January 31, 2014



AFTERNOON UPDATE:  The biggest change from this morning was a 0.2 drop for THE MILLERS (probably because it started at 8:31PM and had been credited with a tinge of the BIG BANG THEORY viewership).  That, along with a 0.1 bump for AMERICAN IDOL at least moved IDOL farther away from MILLERS territory.  BIG BANG THEORY, with that extra minute, got an additional 0.1, and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, PARKS & RECREATION, THE TASTE and 2 1/2 MEN gained 0.1 as well.  ELEMENTARY went down 0.1, and so did REIGN, which combined with the VAMPIRE increase made REIGN’s performance last night less impressive than it had looked.

THURSDAY CABLE:  THE BIG BANG THEORY won the night in cable, as well, with 1.3 for a 9:30PM TBS rerun.  The highest rated new show was PAWN STARS (History), at 1.1/1.1, although down significantly from last week’s 1.4/1.5.  Behind that was HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO (TLC) at 0.9.  The season finale of WHITE COLLAR (USA) was at 0.8, consistent with its performance this season.

Remember when American Idol vs. The Big Bang Theory was a thing?

Daily Comparison 2014 Thu Jan 30 three way

FOX:  The wince-inducing number for FOX last night wasn’t that AMERICAN IDOL lost by 2 full ratings points to Big Bang Theory, 3.1 to 5.1, or even that it was down 0.3 from last week or 1.4 from this time last year.  It’s that Idol was just half a point above The Millers in their head-to-head half-hour.  (And the first half-hour of Idol had the same rating as Millers did half an hour later.)  That margin may very well continue to shrink, and if Millers ever pulls ahead, it will truly be a sad day for Idol.  Meanwhile, RAKE is already half-dead, down 0.4 from its underwhelming debut to a flat-out bad 1.3–yet another expensive, high-profile network project going nowhere.

CBS:  The news last night wasn’t all great for the Eye, either.  Although THE BIG BANG THEORY romped to victory with its 5.1, it was down a hefty 0.6 from its last new episode.  Correspondingly, THE MILLERS was down half a point to 2.8.  The declines extended into the next hour, where both THE CRAZY ONES and 2 1/2 MEN fell half a point to tie their series low 1.9s,  After all that, ELEMENTARY looked awfully good by holding steady at 2.0.

NBC:  COMMUNITY and PARKS & RECREATION held even at 1.1/1.2.  An SNL SPORTS SPECTACULAR clip show outperformed the usual 9-11PM line-up at 1.8.

ABC:  THE TASTE was down 0.1 to 1.0, and then a SHARK TANK rerun was down 0.2 from last week’s, also to 1.0.

CW:  THE VAMPIRE DIARIES was down 0.2 from last week’s event episode to 1.0.  That made REIGN‘s 0.1 increase to 0.7 fairly impressive, the first sign that the medieval soap may be developing some traction.

With scattered exceptions, all the networks are new tonight.  CW airs the season–and very possibly the series–finale of THE CARRIE DIARIES.

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."