February 21, 2012



So much for SMASH being a hit.
NBC:  Leaving the numbers aside for a moment, on a dramatic level SMASH after 3 episodes is starting to lose its practically-cable sheen, and look a lot more like a high-class ABC soap.  The post-pilot episodes haven’t even been as good as a typical Parenthood or The Good Wife, much less Mad Men.   And those numbers continue to crumble:  last night’s 2.3 was down 40% from the premiere, and as Mitch Metcalf’s analysis shows, the drop in the show’s 2d half-hour suggests the ratings aren’t done falling.  It’s only fair to say that if Smash could just stabilize where it is, that would still be a very good number for NBC, on a level with The Office, still the network’s highest-rated scripted show.  And as The Sked has noted, the series appeals to the upscale viewers that advertisers covet.  But… coming in 2d place to Hawaii 5-0 (and not that far ahead of Castle in 3d place) is hardly where NBC wanted Smash to be.  On the very important plus side for the the network, though, THE VOICE is holding beautifully, down less than 15% over 3 weeks, and enabling NBC to keep airing those promos asserting domination over once-untouchable American Idol.  

FOX:  The Monday lineup is nearing bottom but may not have gotten there yet.  HOUSE and ALCATRAZ were both slightly down from last week, and Alcatraz had its 2d consecutive week below the lowest number Terra Nova ever had.  
CBSHOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, 2 BROKE GIRLS and 2 1/2 MEN all recovered some of last week’s losses, but each continues to run below its level from the first time facing The VoiceMIKE & MOLLY and HAWAII 5-0 were steady, albeit at or just above season lows.
ABCTHE BACHELOR and CASTLE were steady, 0.1 above their respective season lows.
CWGOSSIP GIRL and  HART OF DIXIE both held with last week at 0.5 and 0.6 respectively.
Fans of COUGAR TOWN could be in for a rough night if its rating drops further from last week’s blah debut.  THE RIVER also needs to hit some smoother water.  FOX airs the “midseason finale” of GLEE (next Tuesday there’s a 2-hour Idol, then the network launches its 4-sitcom experiment).  Everything continues to be new as February sweeps continue, except that CW is burdening RINGER with the terrible lead-in of a HART OF DIXIE rerun.

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."