August 29, 2013




AMC:  HELL ON WHEELS held well in total viewers at 2M, but they got a lot older, as the show’s 18-49 rating fell from 0.5 to 0.3.  That makes almost 80% of its viewers over 50, not exactly the most advertiser friendly audience.  Still, if these numbers can hold, the show is still doing fairly well for low-watched Saturdays.

STARZ:  THE WHITE QUEEN is faltering, down by 100K viewers to 700K and by 0.1 in the 18-49 demo to 0.2.  The show is a miniseries, so renewal isn’t an issue, but it’s yet another swing by Starz that’s not connecting with viewers.


MTV:  THE MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS, Miley Cyrus and all, dominated Sunday’s ratings with 10.1M viewers for the live telecast, and a 5.2 18-49 rating (representing 65% of total viewers).  That was way up from 2012, when the VMAs aired on a Thursday and had its timeslot adjusted because it was due to air against President Obama’s Democratic National Convention speech, but it’s down from 2 years ago, its last Sunday airing.  That’s not to take anything away from the tremendous success of the show, however, which in addition to the numbers above, earned 4.6M/2.3 for the pre-show special, 1.3M/0.6 for the VH1 simulcast, 2.8M/1.6 for MTV’s 11:30PM rerun, and 2.1M/1.0 for another run on Monday night.

HBO:  Considering that it saw its lead-in cut by almost 85% (an 0.4 for a run of The Dark Knight Rises, compared to 2.4 for the season finale of True Blood), THE NEWSROOM held up pretty well, down by 400K viewers to 1.5M, and by 0.2 in the demo to 0.6.  It’s skipping Labor Day weekend and will return September 8 behind the season premiere of Boardwalk Empire.

AMC:  BREAKING BAD isn’t disappointing anyone so far in its final season, and its numbers should remain splendid till the end.  This week it remained at 2.4M viewers, up slightly in 18-49s to 2.5.  However, LOW WINTER SUN is looking like a disaster, shedding a scary 80% of its 18-49 lead-in for a dismal 0.4, and with 1.2M total viewers.

LIFETIME:  DEVIOUS MAIDS is very steady with 2.4M viewers and 0.9 in the demo.

SHOWTIME:  DEXTER benefited from the end of True Blood‘s season, and rose by 400K viewers to 2.3M, and by 0.2 in the demo to 1.1.  That hike didn’t extend to RAY DONOVAN, which was off by 200K viewers to 1.3M and steady at 0.5 in the demo.


A&E:  A very healthy season finale night for both LONGMIRE and THE GLADES, probably in part because TNT’s summer Monday season ended a week earlier.  Longmire rose 300K viewers to 4.4M, and 0.1 in the demo to 0.9, and THE GLADES was up a whopping 700K viewers to 3.4M, and by 0.3 in the demo to 0.9.


ABCFAMILY:  The SWITCHED AT BIRTH summer finale ended its season with a roar, up by 40% from last week to 3.3M total viewers and by more than 50% in 18-49s to 1.4–and naturally even stronger in the network’s young female demos.  That couldn’t help but boost the summer finale of TWISTED, which was up by 600K viewers to 1.6M and doubled its 18-49 rating to 0.6.  (It’s worth noting, though, that even with that gigantic lead-in, the Twisted summer finale still came in below the 2.1M/0.8 for the summer finale of The Fosters.)

TNT:  RIZZOLI & ISLES was up by 400K viewers to 6M and by 0.3 in the demo to a very impressive 1.4.  PERCEPTION stayed even in the demo at 0.7 and was up a bit (200K) in the demo to 3.6M.

USA:  COVERT AFFAIRS is starting to look like a problem for USA, down by 100K viewers to 2.4M and by 0.1 in the demo to a middling 0.6.  SUITS wasn’t affected, steady at 2.8M viewers and 1.0 in 18-49s.


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."