January 3, 2014



AFTERNOON UPDATE:  There were no meaningful changes from the morning’s overnight numbers.  As often happens, when the dust settled on CBS, THE BIG BANG THEORY rose 0.1 to 5.4 and THE MILLERS slipped 0.1 to 2.8.  In addition, 2 1/2 MEN added 0.1 for 2.2.  Both half-hours of COMMUNITY ended up at 1.3s.  The premiere of THE TASTE crept up 0.1 to 1.3. 

THURSDAY CABLE:  The SUGAR BOWL on ESPN didn’t quite unthrone BIG BANG THEORY for the highest rating of the night, but it sustained its 5.2 throughout primetime, making ESPN the easy winner among networks.  The 2 original half-hours of PAWN STARS were at 1.3s on History Channel, up from last week’s 1.1.  Everything else was below 1.0, with GROUND FLOOR (TBS) at 0.8 (up from 0.7).  It’s worth noting that the 10PM airing of LAW & ORDER: SVU on USA, part of a day-long marathon, had a 0.9 rating, considerably above the 0.6 that the last new episode of WHITE COLLAR had in that slot 2 weeks ago.

Hardly anyone last night wanted to ring in the new year with new programming.  (The most notable number of the night may be ESPN’s college football coverage, which hasn’t come in yet.)

Daily Comparison 2014 Thu Jan 02 three way

NBC:  Despite all the media attention given to the return of series creator Dan Harmon, and the generally glowing reviews for COMMUNITY‘s Season 5 premiere, back-to-back episodes were only at 1.3/1.2, far below last season’s 1.9 start, and with a second half-hour that was even below the Season 4 finale.  On the plus side, those numbers were still relatively huge compared to the series low 0.8s for SEAN SAVES THE WORLD and THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW, down 0.2 and 0.1 from their last new episodes.  Facing weaker than usual competition, PARENTHOOD was up 0.1 to 1.3.

ABC:  The season premiere of THE TASTE had a bad one at 1.2, nowhere near last season’s 2.1 premiere.  But that was last night’s “good” news, because at 10PM, the attempt to plug THE ASSETS into Scandal‘s slot while the hit is on hiatus was a catastrophe, with a 0.7 that marked a historic network low.

CBS:  America knows what it likes, and what it likes is THE BIG BANG THEORY.  The blockbuster returned at 5.3, up 0.2 from its last original episode–although down 0.8 from the same time last year.  THE MILLERS rode its lead-in to 2.9, up 0.3 from its last new episode (but far from the 4.5 that 2 1/2 MEN did in the slot last year).  THE CRAZY ONES was up 0.1 to 2.0, and thinking of 2 1/2 Men, it was up 0.2 to 2.1.  Compare that to the 3.4 that Person of Interest did in the 9PM hour last year.  ELEMENTARY, even without having to face Scandal, was up only 0.1 to 1.8.  That was down from 2.6 last January.

FOX:  Still in rerun mode, at 0.6/0.7.

CW:  Reruns at 0.3/0.2.

NBC (and CW for an hour) are the only networks airing new shows tonight against FOX’s Cotton Bowl and ESPN’s Orange Bowl telecasts.


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."