February 5, 2013


8PM comes alive.

CBS:  The network just closed its deal to bring back HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER for a 9th and final season, and after last night, the only part it may be regretting is “final,” as HIMYM (with a highly-promoted “Robin Sparkle” episode) was the highest rated show on any network with 4.0.  The unkillable RULES OF ENGAGEMENT returned with a 3.1 to easily win its timeslot.  CBS won every hour of the night, but the rest of the line-up didn’t benefit much from the Super Bowl promos on Sunday, as 2 BROKE GIRLS was down a tick to 3.6 and MIKE & MOLLY was down 0.2 to 3.1.  HAWAII 5-0 was steady at 2.3.

CW:  It’s not clear why the very mediocre THE CARRIE DIARIES is developing a head of steam, but the numbers are what they are, and the show rose again to 0.7, which is a fairly sweet rating in the CW universe.  The rise didn’t do anything for its night-mate, as the increasingly ludicrous 90210 could only hold even at 0.4.

FOX:  The excitement of THE FOLLOWING‘s arrival dissipated somewhat, as the show fell 0.4 in its third week, down to 2.9.  BONES, similarly, was down 0.3 to 2.3.

NBC:  THE BIGGEST LOSER faltered to 2.0, down 0.3 for the week.  DECEPTION played out its string with a steadily bad 1.2.

ABC:  Modest drops for both of the night’s shows:  0.1 for THE BACHELOR (2.4) and 0.2 for CASTLE (1.8).

The curtain rises tonight for the 2-hour return of SMASH on NBC (after a BETTY WHITE 2ND 90TH BIRTHDAY SPECIAL) , which airs against a special edition of The Bachelor on ABC and regular programming on the other networks.  One odd scheduling footnote:  after its season debut tonight, Smash is preempted entirely next week for the State of the Union Address, returning in 2 weeks–seemingly a strange way to build ratings momentum for a show that needs some.

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."