November 26, 2011

The Sked: Network TV Update Thanksgiving

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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>Better late than never.  Thanksgiving was a pretty turgid night on network television.  TV usage drops through the floor with women, while usage levels for men are pretty good on Thanksgiving night — but they are mainly watching football on NFL Network (pro) or ESPN (college).   Without any football on the night, the networks try to satisfy the nation’s retailers (who need eyeballs for the Black Friday sales commercials) with a collection of repeats and holiday specials. 

The highest rated network show on the night?  A repeat episode of the very reliable Big Bang Theory at a very solid 3.6 Adult 18-49 rating.  Only two other network programs broke a 2 rating:  Rules of Engagement repeat (2.4) and a new “Ice Age” animated Christmas special (2.3), which FOX hopes it can grow into a perennial staple.  

The other specials were pretty weak.  Charlie Brown leftovers (1.8 on ABC and 1.6 on FOX) and a Lady Gaga music special (1.6) once again prove that network music specials are very good for the record company and the artist’s vanity but not for the network or disappointed advertisers.  And NBC found that the Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who (1.1) will definitely not be a holiday tradition, and neither will a prime time wrap up (1.1) of the incredibly successful 9 am-noon Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Ratings for this year’s Parade are not yet available (but it is usually in the 25+ million viewers range), and the audience clearly likes to see it live (or almost live) in the morning.


Thursday November 24

CBS 2.1 rating 8-11 pm (3.0 rating last two weeks)
    8:00  3.6  Big Bang Theory repeat
    8:30  2.4  Rules of Engagement repeat
    9:00  1.7  Person of Interest repeat
   10:00  1.5  Mentalist repeat

FOX 1.7 rating 8-10 pm (2.9 rating last two weeks)
    8:00  2.3  Ice Age: Mammoth Christmas special
    8:30  1.6  Happiness Is a Warm Blanket Charlie Brown
    9:30  1.3  The Simpsons repeat

ABC 1.6 rating 8-11 pm (2.5 rating last two weeks)
    8:00  1.8  Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special
    9:00  1.3  The Middle repeat
    9:30  1.6  A Very Gaga Thanksgiving special

NBC 1.1 rating 8-11 pm (1.8 rating last two weeks)
    8:00  1.1  Horton Hears a Who
   10:00  1.1  Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — 85th Ann. spec.

CW  0.3 rating 8-10 pm (0.7 rating last two weeks)
    8:00  0.3  Vampire Diaries repeat
    9:00  0.2  The Secret repeat

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."