September 29, 2011

THE SKED: Wednesday Ratings – Network Scorecard – 9/28/11


Everyone was down, as the new season started to settle in on itself–but some were down more than others.
ABCMODERN FAMILY is doing quite spectacularly, more than 20% above last season’s average.  The results in other timeslots were more mixed.  SUBURGATORY had a very nice debut at 8:30 (again, kudos to ABC Marketing this Fall), but it’s a little disappointing that THE MIDDLE wasn’t able to capitalize on NBC’s increasing woes at 8PM, although it was still slightly above last season’s average.   HAPPY ENDINGS was up a whopping 50% from its average last season, and almost double last year’s season finale (which was admittedly in the less attractive 10:30PM slot)–and by the way, rightly so, since in a way Happy Endings had last year’s most impressive reboot, miraculously becoming funny after a terrible first few episodes.  REVENGE is still OK, a solid second place in its timeslot, but it’s no longer looking like a hit (other than in comparison to last season’s disaster The Whole Truth)–and because of its serialized nature, once viewers have left, it’ll be awfully hard to get them back.

FOX:  More of the same for X FACTOR:  it’s not a blockbuster, but it’s a big enough hit to win the night.  I’m not sure how FOX’s coverage of the baseball post-season will affect X Factor‘s schedule over the next few weeks, but if the show has to skip many episodes, that’ll be something to keep an eye on.
NBCUP ALL NIGHT has pushed past being a dubious success story to a show on the brink of trouble.  Last night’s 2.1 puts its numbers squarely into COMMUNITY/PARKS & RECREATION territory, and as much as I love those shows, that’s not where you want your big new comedy to be.  FREE AGENTS is just waiting for its cancellation notice, which may be delayed for PR reasons if NBC doesn’t want to be the first network to admit to Fall failure.  HARRY’S LAW can’t even pull in its presumed older audience, let alone 18-49s.  And the arrival of Danny Pino did nothing for SVU–if the show falls any lower than its current 2.0, it would be a candidate for cancellation anywhere but NBC, where they have too many bigger problems.
CBS:  Stability, thy name is CBS.  SURVIVOR and CSI barely budged from last week, and although CRIMINAL MINDS is now a bit below last season’s average, it’s facing very strong competition from Modern Family and X Factor.  
CW:  H84 was slightly less DOA than last week (it’s unutterably sad to think that may be because Kim Kardashian was featured), and AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL continues to be more than 30% below last season’s average.
Tonight, quite a few shows will be airing their second episodes and waiting to find out how many viewers come back for more (look for plenty of Pilot + 1 Reviews tonight).  For NBC, the critical numbers will be for The Office and Whitney in the 9PM hour, which is all that’s keeping the network from complete non-football oblivion.

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."