June 26, 2012

THE SKED: When Does “Rookie Blue” Stop Being A Rookie?

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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One of the very few–in fact, one of the only–summer success stories in scripted broadcast network programming continues, as ABC has announced the renewal of ROOKIE BLUE for a 4th season to air in Summer 2013.  “Success,” of course, is a relative term in this context.  Rookie, often described as Grey’s Anatomy With Guns, has been getting ratings this season in the mid-1s, narrowly losing to repeats of shows like America’s Got Talent and The Mentalist in the Thursday 10PM timeslot.  Still, its numbers have been consistent (far better than those for Saving Hope, the medical drama from some of the same producers that airs on NBC in the previous hour on Thursday), and presumably the network’s low license fee for the Canadian-produced drama and a female-skewing audience generate enough revenue to make ABC want to stay in the Rookie Blue business.

The one thing slightly curious about ABC’s announcement is its timing, since the show has been preempted for the past 2 weeks due to the NBA Finals.  One would have expected the network to wait a few more days and see how Rookie performs after being off the air, which suggests that there was a deadline in its license deal that required a decision now.

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."