January 16, 2014



AFTERNOON UPDATE:  AMERICAN IDOL gained 0.1 in final numbers, but at 4.7, it was still nowhere near last year’s 6.0 premiere.  SVU, SUPER FUN NIGHT and THE TOMORROW PEOPLE all lost 1.0 from their already unimpressive ratings. 

WEDNESDAY CABLE:  The Season 5 premiere episodes of DUCK DYNASTY (A&E) were at 3.3/3.4, easily the top-rated shows on cable (reruns were in the 1.0 neighborhood), but didn’t seem to benefit from the recent controversy.  The show was down 0.1/0.2 from October’s season 4 finale, and down much more sharply from last season’s 5.0 premiere.  AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN (FX), at 1.7, was down 0.1 from last week.  PSYCH (USA) fell 0.2 from last week’s season premiere to 0.6. 

Almost no one had any reason to celebrate last night.

Daily Comparison 2014 Wed Jan 15 three way

FOX:  AMERICAN IDOL premiered at 4.6, down a dreadful 1.4 from last year’s premiere (which was down 1.4 from the year before that).  It was lower than the fall premiere of The Voice (5.1).  When you consider that over the course of last season, Idol fell from its 6.0 premiere to 3.6 for its finale, you have to wonder just how low the show will get before this season is done.  Nevertheless, even in its diminished state, Idol was by far the highest-rated show of the night and easily gave FOX the win.

NBC:  CHICAGO PD dropped like a stone in its second airing (and first time facing CSI), down 0.5 to a mediocre 1.5.  It wasn’t helped by lead-in SVU, which responded to the Idol competition by plunging 0.6 to 1.5 (last week’s episode also featured the season’s major storyline about an attack on Mariska Hargitay’s character).  At 8PM, REVOLUTION fell 0.2 to a new series low 1.3.

ABC:  No good news here, either.  THE MIDDLE started things off with a season low 1.8, down 0.4 from last week.  SUBURGATORY‘s 1.6 was even with last season’s finale, but that’s nothing to boast about (it can’t realistically be compared to last year’s 2.8 premiere, where it aired after MODERN FAMILY.)  Thinking of which, Family dropped 0.3 to tie its season low 3.2, and SUPER FUN NIGHT slipped 0.1 to 1.6.  NASHVILLE ended the night by hitting a series low 1.3, down 0.1 from its last new episode in 2013.

CBS:  CRIMINAL MINDS was steady at 2.4 despite the competition from IdolCSI gained 0.2, easily winning the 10PM slot with 2.0.

CW:  ARROW lost 0.2 from its last new episode (in 2013), falling to 0.9.  THE TOMORROW PEOPLE, though, managed to rise 0.1 to 0.6.

Last season, the first Thursday edition of American Idol was at 5.6, and that means tonight may be around 4.2 for FOX.  CBS is in reruns (and ABC has a SHARK TANK rerun where The Assets had been running), so the competition isn’t fierce.  CW will try to capitalize on today’s Oscar nominations by airing the CRITICS CHOICE MOVIE AWARDS, a set of awards that otherwise has little meaning.


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."