September 24, 2013



Welcome to the 2013-14 broadcast network TV season–where what was supposed to be the first clash of the titans has already turned out to be no contest at all.

Daily Comparison 2013 Mon Sep 23 three way v2

NBC:  With the much-hyped return of the original judges on THE VOICE, the show premiered for its second fall cycle with a huge 4.9 rating, way up from last fall’s 4.2, and even up from the spring premiere’s 4.8.  It’s the highest premiere since the show’s post-Super Bowl start.  This set things up perfectly for the debut of THE BLACKLIST, which blasted past CBS and ABC to a 3.8.  That’s a bit lower than the 4.1 that Revolution had in its kick-off, but Blacklist is much more likely to hold up over the long haul.  The night was a big fat win for the Peacock.

CBS:  The Eye has only one real hit left on Mondays… and it’s the one that’s going away at the end of this season.  Propelled by its meet-The-Mother storyline, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER started its final season with a full-hour 3.6, even with last season’s premiere.  After that, the night went off a cliff.  2 BROKE GIRLS fell to 2.8, still a decent number but down an awful 0.9 from last fall’s premiere, not to mention down 0.8 from its lead-in.  That was bad news for MOM, which managed an OK 2.5 in its premiere.  And then HOSTAGES, which with its serialized nature badly needed a hot start, had just a 1.8–the same as last fall’s Hawaii 5-0, which was so borderline that it was shunted off to Fridays this year.

FOX:  The network held up very well against the barrage of new competition.  BONES slipped 0.4 to 1.9, and then more importantly, SLEEPY HOLLOW also lost just 0.4, leaving it with a very strong 3.1 that was behind only The Voice in the hour.

ABC:  DANCING WITH THE STARS took a big hit with the return of The Voice, down 0.8 from last week to 2.3 (although with its old-skewing audience, the race was much closer in total viewers).  CASTLE rode its big spring cliffhanger to a 2.2 premiere, up 0.1 from last year’s start.

CW:  Still in reruns, at 0.2/0.2/0.3.

Tonight America finally gets to see the most-publicied, least-seen pilot of the year:  ABC;s AGENTS OF SHIELD.  It’s the start of an ambitious all-new night, followed by THE GOLDBERGS, TROPHY WIFE and LUCKY 7.  Meanwhile, CBS adds PERSON OF INTEREST to its NCIS double bill, NBC gives CHICAGO FIRE a permanent The Voice lead-in, and FOX, which had a fair early start last week, hopes that when the dust settles, it doesn’t lose too much ground.

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."