October 18, 2013

THE SKED: Decision Day at CBS, FOX and NBC


With most of another week’s ratings in the books, CBS, FOX and NBC took care of business today–although the first two networks handed out promotions while the Peacock issued pink slips.

CBS gave back orders to its new sitcoms THE MILLERS, THE CRAZY ONES and MOM.  Millers was a no-brainer–it’s been consistently holding on to 60% of its Big Bang Theory lead-in, and that’s good enough when your lead-in gets a 5 rating every week.  Crazy Ones is less of a hit, and in last night’s adjusted final numbers, it went down another 0.1 to a new low 2.4, considerably below what Person of Interest was doing in the Thursday 9PM slot last season, and one reason the hour is no longer neck-and-neck with ABC.  Still, it’s a solid success at its current level.  Mom is a little more interesting, considering that it hit a new low 1.8 on Monday, the same rating that resulted in We Are Men being canceled just over a week ago.  Mom, though, hails from CBS’s most important comedy supplier, Chuck Lorre, and it will soon follow his Mike & Molly on the schedule.  Its extension seems like a vote of confidence in Lorre as much as an enthusiastic endorsement.

For its part, FOX stood behind the struggling BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, not only giving the show a full season order, but announcing that an episode will join New Girl as the network’s post-Super Bowl attractions.  Like The Mindy Project, Brooklyn is a quality show with an audience base that’s probably younger and more affluent than the norm.  Still, the back orders to Mom with its 1.8 rating and Brooklyn Nine-Nine with a 1.5 this week say a lot about where network television is these days.

The news was different on the NBC side of the aisle.  WELCOME TO THE FAMILY and IRONSIDE are now history (Ironside will air one more time, but you get the idea).  Both of these decisions were inevitable, with Family getting sub-1.0 ratings and Ironside soon to join it.  Sean Saves the World appears to be safe for the moment, although its numbers aren’t much better, and The Michael J. Fox Show already has a 22-episode order, so it’s not going anywhere.

COMMUNITY and the Chicago Fire spin-off CHICAGO PD are taking over the open slots, but not just yet.  NBC is going to fill the Wednesday 10PM and Thursday 8PM hours through the end of the year with a mix of holiday specials, Dateline episodes, extra hours of The Voice and, in the case of Thursday, NFL Football on Thanksgiving night and The Sing-Off in December.  (It’s somewhat worrisome that PARKS & RECREATION will only air twice more in 2013, with back-to-back airings on Nov. 14 and 21).  Community will make its return with 2 episodes on January 2, and will then stay at 8PM, bumping Parks to 8:30PM.  Chicago PD will debut on January 8.

Still to be heard from:  ABC, which has hard decisions ahead for Betrayal, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland and possibly Trophy Wife, with back orders more likely for Super Fun Night, The Goldbergs and perhaps Back In the Game.  CW should also announce full seasons for The Originals and very possibly The Tomorrow People soon.


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."