June 19, 2012



A night loaded with season finales and premieres.

HBO:  GIRLS has developed into exactly the kind of show HBO loves.  Even with all the hype that surrounded its arrival, it’s proven to be an ever-larger buzz magnet, the kind that could bring it Emmy attention (in nominations, if not wins).  And all that is paying off in the ratings, as the Season 1 finale went over 1 million in total viewership for the first time (about 70% of the viewers under 50), a figure that doubled when same-night repeats were added.  In the preceding hour, the season’s 2d episode of TRUE BLOOD was by far the highest-rated cable show of the night (pay or basic), down about 10% from the season premiere, which was hardly bad news considering the night’s intense sports competition from the NBA Finals and US Open, as well as the premiere of Falling Skies.

AMC:  Somewhat surprisingly, the Season 2 (and series?) finale of THE KILLING had no appreciable bump from people interested in tuning in to finally find out who had killed Rosie Larsen.  The show scored the same 0.5 in 18-49s that it had most of the season, representing about half the total viewership.  These are mediocre numbers, but not necessarily fatal, so the ball is in AMC’s court.  (There would admittedly be some poetic justice in the network making series creator Veena Sud wait impatiently for a resolution for just as long as she forced viewers to cool their heels.)

LIFETIME:  THE CLIENT LIST concluded its very successful first season with a 1.0 in 18-49s, about where the show has been all spring (around half the total viewership was under 50).  The series is already renewed for next season, and if Lifetime chooses, it could serve as the lead-in for new programming.

SHOWTIME:  Not a great night for the network’s trio of season finales, with NURSE JACKIE, THE BIG C and THE BORGIAS all down around 15% from the previous week in total viewers.  In 18-49s, Jackie did the best with a 0.2, Big C was at 0.18 and Borgias brought up the rear with 0.15, and none was watched by more than around half a million people (40-50% of them under 50).  Jackie is already renewed for next season, while Big C may be on the verge of exiting.

TNT:  FALLING SKIES returned for a 2d summer at around the same level as series episodes last season (although not up to the massively hyped series premiere).  Its 1.5 in 18-49s ties it with Dallas as TNT’s most successful scripted show (pending Dallas‘ retention of its numbers in Week 2), and Skies is much younger-skewing, with about 45% of its viewers under 50  (for Dallas it was more like one-third).

A&E:  Thinking of old-skewing shows, LONGMIRE was seemingly hurt by the sports and Falling Skies competition, and its 18-49 viewership fell by around 20% from last week, with total viewership down about 15%.  Only about a quarter of its viewers were under 50.

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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."