November 26, 2012

THE SKED: “Liz & Dick” Doesn’t Do…


What’s worse than shamelessly airing a piece of calculated trash designed to exploit both past and present celebrities, all for the sake of ratings?  Not getting those ratings.  Last night’s LIZ & DICK on Lifetime, despite all the publicity in the world, only managed a 1.0 rating in 18-49s, which is lower than a typical episode of Dexter (available in only 25% of US households), let alone any comparison to the monstrous numbers of The Walking Dead.  Despite the presence of Lindsay Lohan, the show skewed quite old, with about 60% of its audience over 50 years old, and its 3.5 million total viewer number was decent, about 1.2 million higher than Dexter normally does, although hardly exceptional–only about 1/3 of the intial airing of a Walking Dead.  Even within the Lifetime universe, Liz & Dick had less than half the 2.4 rating in 18-49s that the network’s Steel Magnolias did last month, and just over half of Magnolia‘s 6.5M total viewership.

This rings down the curtain, one would think, on Lindsay Lohan as a valuable freak show phenomenon.  She’ll still turn up, of course (she’s due in a neo-grindhouse direct-to-Internet project directed by Paul Schrader, in which her co-star is an actual porn actor), but she’s not going to be worth the trouble for mainstream studios and networks to hire her.  As has been the case for the past 5 years or more, she needs to get away from her demons and try to find her way back to her talent if she’s going to have any kind of genuine career.  As for Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton… soon enough this putrid movie will be a distant memory, and they’ll go back to being known for their own work and glamour.

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."