March 20, 2012



SMASHWatch says:  could’ve been worse.
ABCDANCING WITH THE STARS returned to the schedule with a 3.5 that was only 2/3 of last year’s spring premiere number, and accordingly the lowest-rated premiere in series history.  (It was, however, considerably higher than the ratings The Bachelor had been getting in the timeslot.)  CASTLE‘s boost was in line with its higher lead-in, a 2.4 that may be temporary once Dancing‘s overrun into its hour is accounted for.

NBCTHE VOICE felt the sting of Dancing‘s arrival, with a 4.5 that was 0.7 lower than last week.  That was still more than enough for NBC to win the night.  Perhaps even more notably, the lower lead-in barely touched SMASH, which was down only 0.1 from the previous week.  (It’s currently in 3d place in the timeslot, but may well shift into at least a tie for 2d place when Castle‘s numbers are adjusted.)  The series is clearly finding an audience, and a Year 2 renewal should be announced any minute–if only it were a better show!  Last night, apart from the requisite sequence of someone watching Katharine McPhee sing while slack-jawed with awe, Smash turned into Glee when Bernadette Peters turned up to belt “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” and the writing (especially everything having to do with the Debra Messing subplot) remained mostly dreadful.  Only the actual workshop sequences made Smash watchable.  Maybe the people who turned around The Walking Dead in the middle of its season could help out?
CBS:  For the first time in 3 weeks, the network aired new Monday episodes.  HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and 2 BROKE GIRLS were both new for the first time since Daylight Savings Time began, and both were down–Mother tied its season low, and Broke set a new one.  2 1/2 MEN and MIKE & MOLLY were both up a bit, and HAWAII 5-0 was steady (albeit at its season low).  
FOXHOUSE isn’t heading toward the exit with much dignity:  its 2.0 was a season, if not a series, low.  ALCATRAZ needs to hope that FOX’s crop of drama pilots is awful, because its new series low of 1.5 doesn’t provide much reason to keep it around.
CW:  Repeats continue, with a 0.3 for AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL that only looked good when compared with the 0.2 for HART OF DIXIE.
Tonight, on a night of all-new programming, THE RIVER probably takes its final voyage for ABC.

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."