March 21, 2014



AFTERNOON UPDATE:  AMERICAN IDOL managed to salvage a shred of dignity (for this week, anyway) by gaining 0.1 in adjusted numbers to hit 2.0.  HELL’S KITCHEN also climbed 0.1, as did THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and PARENTHOOD.  Final numbers for the Thursday primetime CBS NCAA TOURNAMENT games were 1.0/1.3, with the first game way down from last year’s 1.8 (last year’s late game was at 1.2), and the dip perhaps just a reaction to that specific game (Wofford/Michigan).  However, it’s worth noting that even with unimpressive Adult 18-49 numbers last night, the NCAA games were among the night’s highest rated in men of all ages, making them very desirable for targeted advertisers (and of course the numbers will only go up as the Tournament continues).

THURSDAY CABLE:  The same NCAA TOURNAMENT numbers that didn’t look like much on CBS were just fine on cable, as TBS and TNT games led the night’s cable roster with 1.2s (tied with History’s PAWN STARS, which was up 0.1 from last week).  On USA, SUITS held at 0.7, but SIRENS dropped again to 0.3, also losing half of SUITS’ total viewers.  (USA just announced a truncated final season for WHITE COLLAR and ordered two new series, and with PSYCH also gone, GRACELAND returning but unimpressive and SIRENS flailing, it has a major rebuilding project on its hands for next season.)   VIKINGS (History) slipped 0.1 to 1.1.  SAINT GEORGE (FX) gained 0.1 to 0.4.

American Idol hit the wrong kind of milestone last night.

Daily Comp 3way 2014 Thu Mar 20

FOX:  Even after the move to a safer, quieter 9PM timeslot away from The Big Bang Theory–and against substantially weaker competition than normal on CBS–AMERICAN IDOL hit a 1.9 rating last night, its all-time low (down 0.3 from last week).  Afternoon adjustment might give it a symbolic 0.1 to put it over that symbolic mark, but still.  Lead-in HELL’S KITCHEN was also down by 0.3 to 1.7.

ABC:  After the usual 8PM washout of 0.8 for ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND (steady with last week), GREY’S ANATOMY was up 0.1 to 2.4, and SCANDAL also climbed 0.1 to 2.9.

CBS:  The first night of network NCAA TOURNAMENT basketball had preliminary ratings of 1.2/1.1 for its primetime games.  Those will be adjusted later in the day, but they’re half a point below the pre-adjustment numbers for last year’s opening night.

NBC:  COMMUNITY was up 0.1 to 1.1, and newly-renewed PARKS & RECREATION held at 1.2.  After 0.9 for a rerun HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT (virtually even with last week’s new episode), PARENTHOOD held steady at 1.2.

CW:  REIGN appreciated the return of a new VAMPIRE DIARIES episode as lead-in, with the 1.0 for Vampire (same as its most recent fresh episode) gave a 0.2 boost to Reign at 0.7.

NCAA TOURNAMENT coverage continues on CBS tonight, and the other networks are new.  On CW, HART OF DIXIE joins the Friday line-up.



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."