April 23, 2013




STARZ;  In its second week, DA VINCI’S DEMONS lost half its premiere rating, falling to a 0.2 in 18-49s and half a million total viewers.  Starz strenuously asserts that this is primarily due to viewers watching the apprehension of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect that was going on that night–and we’ll find out in just a few days if that’s an explanation or an excuse.


HBO:  It’s never hard to tell when HBO is really behind a project and when it’s letting the show coast, and the malaria-themed drama MARY & MARTHA, despite a starring turn by Hilary Swank, was one of the latter.  It seems as though the network was right not to invest much of its marketing budget in the film, which managed only a weak 0.1 in 18-49s, that demo making up 25% of its 500K total viewers.


HBO:  GAME OF THRONES, of course, is an entirely different story, and Sunday’s frankly awesome episode–one of the best in its 3 seasons on the air–had a splendid 2.6 rating in 18-49s, up 0.2 from last week, and 4.9M total viewers, plus another 0.5 in the demo and 1M viewers for the 11PM re-airing. VEEP held very steady at 0.6 in the demo and 1.1M total viewers.   Interestingly, about 60% of the Game audience is under 50, but Veep skews younger, with about 72% of its viewers in the demo.

AMC:  MAD MEN lost another 0.1 in the demo and 200K total viewers in Week 3 of its season, which is (one assumes, based on previous seasons) still gathering its head of steam.

LIFETIME:  THE CLIENT LIST had a much-hyped “this is the week that changes everything” episode (which turned out to be absurdly overheated), but apparently it was the guest star stint by Brooke Shields on ARMY WIVES that paid off, as Wives pushed forward to a 0.9 in the demo while Client remained at 0.8.  The massage parlor drama remained younger-skewing, though, about 50% of its audience under 50 compared to 42% for Army Wives.

HISTORY CHANNEL:  The season’s penultimate episode of VIKINGS, a very grim hour that concluded with some surprisingly detailed human sacrifice, didn’t turn anyone off with a 1.4 that was up 0.2 from last week.  (The show added another 0.5 and 1.2M viewers with the 11PM re-airing.)

SHOWTIME:  NURSE JACKIE stayed almost exactly even in Week 2 with 0.3 in the demo and 760K total viewers.  THE BORGIAS, though, lost 100,000 total viewers (no small thing when you have fewer than 600K to begin with) and its 18-49 rating slipped to 0.1, a loss of almost half its viewers under 50 and down to a tiny 117K.


SYFY:  In its second week, the much-hyped DEFIANCE lost 0.2 of its 18-49 rating, slipping to 0.8.  That’s still on the high end of Syfy ratings for original programming, but the network won’t want to see it fall much more than that.  The show did a little better with older viewers, losing about about 10% of total audience to 2.4M.  The season finale of LOST GIRL had a 0.4 and 1.2M total viewers.

A&E:  What actually did turn out to be a “this is the week that changes everything” episode–and one that proved the show’s producers had been playing a very clever game with viewers all season–propelled BATES MOTEL up 0.2 from last week to a very healthy 1.3 (plus 0.5 for the 11PM re-airing), with about 55% of total viewers under 50.

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."