January 17, 2012


More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Salem
Tags: , , , , , , ,


America is willing to follow FOX behind bars.
FOX:  The 2-hour launch of ALCATRAZ went very well, with a solid 3.3 that held throughout the broadcast.  That put the network squarely in 2d place for the night behind CBS’s blockbuster line-up.  If the show can manage not to collapse the way Terra Nova did, FOX will be quite happy with the result.  (A renewable Alcatraz may also mean the end of at least one of Terra Nova or House, both of which are precariously on the bubble right now.)

NBC:  The nation’s love affair with Betty White continues, as her 90TH BIRTHDAY SPECIAL and a preview of her reality show OFF THEIR ROCKERS did a 2.7 and 2.6, respectively.  That was good enough for 3d place, which for NBC on Mondays is a win.  Having a decent lead-in for once even helped ROCK CENTER, which hit a series high 1.3, although that still left it mired far behind its competition in the hour.
ABC:  THE BACHELOR, yet another reality franchise showing its age, was at a 2.4, 4th place in its 2 hours (although admittedly that was facing stronger competition than usual).  CASTLE held even, closer to its season low than its high.
CBS:  The other networks can throw whatever they like at the Monday night line-up, and CBS just laughs:  all its shows were within 0.2 of their last few numbers, and the network won every half-hour of the night.  The only remaining Monday question of the season is whether NBC’s mega-hyped new line-up can put a dent in CBS when it premieres… when is it?  Oh right, the night after the Super Bowl.  I forget.
CW:  GOSSIP GIRL, which used to have a crisp self-mocking wit that made it a guilty pleasure, continues its decline, both creatively (Blair gets religion?) and in the ratings, tying its 0.6 series low.  The latest in a seemingly endless series of HART OF DIXIE repeats (but not really–new episodes return next week) barely registered.
Tonight FOX airs new episodes of GLEE, NEW GIRL and RAISING HOPE, CW brings back 90210, and on cable, USA starts the winter part of its WHITE COLLAR season.  But the bigger event is the return of JUSTIFIED on FX, coming off a superb Season 2 but this time without spectacular villain Margo Martindale.

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."