January 9, 2013

THE SKED: Cable Premiere Ratings


It’s been a busy couple of days for premieres and returns on basic cable (pay cable’s big night is this upcoming Sunday, when both HBO and Showtime begin their winter schedules).  The winner:  PRETTY LITTLE LIARS on ABCFamily, with a strong 1.4 rating in 18-49s that was beaten for the night only by an assortment of Family Guy and Big Bang Theory repeats.  JUSTIFIED is also off to a first-rate start on FX, premiering its Season 4 with a 1.3 in 18-49s that was up 30% from Season 3.

The news was less promising for the relocated COUGAR TOWN on TBS, which managed only a 1.1 rating, down a hefty 0.7 from the Big Bang Theory rerun that preceded it on the network.  Cougar can probably survive at that level, but if it dips much in future weeks, it may find itself as unwelcome on cable as it was at the broadcast networks.  On Monday, BUNHEADS had a mediocre 0.5 start to its midseason campaign on ABCFamily, below its 0.7 lead-in from a new SWITCHED AT BIRTH.

A point worth noting:  with all the fuss over JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE and its move to 11:35PM last night, Comedy Central’s THE DAILY SHOW quietly tied Kimmel and beat the other late-night talkshow competition with a 1.0 in 18-49s (perhaps it was the sheer sexiness of guest General Stanley McChrystal), and THE COLBERT REPORT, directly competing at 11:30 with the broadcasters, had a 0.8 that tied Leno and beat Letterman.  (Both shows skew much younger than their network competition, so they weren’t so close in terms of total viewership.)

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."