March 26, 2012



Other shows aired last night besides Mad Men.
AMC:  Nevertheless, let’s start there.  Early numbers on the MAD MEN premiere give it the show’s biggest audience ever, higher than the season 4 premiere by a factor of over 20%, and with an 18-49 rating of around 1.2 that was 30% higher than last season’s premiere.  That’s still peanuts by broadcast network standards (its 3.5 million viewers would have made it the lowest-rated show on the networks last night, and its 18-49 rating would only have beaten Harry’s Law), but those are the most upscale viewers in the business, and to AMC’s relief, it proved that absence had made those viewers’ hearts grow fonder, rather than less interested. 

ABCONCE UPON A TIME remained the night’s highest-rated non-basketball programming, albeit with a series low 2.8 (a slight dip from the past 2 weeks).  DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, in its home stretch, was very steady with 2.6.  GCB held the Housewives audience well with a 2.2 that could give the show a shot at a fall renewal, unless it collapses in a couple of weeks when CBS debuts NY 22 in that slot.
NBCHARRY’S LAW continues unaccountably to stay on the air, despite a new series low 0.8 rating.  CELEBRITY APPRENTICE tied its series low 1.8.
CBS:  The numbers are a mess due to 18 minutes of NCAA TOURNAMENT overrun in most of the country, but it appears that the regular line-up was fairly steady, with CSI MIAMI perhaps up a bit at 10PM.  
FOX:  The network aired a patchwork schedule last night with repeats of THE SIMPSONS and FAMILY GUY but new episodes of the rest.  BOB’S BURGERS and AMERICAN DAD actually held up very well without their usual lead-ins:  Bob was down only 0.1 (and outrated the Simpsons repeat that preceded it), while Dad was down only 0.2.  
Tonight ALCATRAZ exits (forever?) with a 2-hour season finale.  CBS is in repeats, which should help SMASHWatch.  

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."