September 17, 2012

THE SKED: Early Weekend Ratings for SNL, Weeds & Boardwalk Empire


Not a lot of drama in the preliminary numbers for this weekend’s big TV events.

On Saturday, SNL made its season debut with guest host Seth MacFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean, and had a 2.8 rating in 18-49s, a tick above last year’s season premiere.  In total households, the rating was 4.8, down a minimal 0.3 from last season’s 5.1 opener, and also below the 5.5 earned by Lindsay Lohan’s trainwreck and 7.4 for the Charles Barkley episode that followed an NFL playoff game.

WEEDS exited last night on a season high of 864,000 viewers in its initial airing, which climbed to 1.28M when the 11PM rerun was added.  (No demo info is available yet.)  That was better than the Season 7 finale, , which was only watched by 556K viewers in its initial airing, but around 25-30% below the show’s ratings for season premieres in previous years.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE started its 3d season with 2.9M viewers (4.6M if all 3 airings for the night are counted), very steady with last year’s premiere, and just a tick below last season’s finale.  (Again, demo numbers are still to come.)  The show has been solidly successful for HBO, but has never come close again to equaling its series premiere audience of 4.8M viewers.  Next week, it will face the Emmy Awards on ABC (where it may well be winning some statuettes), and the following week, the eagerly-awaited new seasons of Dexter and Homeland will arrive on Showtime, along with the regular ABC, CBS and FOX Sunday line-ups.

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."