November 1, 2013



It’s never good news for the networks when the calendar brings typically low-rated Halloween–lots of parents and others with other plans–into November sweeps.

Daily Comparison 2013 Thu Oct 31 three way

ABC:  By 8PM most kiddies were back from treat or treating, so the nine zillionth run of IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN doubled last week’s Once Upon A Time In Wonderland number with 2.2, which however was down 0.5 from last year’s airing.  GREY’S ANATOMY was down 0.2 to 2.6, tying its series low, but SCANDAL, with the first true crazy-time WTF revelation of its season, held even at 2.9.

CBS:  The network decided not to waste fresh episodes of THE BIG BANG THEORY or 2 1/2 MEN on a low-rated night, which naturally didn’t help the new half-hours that did air.  After 2.5 for a Big Bang rerun, a fresh THE MILLERS fell an ugly 0.7 to a (new low, naturally) 2.0, and THE CRAZY ONES wasn’t much better, dropping 0.4 to 1.9.  At 10PM, ELEMENTARY was down 0.1 to 1.7.

NBC:  1.7 for the night’s SNL HALLOWEEN SPECIAL may not sound like much, but it’s better than NBC has been doing in the 8PM hour all season.  That may have given SEAN SAVES THE WORLD a tiny lift, up 0.1 to 1.2, but THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW went in the other direction, down 0.1 to a new low 1.1. PARENTHOOD was even at its low 1.3.  (Note:  the network’s Cincinnati affiliate aired the NFL game last night, which may affect the final numbers.)

FOX:  The price of there being no Game 7 of the World Series was a night of reruns last night, with 0.8s for THE X FACTOR and GLEE.

CW:  When Halloween isn’t in sweeps, CW usually airs reruns, because thanks to its target demo, when it puts on new episodes, this happens:  a massive 0.5 drop for THE VAMPIRE DIARIES to 0.8.  (The show aired out of timeslot in NY, which may not have helped.)  After that, the even 0.6 for REIGN didn’t look so bad.

After last week’s successful premieres of GRIMM and DRACULA, NBC rushed a special about vampires into tonight’s 8PM slot.  The other networks air fresh episodes of their usual programming.

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."