June 5, 2012



On a night when nothing even came close to ESPN’s coverage of Game 4 of the Boston/Miami NBA PLAYOFFS with its lofty 4.9 rating, there was still plenty to see elsewhere on cable.


HBO:  GAME OF THRONES had a royal finale with a 2.2 rating among 18-49s, its highest rating ever (and of course that doesn’t include HBO’s many repeat airings, online viewings, etc).  It’s not quite at the True Blood level (that show does over a 3.0 in 18-49s, and is watched by about a million more people), but still a huge hit–and Games has a prestige factor, very important to HBO, that True Blood lacks.  The news was good for the rest of HBO’s line-up too:  GIRLS had its highest-rated episode ever (unfortunately not its best, although I think we all learned a valuable lesson about taking showers when Adam is anywhere near), rising to a 0.6 that tied VEEP and skewed a bit younger.


MTV:  Yes, the MTV MOVIE AWARDS are very much scripted–you think it was a coincidence that Jennifer Lawrence happened to pre-tape an acceptance speech before her category was announced?  The ratings sagged badly from last year, both in 18-49s (1.4, down from 1.9) and in MTV’s target audience of 12-34s (2.8, plummeting from last year’s 3.9).  Was it the fact that most of the celebrated movies were months (the last Twilight) or nearly a year (the last Harry Potter) old?  In any case, don’t look for Russell Brand to host again next year.

AMC:  Yet another exceptional and disturbing episode of MAD MEN, which is richly proving itself again to be the best show on television, was up to 0.8 in its penultimate hour of the season.  After the events of the past 2 episodes, it’s truly impossible to guess what Matt Weiner may be planning for Sunday.  THE KILLING, which swears–swears!–Rosie Larsen’s murderer will be really and truly revealed in 2 weeks, for those who still care, climbed to a decent 0.5.

LIFETIME:  THE CLIENT LIST (which is doing all it can to turn Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Breasts into the Mother Teresa of “happy ending” masseuses) proved to be as compatible with DROP DEAD DIVA as it was with Army Wives, as both shows had 0.8 ratings, with Client skewing a bit younger.

A&E:  LONGMIRE scored a solid 0.8 in its premiere with 18-49s, but the show is really aimed at a much older audience, which is responding:  the show had almost as many total viewers as Game of Thrones, but just over 1/3 of Thrones’ 18-49 rating, and had a slightly lower 18-49 rating than its companion show THE GLADES, even though it was watched by a million more people.

SHOWTIME:  The network’s 2 dramedies NURSE JACKIE and THE BIG C (the former has been renewed for another season) rose in lockstep, with essentially tied 0.24 and 0.25 ratings.  Jackie has been having a generally excellent season, while Big C… hasn’t.  THE BORGIAS was somewhat behind with a 0.19.

Also, on Friday night Starz’s MAGIC CITY (which has already been renewed for another season) exited with a very quiet 0.14 rating.

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."