September 27, 2013



Another NBC vs CBS showdown–but this one goes the other way.

Daily Comparison 2013 Thu Sep 26 three way

CBS:  Two-thirds of a remarkable night.  The back-to-back episodes of THE BIG BANG THEORY that served as its Season 7 premiere were spectacular at 5.3/5.8, not just the highest network scores of the week (barring football), but up from last year’s 5.0 for a single half-hour.  Robin Williams’s THE CRAZY ONES got off to a great start at 4.0, easily winning its slot.  2 1/2 MEN was down 0.6 from last year’s premiere to 2.9, but it also didn’t have quite the same level of lead-in.  The only disappointment was ELEMENTARY, which was merely OK at 2.1, down 1.0 from last year–and with the season premiere of Scandal to look forward to next week.

NBC:  Thursday used to be NBC’s crowning jewel–now it’s the network’s biggest problem.  Back-to-back episodes of PARKS & RECREATION were at 1.3/1.2, putting the network in 4th place for the hour (even behind the rerun on ABC) and down not just from last season’s 1.7 start, but from the 1.4 season premiere for the canceled Up All Night.  THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW wasn’t much of a draw with 2.1/2.1 episodes, just barely out of 4th place for the hour, although at least it held steady through the hour.  (And if NBC had thought Welcome to the Family and Sean Saves the World would do any better, those shows would have aired last night.)  PARENTHOOD tied its series low 1.6, 0.3 below last year’s Tuesday debut.

ABC:  Considering the competition, 1.4 for a rerun of Tuesday’s Agents of SHIELD pilot wasn’t half-bad.  The two-hour GREY’S ANATOMY premiere was down a heavy 1.0 from last year’s debut, but in keeping with the numbers the serialized show was getting last spring.

FOX:  THE X FACTOR was even with last week at 2.0, and while that was still way below last season, it wasn’t hurt by the stepped-up competition.  GLEE was down an ugly 1.1 from last year at 2.0 with its much-hyped Beatles episode, although again that was the same level it was getting in the spring.

CW:  Still in reruns at 0.3/0.2.

CBS debuts its new Friday line-up of UNDERCOVER BOSS, HAWAII 5-0 and BLUE BLOODS tonight, and FOX premieres spin-off MASTERCHEF JR.

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."