April 3, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Not even championship basketball can dent SMASHWatch.
NBC:   Perhaps the moment last night that most typified the lows SMASH has reached was the bit where Ivy popped pain pills while staring into a mirror affixed with photos of Marilyn Monroe, while the theme to the Marilyn musical started to play in the background, because–sing it with me, everyone–she’s turning into Marilyn!  Unless it was the drunken production number for Ivy and new BFF Karen staged in the middle of Times Square, apparently so the show could be mistaken for Glee by groggy teenagers.  At least we now have confirmation that Ellis isn’t entirely straight, restoring some logic to the universe.  But anyway… whatever Smash has become dramatically, its ratings were stable despite the huge number it faced last night on CBS, with a 2.2 that was technically slightly up, but may be reduced in final numbers just as last week’s preliminary 2.2 was.  The NCAA tournament did slam THE VOICE, though, down 0.4 from last week to a season low 4.1. 

FOX:  The birth episode of BONES, its first on Monday, scored a 2.5 that was consistent with the show’s performance on Thursdays (where it had a strong X Factor lead-in), and hit the best number anything has done for FOX on the night in a couple of months.  HOUSE, facing NCAA competition, did a 2.2 that was actually up slightly from its last new episode (which had been the show’s season low).
ABC:  Whether or not due to NCAA competition in its 2d hour, DANCING WITH THE STARS tied its Monday series low, falling 0.4 from last week to a dicey 2.8.  CASTLE, though, held on just fine, down only 0.1 from last week to a 2.2, which like Smash may be lowered in final numbers as it was last week.
CBS:  This is why CBS pays the big bucks for the NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:  according to Mitch Metcalf’s analysis, it will end up with a rating in the low 7s, at or above last year’s game.  The repeat sitcoms aired 8-9PM, though, will probably come down from their current relatively high numbers.
CW:  The DirecTV battle with Tribune over station license fees didn’t seem to hurt GOSSIP GIRL, which tied the (not-good) 0.5 of its last new episode.  HART OF DIXIE was a 0.3 repeat.
Tonight marks the end of FOX’s Glee-less Tuesdays, a period that proved it was a bad idea to launch a 4-sitcom night with only 2 good sitcoms.   The night’s big arrival is the first Tuesday Voice live elimination show, which will air against ABC’s Dancing With the Stars results show and may shake things up.  ABC also preempts its 8-9PM sitcoms for another Dancing recap hour.

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."