February 25, 2014



UPDATE:  As expected, the WINTER OLYMPICS CLOSING CEREMONY and GROWING UP FISHER adjusted to 3.2 and 2.0.  THE AMAZING RACE fell to an even lower all-time low premiere at 1.5, and 60 MINUTES was also down 0.1 to 1.3.

SUNDAY CABLE:  As had been previously reported, THE WALKING DEAD (AMC) was its usual giant self, down 0.2 from last week to 6.6.  TALKING DEAD slipped 0.1 to 2.4.  TRUE DETECTIVE (HBO) solidified its overwhelmingly likely renewal by surging 0.3 to a rounded-up 1.2, its best score since its premiere (HBO appears, remember, in only 1/3 of US households)–no doubt the network is working to firm up a comparably starry cast for the anthology series’ Season 2.  GIRLS held at 0.5.  We don’t have a reliable 18-49 figure for LOOKING, but HBO reported that its total viewer number was a season-high 519K, not far from the 606K for GIRLS.  On Showtime, SHAMELESS held at 0.9, and HOUSE OF LIES was at 0.4 (no reliable numbers for EPISODES).  On the unscripted side, REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA (Bravo) at 1.9 was up 0.1, while KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS (E!) dropped 0.3 to 1.0.

A rain-delayed Daytona 500 helped dent the final night of Winter Olympics coverage.

Daily Comparison three way 2014 Sun Feb 23

NBC:  See Mitch Metcalf’s Skedball post for detailed analysis and charts of NBC’s WINTER OLYMPICS coverage.  A Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding SOCHI GOLD special started the night at 2.6, and then the CLOSING CEREMONY coverage climbed to 3.2–although that was well below Vancouver’s 5.5 and 0.6 below Turin’s finale, giving the Olympics as a whole a historically low 5.5 primetime average.  This was the 2d Winter Olympics in a row to see its ratings drop by about a point after the 1-week mark, and it’s very possible that 4 years from now, the other networks won’t be quite as quick to hide from the competition, especially in the latter stages of the games.  NBC ended the evening with a preview run of GROWING UP FISHER before its Tuesday night debut, and did even less well than it had the night before with About a Boy (even though that ran out of primetime), hitting an unexciting 2.0 after adjustment for its 10:36PM start time.

FOX:  A 6-hour rain delay pushed the DAYTONA 500 into primetime, where it had a 2.5 rating–far below last year’s 4.8, although it compared favorably to the usual FOX animated line-up.

CBS:  The cycle premiere of THE AMAZING RACE was its lowest ever in preliminary numbers, down 0.9 from last cycle at 1.6.  However, golf coverage pushed the start time for Race, so its rating is also subject to adjustment.  The rest of the night was 0.6/0.4 for reruns.

ABC:  A run of the Sandra Bullock comedy THE PROPOSAL didn’t do badly with 1.5, and then a CASTLE rerun was at 0.9.

Because Olympics coverage bottlenecked February programming for the most part on the other networks, tonight kicks off an exceptionally busy 2 week burst of midseason debuts.  Tonight NBC, no doubt with a sigh of relief, opens business at its spring cycle of THE VOICE, and at 12:35AM unveils the new LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS; this will also be the first TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON not to benefit from an Olympics lead-in.  TNT premieres its new season of DALLAS and the new unscripted soap PRIVATE LIVES OF NASHVILLE WIVES.


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."