October 4, 2011

THE SKED: Week 2 + 1 – ABC Network Scorecard


The third week of a network season is a critical one.  Ratings erosion after a series or season premiere is expected and even acceptable, because it’s understood that not every viewer drawn by hype and marketing will be a satisfied customer.  But a continued fall in Week 3 can be a sign of trouble, and if that decline is from a number that wasn’t great to begin with, the trouble could be serious.  That being said, let’s take a look at where the networks stand as they begin this crucial week.  (Note:  since only 2 networks debuted their Monday schedules on the season’s first official day, we’ll include the next Monday in our review of the week.)
SUBURGATORY –  Only one airing so far, but it premiered well.


REVENGE –  Not really “struggling” yet, but last week’s drop was worrisome.  The question is whether it can stop the fall.

PAN AM –  Same here.  It’s won the battle of the 1960s shows, and it’s beating CBS, but the ratings need to hold where they are now.

GREY’S ANATOMY As with Glee, this show is still a hit, but it’s substantially less of one than it used to be.

DANCING WITH THE STARS – The question is whether this disastrous cycle is just an aberration of bad casting, or if it signals the beginning of the end for this show.  That would be seriously bad news for a network that needs it to fill multiple hours per week.

CHARLIE’S ANGELS – No one cared to see a remake of this, and besides, it’s not any good.  Now that NBC has issued the season’s first cancellation, expect this one to be close behind.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES – Dead show walking!  No one expected it to go out as dismally as it has.  A warning of the perils of hanging on for one season too many.
GRADE:  C-plus

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."