July 31, 2013

THE SKED: Fri-Mon Cable Ratings Scorecard – 7/26-7/29



STARZ:  The pay-TV network had plenty of announcements at its TCA press tour session, including a renewal for its pirate series Black Sails before the show has even aired, but there wasn’t a word of comfort for MAGIC CITY, which is just 2 weeks from its Season 2 conclusion.  The show has been steady in the ratings but at a probably unsustainably low level, this week earning under half a million total viewers, and only 100,000 of them aged 18-49 (a rounded-up 0.1).  Fans should hope that the upcoming season finale is a satisfying one, because it’s likely to be the last they’ll get.


HBO:  Ho hum, another TRUE BLOOD victory, just about even at 4.4M total viewers and a 2.4 in 18-49s (plus another 1M/0.6 for the 11PM rebroadcast).  The sure-to-be-renewed THE NEWSROOM (HBO honchos said as much at TCA) was also very steady with 1.8M viewers and 0.8 in the demo.  While Newsroom loses the bulk of its True Blood lead-in, first of all so would just about anything, and more importantly, it still speaks directly to the image and audience that HBO prizes.  That being said, the show is just as dramatically infuriating this season as it was in its first.

LIFETIME:  The cable ratings story of the summer has been Mark Cherry’s DEVIOUS MAIDS, which has steadily climbed to become a genuine hit for Lifetime.  It rose again to a new high 1.1 in 18-49s, and was up slightly in total viewers as well to 2.9M.  It’s now well ahead of its lead-in DROP DEAD DIVA, which held even with 0.7 in the demo and 2.2M total viewers.  Say what you will about Cherry’s taste and subtlety, he knows how to grab an audience and hold onto it.

TNT:  FALLING SKIES, on the other hand, took a leap in the wrong direction this week, losing 700,000 viewers (leaving 3.1M) and 0.3 in the demo rating (for a 1.0) with the season finale right around the corner.  The show has already been renewed, and its numbers are still strong by TNT standards, but something doesn’t seem to be working for its fans.

SHOWTIME:  DEXTER continues marching toward its series finale, even at 1.2/2.6M, with Charlotte Rampling a very strong addition to its last cast of characters (other elements of the season have been less promising, although Dexter has already been uneven in that way).  RAY DONOVAN has been renewed for a Season 2, but not because of its ratings:  the show fell 0.1 in 18-49s to 0.5, while holding steady with 1.5M total viewers.  Showtime will hope for Golden Globe/Emmy love for Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight, if not the show itself, to build some momentum for next season.

AMC:  The pre-season finale episode of THE KILLING generated no particular excitement, holding its 1.4M total viewers and 0.4 in the demo.  As always, remember that an 0.4 for AMC is considerably worse than an 0.5 for Ray Donovan, because Showtime is only in 1/3 of US homes.


TNT:  Don’t think for a minute that TNT is unaware of where its bread and butter audience for MAJOR CRIMES is–next week’s episode features an all-geriatric guest cast (Paul Dooley, Tim Conway, Doris Roberts, Marion Ross) for a murder in a retirement home.  Perhaps the show needs that boost–this week’s total viewers rating was down 400K to 5M, although the 18-49s who watch stayed in place with 0.9.  KING & MAXWELL was likewise down in total viewers (by 250K to 3.2M) and even in 18-49s (at 0.5).

ABCFAMILY:  The newly-backordered THE FOSTERS, with what can fairly be called A Very Special Episode, slipped a bit in 18-49s (to 0.7) while staying steady with 1.9M total viewers.  More important for ABCFamily, though, it hit new highs with women 12-34 (2.3) and 18-34 (1.6).  Stablemate SWITCHED AT BIRTH was just about even with Fosters in total viewers and 18-49s, and was at 1.7/1.4 in the target demos.

A&E:  LONGMIRE took last week off, but compared to 2 weeks ago, it approached its big election episode (well, “big”) with a little younger bounce in its step, up 0.2 in 18-49s to 0.7, and up 100K viewers to 3.5M as well.  THE GLADES was steady with 0.6/2.4M

MTV:  TEEN WOLF was steady with 0.8 in the 18-49 demo and 1.8M total viewers.




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."