December 21, 2013



Vintage TV beat vintage Hollywood on a very slow night.

CBS:  It doesn’t say much to be “#1 for the night” when the result is a 1.4 rating, but the colorized I LOVE LUCY HOLIDAY SPECIAL can claim that honor.  (In the older-skewing total viewers metric, Lucy was CBS’s least-watched show of the night.)  HAWAII 5-0 remained steady at 1.2 and BLUE BLOODS slipped 0.1 to 1.1, both presumably worth airing because of the premium the network was getting from holiday shopping advertisers.

NBC:  IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE was only at 1.1, not enough to beat Lucy, but significantly better than the 0.8 its pre-Christmas Eve run earned last year (which aired much earlier in December), pretty good for a 67-year old film still airing in its original black-and-white.

CW:  New episodes of THE CARRIE DIARIES and NIKITA were at 0.3/0.2, which was actually up 0.1 for Carrie, for what that’s worth.

ABC:  After 1.1/1.3 for a pair of SHARK TANK reruns, a new 20/20 was down 0.2 to 1.2.

FOX:  The BONES rerun outrated the HAPPINESS IS A WARM BLANKET, CHARLIE BROWN rerun, 0.8 to 0.6.

It’s an all-rerun night on the networks tonight, but NBC does have a new SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE with the formidable team of host Jimmy Fallon and musical guest Justin Timberlake.  On Sunday, ABC airs the real THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and it’ll be interesting to see how that holds up after 2 runs of NBC’s reboot.  For TV nostalgia buffs, gets a load of these numbers:  when Sound of Music debuted on network television in 1976, it had a 33.6 rating in households and a 49 share.  (By way of comparison, this year’s Super Bowl had a 46.4 rating.)

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."