May 24, 2012




Say goodnight, broadcast season.


FOX:  AMERICAN IDOL‘s season finale did what the show’s done all season:  win the night convincingly, but at a significantly lower level than it’s ever been before.  The final episode, currently at a preliminary 6.1, will be just around 30% below last year, and FOX will no doubt spend a lot of time between now and January trying to figure out how to lift the show back into its previous stratosphere.  But with NBC and FOX itself offering singing competitions The Voice and X Factor 4 nights each week during the fall, it’s going to be hard to recapture that “event” status for Idol.


ABC:  A mixed bag of results for a night of mostly season finales.  THE MIDDLE was up only 0.1 from last week’s season low to 2.0.  After a MODERN FAMILY repeat that held serve at 2.0, the show’s excellent season finale was similarly up only 0.1 from last week’s season low to 4.0.  (The good news is that both Middle and Family were down only slightly from last year’s finales.)  Then things kicked up: DON’T TRUST THE B___ IN APT 23 leaped 0.6 from last week to a very solid 2.5 (especially airing against the final half-hour of Idol, which had a 6.8 rating).  And at 10PM, REVENGE scored a 2.4, up 0.4 from last week–this was its best rating in months, although nowhere near where it had been in the fall.  (And below where it’s going to be need to be on Sundays in the fall.)

NBC:  The season finale of OFF THEIR ROCKERS was stable with 1.5, and a repeat did exactly the same number at 8:30PM.  A repeat SVU at 9PM only managed a 0.9, and the show’s season finale was up a bit from last week to 1.9.

CBS:  The network couldn’t be bothered, airing all repeats.  Notably,the repeat CRIMINAL MINDS at 10PM earned a 1.6, just a bit below SVU‘s season finale on NBC.

CWAMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL prepared for its banishment to Fridays with a lousy 0.4 season finale, up just 0.1 from the rerun that preceded it.

With the season over, NBC has some old business to take care of, airing what’s turned out to be the series finale of AWAKE.  FOX and ABC, on the other hand, are jumping right into the summer season, FOX with SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and ABC with the new singing competition (because we can’t have too many of those) DUETS and then the Season 3 premiere of ROOKIE BLUE.  The latter is one of the few original scripted series being aired on broadcast TV this summer.

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."