August 30, 2013



Last night was the final Thursday of exhibition football, so the last time we have to note that the night’s preliminary TV ratings are significantly inflated by local preemptions for NFL games.  CBS: at least 10 major markets covering 19.8% of the country, including New York (Jets), Dallas, Boston, Atlanta and Miami.  NBC: at least 6 major markets covering 13.9% of the country, including New York (Giants), Washington DC, Tampa, Miami and Cleveland.  FOX: at least 5 major markets covering 8.5% of the country, including Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle.  ABC: at least 4 major markets covering 7.0% of the country, including Philadelphia, Houston and Detroit.  Mitch Metcalf estimates that the preliminary ratings for the Big Four networks could each be as much as 0.5-0.7 over the final numbers that will be available this afternoon, with CW up 0.1.

Daily Comparison 2013 Thu Aug 29 three way

ABC:  So that seemingly huge demand for the 2-hour season finale of MOTIVE is likely illusory, and both it and ROOKIE BLUE will probably be back down to their 1.0-1.1 levels from last week.

NBC:  Ditto for HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT, and the currently high-rated reruns that preceded it.

CBS:  The 0.5 hike for BIG BROTHER will probably melt away, although the show will still be the night’s highest rated telecast, with the 8PM rerun of THE BIG BANG THEORY close behind.

FOX:  The network only wishes its reruns could get ratings in the mid-1s like the ones in these early numbers.

CW:  Reruns will reduce to their standard level of barely registering.

Labor Day Weekend won’t change the Friday and Saturday network line-ups much (with the addition of Saturday college football on ABC), but on Sunday, NBC airs its final non-football programming of 2013, the throwaway comedy clip show TV’S FUNNIEST OF THE FUNNIEST, while ABC has the MDA SHOW OF STRENGTH TELETHON, a 2-hour special which for some of us will only ever be a shadow of the 24 holiday hours we spent with Jerry Lewis for decades.

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."