March 6, 2012


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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SMASHWatch is grinning this morning, but should it be?
NBC:  Airing against repeats on both of the other networks, SMASH was up a big 0.4 to 2.7, a healthy number for any 10PM drama these days.  So… yay?  Maybe, but the show itself continues to get markedly worse, moving with near-rocket speed from “potential Emmy contender” to “disappointing” to just plain “not good.”  Smash, very sadly, is becoming a collection of unbelievable characters, unmotivated bitchfest scenes and bad, on-the-nose dialogue, with increasingly painful plot developments (was it just me, or did last night’s final sequence suggest the writers had been watching “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady on Autorepeat?).  But I digress:  the rating was, no question about it, very good.  Apart from the ABC/CBS repeats, it helped that lead-in THE VOICE was also up 0.7 from last week, confirming its new place as the big bad reality show of the season.

FOX:  2 hours of ALCATRAZ matched its series low at 1.8, coming in below not just the new programming on NBC and ABC, but the repeat sitcoms on CBS.  (If anyone can make sense of the mythology on this show, congratulations.  Although Parminder Nagra will never have a better job, since for half the season she’s been collecting a paycheck for lying comatose in an infirmary bed.)
ABCTHE BACHELOR, airing the last episode before its season finale, continued at a very steady 2.5 (every episode this year has scored within a 0.3 ratings window), and was followed by a CASTLE rerun.
CBS:  An all-repeat night.  Notably, all the sitcoms were down 20-30% from their January repeats in the pre-Voice era.  HAWAII 5-0 won the 10PM rerun battle with Castle, although both were far behind Smash.  
CW:  A frankly weird night of repeat numbers.  AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL was just 0.1 below the original airing of the same episode last week (and dead even with last Monday’s new episode of GOSSIP GIRL), and the repeat HART OF DIXIE was only 0.1 behind last week’s new episode.
Tonight, FOX debuts its 4-sitcom line-up, with RAISING HOPE moving to 8PM, I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER returning at 8:30PM, and the season premiere of BREAKING IN following a very good episode of NEW GIRL at 9:30PM.  CBS is the only network in repeats, although ABC will toss a rerun of BODY OF PROOF on at 10PM.  

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."