September 26, 2011

THE SKED: Sunday Ratings – Network Scorecard – 9/25/11


The season’s first week came to an end with more of a whimper than a bang.
ABC:  All things considered, PAN AM got off to a solid start (insert “good take-off,” “little turbulence” or similar pun of choice).  Its 3.1, while not enormously impressive, held just about all of what turned out to be a lousy lead-in from DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, and continued steady through the hour.  If it can continue to score in Housewives’ neighborhood, the network will be satisfied enough.  The Housewives number, however, suggests that the show will limp through its final season, already 20% below last year’s average.  EXTREME MAKEOVER had to compete with football on multiple networks in its first hour, then recovered to last season’s average in the second.

CBS:  During football season, preliminary numbers for CBS on Sundays are tricky, because unlike FOX, CBS allows its entire schedule to slide after the late game ends.  So THE GOOD WIFE, which was the major event of its evening, didn’t actually air at 9PM in parts of the country.  Based on current numbers, though, the show appears to have made an unimpressive move to Sunday, below last season’s average and down from its AMAZING RACE lead-in (as well as from what Undercover Boss was doing in the slot most of last season) .  Race seems to be around its average, but the 60 MINUTES number is particularly suspect because football overruns aired in its first scheduled half-hour.  CSI MIAMI, burdened by its lead-in and aging too, appears to be well below last season’s average. With A Gifted Man already looking weak on Fridays, it may not be too long before CBS contemplates getting Good Wife off Sundays and moving it to that night.
FOX:  Their animation line-up thrives with a football lead-in and the young male audience it carries, and everything scored above average last night. 
NBC:  Between now and January, let’s just assume that NBC always wins Sunday nights, OK?  Even though last night’s game wasn’t quite the event it was expected to be, thanks to Peyton Manning’s injury (although it was still a good, close game), as usual it devoured everything in is path. 

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."