October 17, 2011

THE SKED: Sunday Ratings – Network Scorecard – 10/16/11

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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On a night when the most interesting rating is likely to be on cable (the return of Walking Dead on AMC), there wasn’t much good news for any broadcast network.
ABCONCE UPON A TIME is premiering 8PM next Sunday, and the night is hardly set up for the new arrival as the network must have hoped.  Although DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES seems to have found its level, that’s a painful 30% below last year’s average.  PAN AM crept down again, to a lowly 1.8, and given the serialized nature of the show, it’s going to be awfully difficult to get that number up.  Creatively, while the show continues to look great visually, it’s still having trouble finding compelling storylines, and the espionage plots are an uncomfortable fit with the overall soapy nature of the series.

FOX:  An uncharacteristic night, with X FACTOR airing what should have been last Thursday’s episode (which was bumped by Wednesday’s episode, which was bumped by an unexpectedly late baseball game…).  All things considered, a 3.3 rating is nothing to feel bad about.  FOX is in the midst of the trickiest part of its fall:  a St. Louis vs. Texas World Series is unlikely to be high-rated, and X Factor will be forced to Tuesdays for 2 weeks while baseball plays out its actual and potential games.  
CBS:  One thing to keep in mind about THE GOOD WIFE is that although its 2.1 rating is mediocre, the network may be able to charge a premium to advertisers if the show gets (as it very well might) an upscale, high-income audience.  CSI MIAMI is still running below last year’s average, but it had a welcome uptick last night.  
NBC:  Last night’s blowout featuring two teams with losing records was probably as low as SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL can get (although next Sunday, with the Manning-less sad-sack Colts, may not be much better), and it still won the night easily.  However, since football is now propping up NBC’s entire schedule, a relatively low-rated game can dent the week’s average.
Tonight FOX will hope TERRA NOVA and HOUSE can rebound from their delayed-by-baseball airings last week.

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."