February 20, 2014



AFTERNOON UPDATE:  NBC wasn’t able to exclude the 8PM half-hour of its WINTER OLYMPICS coverage, and consequently its rating stayed at 5.0, just barely above the 2d-lowest night of Turin  And without getting too far into spoiler territory, tonight’s ratings may end up being disappointing as well.  CRIMINAL MINDS gained back 0.1 of its loss from its last original episode, and its 2.5 was only down 0.3 from that one, suggesting again that airing against the Olympics isn’t necessarily a death sentence.  AMERICAN IDOL, however, stayed at 2.6, the lowest Wednesday rating in its history.

WEDNESDAY CABLE:  DUCK DYNASTY (A&e) handily won the night, but its downward trajectory continues, falling 0.2 to 2.3.  Its companion piece WAHLBURGERS ran its lead-in to 1.2, down 0.4 from last time.  REAL WORLD EXPLOSION (MTV) was the only other original show to pass 0.8 on cable with 1.1. 

CSI managed a rarity last night:  holding even against the Olympics.

Daily Comparison three way 2014 Wed Feb 19

NBC:  See Mitch Metcalf’s Skedball post for detailed analysis and charts of WINTER OLYMPICS ratings.  We expect last night’s primetime telecast to adjust to 5.2 once the 8PM half-hour (which airs without commercials) is excluded.  That would be up 0.2 from Tuesday, and ahead of Turin on the parallel night–albeit the 2006 Games’ 2d-lowest evening.  Tonight was far stronger for Turin, so Sochi (currently 0.4 behind 2006 overall) may lose ground.  We still won’t know for quite a while how THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON is doing, but it was a good sign that on its 3rd airing, the show fell very little from Tuesday, down 0.1 in 18-49s (to 2.2) and also down 0.1 in households (to 5.2).  These numbers continue to be misleadingly far ahead of the competition.

FOX:  Could today’s news that Sony Music may have been cheating AMERICAN IDOL stars goose the ratings at all?  At this point, FOX will take any boost, even a scandal-driven one.  Last night’s show was at 2.6, down 0.1 from Tuesday’s special episode and down an ugly 0.8 from last Wednesday, which also faced the Olympics.  Thursday tends to be the show’s weakest night, so tonight could be particularly painful.

CBS:  The network’s experiment of airing 2 fresh hours against the Olympics had mixed results.  After 0.9 for a HAWAII 5-0 rerun, a new CRIMINAL MINDS was down 0.4 from its last original episode to 2.4.  However, CSI was steady with its last original at 2.0.

ABC:  The final episode of SUPER FUN NIGHT (for the season, and almost certainly forever) hit a series low 0.9.  The rest of the night was made up of reruns, led by 1.2 for MODERN FAMILY.

CW:  Reruns at 0.3/0.2.

RAKE, THE TASTE and Idol are the only new shows airing against the Olympics tonight.


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."