 2012 premieres, at least recovered some ground from their deadly season finales.  Once was at 2.6 in 18-49s, way down from the 3.9 Season 2 premiere, but up 0.3 from May’s finale.  REVENGE scored 2.4, far from last season’s 3.2 premiere, but a comfortable 0.7 above the season finale.  The bad news was BETRAYAL, all but dead after a 1.5 start (that’s 0.6 lower than the launch of 666 Park Avenue, and ties the terrible debut of Red Widow.)

CBS:  Preliminary ratings will change for the network due to a late-game football overrun in many markets.  Current numbers indicate declines across the board for 60 MINUTES, THE AMAZING RACE, THE GOOD WIFE and THE MENTALIST from last season’s premieres.

FOX:  The network’s animation line-up returned with downbeat numbers.  THE SIMPSONS was down 0.9 from last season’s premiere to 2.8, BOB’S BURGERS fell 0.5 to 2.1, FAMILY GUY dropped 0.7 to 2.6, and AMERICAN DAD was off 0.4 to 2.1.

NBC:  Despite all the activity last night on so many networks, in the end–as always–football was king, and NBC will win the night.  The preliminary 18-49 number for the New England/Atlanta game was 6.7, although that was down a tremendous 2.3 from last week’s game.

Tonight’s only arrival is WE ARE MEN on CBS, but it and NBC will be straining to see what Week 2 does to MOM, HOSTAGES and THE BLACKLIST.

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."