May 22, 2012


The throne is still occupied.

HBO:  Like most of the spring cable series, GAME OF THRONES is heading into its homestretch, with just 2 episodes left (Stannis is about to reach King’s Landing!).  The show continues to be a blockbuster by pay-cable standards, with a 2.0 rating that was even up a bit from last week. (If the additional 0.5 from the 11PM rebroadcast is added, Thrones was watched by more 18-49s on Sunday night than anything other than the Billboard Music Awards.)   The VEEP and GIRLS audiences are more specialized, but very steady, with 0.5 and 0.4 ratings for Sunday. This past week’s Girls was the first to be co-written by Executive Producer Judd Apatow (an atypical episode set mostly in Michigan instead of NY), who’s clearly not just lending his name and clout to the project.

LIFETIME:  For the first time, THE CLIENT LIST outrated its companion ARMY WIVES, 1.1 to 1.0 (with Client having a moderately younger-skewing audience).  This week’s Client List was mostly notable for an unintentionally uproarious scene where Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Breasts earnestly explained to her (their?) disapproving best friend why her time with her special customers wasn’t really about sex.  Wives is now on hiatus until late June, and after a Memorial Day Weekend break, Client List will run with the returning Drop Dead Diva.

AMC:  MAD MEN has always been more of a critical (and homevideo) favorite than a broad audience magnet, and it slipped to a 0.6 for an episode that featured more Don/Joan byplay than we’ve had all season.  THE KILLING, which hardly even seems to be trying at this point–the huffy pronouncements that the show needed an entire extra season to reveal Rosie Larsen’s killer has turned out to be ridiculous–was at 0.4.

SHOWTIME:  The network’s Sunday night trio remain tightly packed:  NURSE JACKIE (which finally dropped a narrative shoe that’s been hanging mid-air for several episodes) at 0.23, THE BIG C (which finally came up with a genuinely surprising twist amidst the usual silliness) at 0.19, and THE BORGIAS at 0.21.

FRIDAY NIGHT:  USA’s COMMON LAW held even at 0.7, a good result for post-premiere (and accompanying hype) week.  Even better for USA was the fact that this time, FAIRLY LEGAL didn’t plunge quite as deeply, up a bit to 0.5.  Meanwhile, Starz’s MAGIC CITY, with one episode left in its first season (airing June 1, as the network is skipping Memorial Day Weekend), hung in there with a 0.12 (up to a 0.21 with 11PM rebroadcast included.)

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."