November 4, 2011

THE SKED: Thursday Ratings – Network Scorecard – 11/3/11


With baseball out of the way, last night was a picture of what a “typical” Thursday will look like.
FOX:  The return of BONES was a very healthy 0.6 higher than its season premiere last year (when it was in the 8PM slot), and roughly on par with the numbers it was doing last Spring, when it had American Idol and its 6+ rating as a lead-in.  If it can hold at that level with a 45% lower lead-in from X FACTOR, FOX will be very happy indeed.  X Factor comparisons, meanwhile, are somewhat skewed by the fact that this was the show’s first 1-hour episode, meaning that half of its running time faced off with Big Bang Theory on CBS.  With that in mind, a less than 10% drop from its previous Thursday average barely registers.

NBC:  That sigh of relief was the network seeing THE OFFICE return to a rating that starts with a “3”.  However, that still puts it in 3rd place for its timeslot.  Otherwise, although the numbers for the night’s other shows were all up by 1-3 tenths without baseball competition, not a single show scored over a 2.1.  And it’s getting to be time to cut PRIME SUSPECT loose with its sad 1.2 rating.
ABC:  Nothing demonstrates the decreasing importance of November sweeps more than the fact that ABC is using it to burn off episodes of CHARLIE’S ANGELS.  (The last Thursday of Sweeps features a special 20/20 with Regis Philbin followed by a 2-hour PRIVATE PRACTICE ) GREY’S ANATOMY continues to run 20% below last season’s average, making Private Practice–which admittedly faces no real competition from NBC in the hour–look comparatively impressive by running even with last year.
CBS:  It’s hard to believe CBS is content with PERSON OF INTEREST‘s 4th place finish in its hour, almost 20% lower than its RULES OF ENGAGEMENT lead-in, but the show’s back order suggests otherwise.  Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the network experiment with other programming in the hour.  THE MENTALIST, despite weak competition from NBC in its hour, is running about 10% below last year.
CW:  The network’s one successful night continues to hold well, with VAMPIRE DIARIES‘ 1.5 not all that far behind NBC for the hour.
Tonight is, in a way, the whole Fall for NBC:  if GRIMM, without Game 7 World Series competition, can build or even hold its number from last week, it could win its hour and allow the network to claim an actual 2011 hit.  Also, A GIFTED MAN is nearing its make-or-break moment on CBS.


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."