March 5, 2012



Maybe ABC should have left “Bitches” in the title.
ABC:  GCB (aka Good Christian Bitches, aka Good Christian Belles) had a very unimpressive debut, a 2.2 that was way below Pan Am‘s premiere in the fall.  (In fairness, the DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES lead-in to Pan Am was a lot higher than last night’s rating.)  GCB wasn’t able to win its hour, and considering that it was only 0.2 ahead of 3rd place CSI Miami, the likelihood is that once it settles into post-premiere numbers, it’ll be in last place at 10PM.  ABC was hoping this could be the show that inherits the 9PM Housewives slot next season, but the signs aren’t good.  Meanwhile, Housewives itself, as it nears the home stretch of its run (7 episodes left), was up a nice 0.3 from its pre-Oscar week airing.  The queen of ABC’s Sunday night, though, is ONCE UPON A TIME, with a terrific 3.4 that was more than a half-point higher than anything else on network TV last night.

NBCCELEBRITY APPRENTICE, like every other major reality franchise this year (except The Voice), is substantially down from last season, in the neighborhood of 30%.  (Things aren’t going to improve much next week, when its lead-in becomes Harry’s Law, a show even CBS thinks skews old.)  But the show still won the 10PM hour, and a win is a win.
CBS:  Even with a solid 2.8 lead-in from THE AMAZING RACE, THE GOOD WIFE took a tumble to a season low 1.8, and while the show probably isn’t in danger of cancellation–it’s the only classy drama on the network–it had better hope those upscale viewers don’t go anywhere.  (It’ll be interesting to see what happens March 25, when Mad Men, a show that defines “upscale,” makes its return in the same timeslot.)  CSI MIAMI was only 0.1 above its own season low, but faced atypical competition with the much-hyped GCB premiere.
FOX:  Another day at the office for the animation line-up, with every show within 0.1 of its rating 2 weeks ago.  FAMILY GUY and THE SIMPSONS, though, are down 25-30% from last season’s average.
It’s Monday, and that means SMASHWatch is on.  Tonight is the show’s opportunity to hold or even increase last week’s rating, thanks to repeats on both ABC and CBS.  Also, tonight was meant to be the 2-hour season finale of ALCATRAZ, but due to last week’s rescheduled NASCAR race, it’s just a 2-hour episode.  CBS and CW are all-rerun, and CASTLE is a repeat after a new BACHELOR.  

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."