December 19, 2013



AFTERNOON UPDATE:  The BARBARA WALTERS 10 MOST FASCINATING PEOPLE special gained 0.1, going out on a high note with 2.2.  In addition, the Celine Dion HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS special picked up 0.1, bringing it to a still-low 0.7, while the IHEARTRADIO JINGLE BELL special was less impressive after it lost 0.1 to 0.5.

WEDNESDAY CABLE:  A big early-season match-up between Eastern Conference leaders Miami and Indiana brought NBA BASKETBALL (ESPN) the night’s highest rating for original programming at 1.3.  Next were AMERICAN PICKERS (History) and THE DAILY SHOW (Comedy)–the latter goosed by guest appearances from the entire ANCHORMAN 2 cast–at 0.8.  The finale of MOB CITY (TNT) held at last week’s lousy 0.4, with 1.35M total viewers.

Network TV has settled into holiday mode, with a Wednesday night whose ratings looked more like a Friday.

Daily Comparison 2013 Wed Dec 18 three way

FOX:  Being the only regular series airing on the night didn’t help THE X FACTOR, which began its 2-part season finale by dropping 0.1 from last week to 1.3.  Much more seriously, that was less than half the 2.7 rating that the show got on the parallel night last year.

ABC:  What will apparently be the final BARBARA WALTERS 10 MOST FASCINATING PEOPLE special, given her oncoming retirement, scored 2.1, steady with last year’s installment and the highest-rated show of the night.  It was preceded by a trio of reruns, highlighted inevitably by MODERN FAMILY at 1.8.

NBC:  THE SING-OFF fell 0.2 from last Wednesday to 1.6, and the MICHAEL BUBLE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL slipped 0.1 from last year’s edition to 1.3.

CBS:  This year’s CELINE DION HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS special dropped 0.2 from last year to a weak 0.6, easily outrated by the 2 procedural reruns that followed it at 1.3/1.1.

CW:  The IHEARTRADIO JINGLE BELL music special wasn’t at all bad (by CW standards) at 0.6.

THE X FACTOR winds up its season tonight, and awaits its fate.  THE SING-OFF continues on NBC, and other than a year-in-review special on ABC, everything else is a rerun.  On Sundance Channel, the critically-acclaimed eerie French horror series THE RETURNED finishes its first season.  (It will, yes, return next year.)

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."