February 7, 2012



For one night, at least, all NBC’s dreams came true.
NBCTHE VOICE blew away its competition, especially in the 9-10PM hour.  Its 6.6 rating over 2 hours was naturally way down from Sunday night, where it had the most-watched telecast of all time as its lead-in, but for NBC it was manna from heaven.  Of course, last season Voice faltered somewhat as its run went on, so we’ll see how its numbers hold up over time–still, an exceptional start.  SMASH and its 3.8 were also an easy winner at 10PM.  As Mitch Metcalf has noted, though (see his half-hour by half-hour breakdown of the numbers here), the drop over the course of the hour may be something to be concerned about–by 10:30PM, the show had lost 55% of The Voice‘s 9:30PM rating.  Next week, we’ll find out how frontloaded all of these numbers were by months of expensive hype.  For now, though, the marketing people at NBC can exult in a job superbly well done.  

CBS:  The Eye was tearing in the face of NBC’s sudden juggernaut.  Every show on its Monday line-up was either at (2 1/2 MEN, MIKE & MOLLY, HAWAII 5-0) or 0.1 above (HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, 2 BROKE GIRLS) its season low.  That still left the network firmly in 2d place in every half-hour… but 2d place isn’t 1st place.
FOX:  HOUSE and ALCATRAZ both plummeted to season lows (Alcatraz was down a particularly ugly 0.6 from last week, leaving it at a very mediocre 2.2), landing in 4th place for the night.
ABC:  Somewhat surprisingly–considering the nature of NBC’s new shows–the female-skewing networks held up best against the onslaught.  THE BACHELOR was even with last week, and CASTLE was down only 0.1 from its last original (although that tied its season low).  
CW:  Its young audience was largely unaffected by the sea change at NBC:  GOSSIP GIRL was down only 0.1 from its hyped 100th episode last week, and HART OF DIXIE was even.
Tonight, ABC will attempt to generate some of its own hoopla with the 2-hour premiere of “found footage” supernatural thriller THE RIVER, another series Executive Produced by Steven Spielberg.  No major events on the other networks, but this being sweeps, there are fresh episodes everywhere.

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."