September 20, 2011

THE SKED: Monday Ratings – Network Scorecard – 9/19/11


And… they’re off!  The 2011-12 broadcast TV season is underway, and already there are some clear winners and losers.
CBS:  Last night was always going to be a good night for the Eye, but the extent of the good news is remarkable.  The first un-Charlie Sheened 2 1/2 MEN was the most publicized event of the summer, and it delivered a massive 10.3 in the 18-49 demo (in comparison, May’s season finale of American Idol did a 9.2).  And the decision to schedule the pilot of 2 BROKE GIRLS as a follow-up at 9:30 proved a huge success with a 7.0; whatever happens to that show now, the network will never be able to say viewers didn’t give it a look.  Also great news for 2 Broke Girls:  viewers were apparently longing for the return of its real lead-in HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, which had an exceptionally strong Season 7 debut with 4.9.  (Next week, though, it’ll face the debut of FOX’s hugely hyped Terra Nova.)  The only slightly dark cloud for the night was HAWAII 5-0’s 3.4, which (in preliminary numbers) won the time slot, but couldn’t sustain the night’s momentum and lost over 50% of its Broke Girls‘ lead-in.

NBC:  Bob Greenblatt, welcome to network TV!  The opening night of his first Fall schedule couldn’t have gone any worse.  The decision to push The Voice to mid-season and risk pitting THE SING-OFF against regular season competition proved disastrous, and the Peacock is now facing 2 hours every Monday of the fall with a potential sub-2 rating.  Even worse, whatever chance THE PLAYBOY CLUB had of finding a toehold was damanged by its lead-in, and with its 1.6 rating, it becomes the instant leader in the fall TV dead pool.  An awful debut is bad news for any show, but even worse for a serialized drama like Playboy, because viewers rarely gravitate to a series whose story is already underway.  If the network doesn’t give up on the show quickly, look for stunt casting and other desperate measures to hype viewer interest in the coming weeks.
ABC:  Facing the CBS juggernaut, and without a giant name in this season’s competition, DANCING WITH THE STARS did an OK 3.9, which was down significantly from last year’s premiere.  The better news at the Alphabet was CASTLE‘s solid 3.3 at 10PM.  That show’s number tends to come down a bit in final ratings because of Dancing overruns, but in any event the show benefited from NBC’s failure in the time-slot (and a big season finale dliffhanger in May), and is now a strong player on the night.
FOX:  They’re waiting till next week to launch their new shows, probably because they didn’t want the 2-hour Terra Nova premiere to have to face last night’s 2 1/2 Men.
CW:  On the shelf till next week.

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."