February 7, 2014



AFTERNOON UPDATE:  The WINTER OLYMPICS climbed 0.2 in final numbers, as did  THE BIG BANG THEORY.  AMERICAN IDOL and 2 1/2 MEN were both up 0.1, while THE MILLERS had the only drop, down 0.1.

THURSDAY CABLE:  PAWN STARS (History) took the lead at 1.2, up 0.1.  APPALACHIAN OUTLAWS was behind at 0.9, also up 0.1.  HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO (TLC) was next, down 0.1 at 0.8.

Welcome to the TV ratings games of the Winter Olympiad.

Daily Comparison 2014 Thu Feb 06 three way

NBC:  Last night’s 5.8 adult 18-49 rating for the start of WINTER OLYMPICS coverage does not have a good comparison point, as the Winter Olympics have previously always started on a Friday with the Opening Ceremony (not a Thursday night with preliminary competition and no medals at stake).  That said, the natural comparison is Turin in 2006, the last Winter Games in Europe.  Turin opened with a 6.5 adult 18-49 rating for the Opening Ceremony and averaged a 6.1 rating across 17 nights.  Sochi might come in around a 5.5 for the 17 nights.  Of course, the last domestic Winter Games (Salt Lake City in 2002) are in a completely different class, opening with a mammoth 15.4 adult 18-49 rating for the Opening Ceremony in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and SLC went on to average an 11.0 18-49 rating for the entire Games.  The last Winter Games in North America (with almost all live events) were in Vancouver in 2010: a 9.0 adult 18-49 rating for the Opening Ceremony and 6.5 for the entire 17 nights.  Also of note last night:  Jay Leno’s final TONIGHT SHOW had a 3.4 rating with 18-49s, roughly triple its usual rating, and a 9.2 in households, the show’s highest since 2009 (when President Obama made his first appearance).  That helped push LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON to its highest household score ever at 4.5, and a commanding 1.9 in 18-49s.

CBS:  Last night represented virtually the only time in the next 18 days when the other networks will be going head-to-head with the Olympics, and the results were down–but not terribly so.  THE BIG BANG THEORY dropped a mere 0.2 to 5.0, and THE MILLERS was actually up 0.1 to 2.7.  THE CRAZY ONES and 2 1/2 MEN were both down 0.2 to new lows, respectively 1.7 and 1.8, and ELEMENTARY slipped 0.1 to 1.8.

FOX:  AMERICAN IDOL dropped 0.2 to 3.0, while RAKE fell even deeper into the cellar, down 0.2 to a lousy 1.1.

ABC:  THE TASTE was down 0.1 to 1.0, and then a rerun SHARK TANK was at 0.9.

CW:  THE VAMPIRE DIARIES fell 0.2 to 0.9 (tying its low), and REIGN was even at 0.6, although that was also a tied low.

With tonight’s OPENING CEREMONIES officially getting the Olympics underway, the other networks are running for cover.  Only FOX’s 9PM sitcom hour and 20/20 are new tonight

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."