July 10, 2012



The backlash to the Newsroom backlash backlash doesn’t seem to be hurting the show at all.

HBO:  That sound you hear from the HBO boardroom is a sigh of relief:  THE NEWSROOM may or may not turn out to be Smash in terms of quality, but it’s definitely not Luck in the ratings.  In its 3d episode, Newsroom perked up nicely to a 0.9 in 18-49s, up 0.2 from last week and also up 500,000 total viewers, with over 50% of the viewers under 50.  That was particularly impressive because its lead-in TRUE BLOOD, the overwhelming winner of the night with a 2.6 that handily outrated everything on broadcast TV on Sunday night (and more than 75% of those viewers under 50), was “merely” even with its rating the week before.  Incidentally, fire monsters?  True Blood is about a fang’s-length away from becoming a flat-out comedy.  (Although the Tara/Jessica interaction was fun.)

TNT:  FALLING SKIES held steady at 1.2, about 45% of its total audience under 50, with an episode that introduced what will probably be this season’s big plotline, the possibly good (or possibly duplicitous) alien.  THE GREAT ESCAPE, its unscripted companion piece, was even at 0.6 in 18-49s but lost about 10% of its total audience, which had the effect of making the show’s viewers younger, with about 2/3 of those left under 50.

LIFETIME:  Both ARMY WIVES and DROP DEAD DIVA ticked up from last week by 0.2 in the demo and 3-400,000 total viewers, remaining below 50% in viewers under 50.

A&E:  LONGMIRE and THE GLADES both had nice increases from last week.  LONGMIRE was up 0.2 in the demo and 800,000 viewers (still very old skewing, with about 75% of the total audience over 50), and THE GLADES also up 0.2 in the demo and 700,000 viewers (about one-third under 50).

SHOWTIME:  WEEDS and EPISODES declined from last week’s premieres by about 20% in the demo and 25% in total viewers.  The 2 shows are still young-skewing, with about 2/3 of the viewers under 50, but the numbers for Episodes, in particular, are dwindling, with only400,000 people tuning in.  (It must be noted, though, as always, that paycable networks are not in the eyeball business, they’re in the buzz business, and on that level the show may still be delivering for Showtime.)

The Sunday cable world is far from full:  this week brings the arrival of USA’s atypically classy POLITICAL ANIMALS, and the long-awaited return of BREAKING BAD on AMC.


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."