December 6, 2013



Last night, the hills were, without a doubt, alive.

Daily Comparison 2013 Thu Dec 5 three way

NBC:  What’s on the drawing board this morning at NBC?  Hello, Dolly with Miley Cyrus?  Kanye West in Fiddler On the Roof?  Katy Perry as Mame?  Sweeney Todd with Eminem and Taylor Swift as the serial-killing cannibals?  (Actually, that one…)  In what has to be an especially sweet triumph for network President Bob Greenblatt–and whatever one may have thought about what actually aired–THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE proved resoundingly that there’s a huge audience out there for Broadway musicals on TV, and that the appeal of live network events isn’t limited to football games and awards shows.  Its 4.6 average for the night and 18.5M total viewers were sensational, but let’s dig into the numbers a bit.  SOML won every half-hour of the night except for a narrow loss at 8PM to The Big Bang Theory, and it held its number throughout the evening until declining a bit at the 10PM hour, possibly a combination of some viewers going to sleep and others (women 18-34, in particular) switching to an event episode of Scandal.  The audience was driven by women of all ages (demo shares of 15-19), but kids were well represented (11-12 demo shares) and men showed up in enough numbers (9-10 demo shares) to beat everything else in primetime.  All of it was music to the network’s ears.

CBS:  As noted, THE BIG BANG THEORY took the 8PM half-hour, but its 4.6 rating was hit hard by Broadway, down 0.7 from the last new episode 2 weeks ago (all comparisons except where noted are to that night, since last Thursday was Thanksgiving) to a season low.  THE MILLERS fell 0.3 to 2.5, and THE CRAZY ONES slipped 0.1 to 2.1.  However, 2 1/2 MEN rose 0.2 to 2.3, and ELEMENTARY held at 1.8.

ABC:  Numbers may be inflated by 0.1-0.2 because the network’s Houston station carried the night’s NFL game.  So the 0.1 rise for ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND (to 1.0) may go away, while GREY’S ANATOMY was probably hit especially hard by the musical competition, since even in preliminary numbers it was down 0.2 to a new series low 2.4.  SCANDAL is currently up 0.2 to 3.1 with one of its more deliriously bonkers episodes of the season.

FOX:  FOX was the only network to air new episodes on Thanksgiving, and last night’s THE X FACTOR and GLEE (the latter with a weird holiday episode set in 2012) were up a respective 0.3 and 0.2 from those holiday-depressed numbers to 1.3/1.1.  However, the shows were down 0.2 and 0.3 from the episodes that aired 2 weeks ago.

CW:  Even this netlet’s audience seemed to feel the pinch of Rodgers & Hammerstein, as THE VAMPIRE DIARIES slumped 0.3 to 1.0, and REIGN dropped 0.1 to 0.6.

With the exception of CBS, the networks have all-new programming tonight.  The Eye starts out with some holiday specials, segues to a NCIS LA rerun, then airs its yearly GRAMMY NOMINATIONS LIVE special, which last year did a 1.5 on a Wednesday.


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."