April 16, 2013




STARZ:  It doesn’t appear as though DA VINCI’S DEMONS is going to be a gamechanger for Starz, as the series debuted with a tame 0.4 in 18-49s, about half of the total viewership of 1M.  That was coming off a 0.6 rating for the series finale of SPARTACUS: WAR OF THE DAMNED, which is probably the best lead-in Da Vinci will ever get, so we’ll find out next week if the new show is any kind of self-starter.  (Note, though, that even at this level Da Vinci is outperforming Boss and Magic City, so if it can hold steady, a Season 2 renewal would be no surprise at all.)


BBCAMERICA:  So far ORPHAN BLACK isn’t building the head of steam it deserves, with an 18-49 rating not much over a 0.1 (around 55% of total viewers).  That’s only about one-third of the numbers for its DOCTOR WHO lead-in, although admittedly the Doctor is by BBCAmerica standards a blockbuster.


HBO:  A particularly tasty episode of GAME OF THRONES (it was worth an HBO subscription for the seating arrangements alone) matched its series high 2.4 in 18-49s (plus another 0.5 for the 11PM rerun), hit a new high in total viewers, and took the night.  That did a limited amount for the season premiere of VEEP, however, which lost the bulk of that audience with a 0.6.  (Veep shared the young skew of Game, though, with a bit less than two-thirds of its audience under 50–even though that matters less to HBO than to a network that sells advertising.)  Veep was just about even with last year’s finale in both 18-49s and total viewers, although it was down from the series premiere.

SHOWTIME:  This time of year isn’t where Showtime puts up any real competition for its pay-TV foe, although on its own terms NURSE JACKIE didn’t do badly.  It was at the high end of last year’s numbers with 0.3 in 18-49s, about half the 770,000 total viewers.  THE BORGIAS, though, was mired at half that 18-49 rating, the same as last year, although it did do better with older audiences, since only about 35% of its total viewers were under 50.

MTV:  The MTV MOVIE AWARDS may have been a train wreck, but it was a well-attended one, with a 2.0 rating in 18-49s (and of course that’s an “older” demo for MTV) that was hugely up from last year’s 1.4.

AMC:  MAD MEN tends to fall in the second week of its season as the tourists drop away, and that held true this year too, as the show was down 21% in total viewers (last year it was 17%) and down 0.1 in 18-49s to 1.0 (same as last year).

HISTORY CHANNEL:  A steady ride for VIKINGS, which held at 1.2 with a particularly battle-heavy hour.

LIFETIME:  Similarly, the fans of ARMY WIVES and THE CLIENT LIST know what they like, and both shows were even at 0.8 in 18-49s.

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."