October 28, 2011

THE SKED: Thursday Ratings – Network Scorecard – 10./27/11


November sweeps began with a baseball bat in its hand, and for one network, that bat was the one wielded by Robert DeNiro in The Untouchables.
NBC:  A disaster, although its full extent won’t be known until the World Series is over next week.  COMMUNITY and PARKS AND RECREATION tied all-time lows (and for those shows, that’s really low), and THE OFFICE had its lowest ever rating on a Thursday, which means the network will have zero non-football shows this week with even a 3 rating.  NBC could take a tiny bit of solace from the 0.1 uptick for WHITNEY, but all that promotional effort this week aimed at PRIME SUSPECT came to naught, with an even lower rating than last week’s episode.  And the news just gets worse:  Awake, the midseason multiple-dimension cop show that would be the obvious substitute for Suspect in the Thursday lineup, has been forced to take an unscheduled break in production for several weeks because of script problems.  And the cherry on the whipped cream on the network’s cake is that tonight’s series premiere of GRIMM will have to launch against the first World Series Game 7 in 9 years.   Truly:  Ow.

ABC  It’s nice to be a female-skewing network when the competition is a sports event.  IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN, from 1966, doubled what Charlie’s Angels had been doing at 8PM (but why are Angels episodes still scheduled for the next 2 sweep Thursdays?).  Then GREY’S ANATOMY and even PRIVATE PRACTICE were up, despite the fact that FOX doesn’t usually air programming in the 10PM hour.
CBS:  A little bruised by baseball, with the 8-10PM shows all down from last week.  Surprisingly, though, even against the unusual FOX competition, THE MENTALIST held even with last week.  (Note:  rather than face World Series Game 7 tonight, the network has substituted reruns for their entire schedule.  This means the next 1 or 2 ratings for A GIFTED MAN will be life-or-death for that show.)
FOX:  We don’t know just what the network’s number was last night due to time-zone adjustments for live sports, but we know it was good.  Last night and tonight are the reasons there’s still some value for the network in staying in the baseball business. 
CW:  Their target audience of women 18-34 has little interest in baseball, and both VAMPIRE DIARIES and SECRET CIRCLE did just fine.  (Vampire tied NBC in its first half-hour, and its rating was higher than Prime Suspect‘s).

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."