July 24, 2012

The Sked: Cable Ratings July 17-23

HBO’s True Blood remains the highest-rated cable program with Adults 18-49 on our weekly ranking.  But watch out HBO, the most down-market, lowest common denominator, tawdry program on television (USA’s WWE Monday Night Raw wrestling) is nipping at your heels.  Fans of wrestling really turned out for the 1,000th episode of this landmark television program, hitting a 2.4 rating at 9 and 10 pm Monday (second only to MasterChef on FOX at 9 pm and #1 among all networks at 10 pm).

VH1 is breathing a big sigh of relief, as its Monday night combo of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta and Single Ladies 2 rebounded from last week’s abnormal lows.  Love and Hip Hop is particularly impressive, hitting a 2.0 rating for the first time.

Family Guy repeats continue to perform very well for Adult Swim, passing the ratings of Big Bang Theory repeats on TBS.  Call it the “Ted” effect, with all the publicity Seth MacFarlane has received lately.

After a very promising premiere episode last week (1.5 rating), the very good Breaking Bad returned to a level that is more sustainable each week, a 1.2 rating on AMC Sunday for episode two of season five.

Tosh.0 could only muster a 1.1 rating last Tuesday.  While we’d like to think it was some sort of backlash for Daniel Tosh’s recent treatment of an offended heckler during his stand-up routine about the wonderfully comedic value of rape, the low rating probably had more to do with Comedy Central not airing on DirecTV.  With the Viacom networks back on the nation’s largest satellite provider, we’ll see this week if Tosh.0 returns to more normal levels.

Finally, take a look at the ESPN ratings for the British Open final round.  A program that aired early Sunday morning (from 8-10 am ET) managed a 1.1 rating,  almost making our list of top cable programs for the week.  This is a very good number for a tournament with Tiger Woods sullenly fading on the final day.  Turns out there was great drama without Woods, as the very likable Ernie Els returned from the dead to surge precisely as the equally likable Adam Scott had a meltdown for the ages, bogeying the last four holes, erasing a four-shot lead.  It was ugly and sad but utterly riveting.


About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.