February 21, 2014



AFTERNOON UPDATE:  THE WINTER OLYMPICS gained only 0.1 in adjusted numbers, bringing it to 5.0, more than a point behind Vancouver and more than 3 points behind Turin for the night.  (Don’t even ask about Salt Lake City.)  At least the afternoon adjustments gave the Games something, though–AMERICAN IDOL stayed at its awful, all-time low 2.4, still behind the rerun of THE BIG BANG THEORY on CBS. 

THURSDAY CABLE:  The Miami/Oklahoma City NBA BASKETBALL game on TNT (at 1.7) and PAWN STARS on History (1.1, down 0.2 from last week) were the only original cable shows to top 0.8 last night. 

Take your pick as to who had the worse night, NBC or FOX.

Daily Comparison three way 2014 Thu Feb 20

NBC:  See Mitch Metcalf’s Skedball post for detailed analysis and charts of THE WINTER OLYMPICS ratings and how Sochi is faring compared to previous Winter Games.  Last night was a disaster for USA figure skaters and for NBC, and even if the network is able to remove the 8PM hour from the final number (if it aired without any commercials) and the adjusted rating rises from 4.9 to 5.2, that will still be almost a full point behind Vancouver, and a dreadful 2.9 behind Turin for the night.  There’s no question now that Sochi will be the lowest rated primetime Winter Games ever in 18-49s, although NBC will do everything it can to obscure that fact by talking about other demos, dayparts and platforms.

FOX:  It doesn’t get more ignominious than this:  last night, a rerun Big Bang Theory beat an original episode of AMERICAN IDOL, which plunged 0.6 from last week to 2.4–and although the network can cite the Olympics as an excuse, remember that NBC had an off-night too.  This was, it’s probably needless to say, the lowest-rated regularly-scheduled Idol ever.  It will take a week for FOX to find out how many of those vanished viewers will come back once the Games are over, and that’s going to be a scary week for FOX.  RAKE is all but dead (and deservedly so), down another 0.1 to 1.0.

ABC:  THE TASTE ended its season with 0.9, matching last week.  A rerun SCANDAL, priming the pump for next week’s return, did almost as well with 0.7.

CBS:  As noted, THE BIG BANG THEORY looked awfully good with 2.6 for a rerun.  The rerun MOM that followed held its number pretty well at 1.8, then the evening steadily declined.

CW:  Reruns at 0.2/0.2.

ABC airs new episodes of SHARK TANK and 20/20 against the Olympics 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."