November 15, 2011



Monday has become a real problem for one network and a guaranteed victory for another.
FOX:  Due to the nature of Season 1 production on TERRA NOVA, it was always clear that there wouldn’t be any back-order this year.  That leaves FOX with plenty of time to think about whether to renew the show for a second season.  It’s become an increasingly problematic decision, because at the show’s level of license fee, a 2.3 rating is below mediocre.  (However, on a corporate level FOX owns the series–which may have strong overseas value due to its genre–and that will also figure into the decision.)  It doesn’t help that creatively, the show has become sluggish and uninvolving, with minimal dinosaur action and dull plots.  As to HOUSE, reports are that the network’s decision on whether to make the deals necessary to bring it back will be made sooner rather than later, so the show can build to a series finale if needed, and that’s looking more likely than not right now.

CBS:  Remember the concern that with Charlie Sheen gone, 2 1/2 MEN would collapse?  The show is thriving, with last night’s rating more than 30% over last season’s average.  That goes for HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and MIKE & MOLLY as well, and 2 BROKE GIRLS, which has eased up on the hostility jokes and become somewhat bearable, is right up there with them.  Spring will bring more challenges with THE VOICE as competition (and SMASH up against HAWAII 5-0), but for now Monday is just about ideal for CBS.
ABC:  A clear winner in the battle of the newsmagazine “gets,” the special 20/20 with Gabrielle Giffords more than doubled NBC’s number at 10PM.  DANCING WITH THE STARS, while still substantially below last season, is building toward its cycle conclusion.
NBC:  Even with a nationally reported scoop, the interview with allegedly monstrous former Penn State Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky that was in the media all day leading up to the show, ROCK CENTER barely moved the dial.  THE SING-OFF is counting the weeks till it can fade away.
CWGOSSIP GIRL and HART OF DIXIE were steady, but at the low end of CW’s 0.6-0.8 range, particularly bad news for Gossip.
Tonight FOX will hope that the GLEE/NEW GIRL post-baseball bleeding can heal.

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."