September 25, 2012



We’re continuing our week-long look at the hour-by-hour battles that will enliven the new network TV season.  Today it’s the turn of Tuesday, a night notable for its Invasion of the Sitcoms.

8PM:  THE VOICE RESULTS (NBC) vs. DANCING WITH THE STARS RESULTS (ABC) vs. NCIS (CBS) vs RAISING HOPE/BEN & KATE (FOX)– This should settle into a battle between NBC and CBS.  CBS will win the total households raise handily, thanks to the older audience for NCIS, but the 18-49 demo should be close, with both networks around a 4 rating.  Dancing got off to a bad start on Monday, and the best it can hope is to stabilize somewhere in the mid-2s.   FOX is stunting the debut of Ben & Kate by preceding it with a fresh episode of New Girl tonight, but in subsequent weeks, the low-rated Raising Hope will likely hold the hour back.

9PM:  GO ON/THE NEW NORMAL (NBC) vs. HAPPY ENDINGS/DON’T TRUST THE B___ IN APT 23 (ABC) vs NCIS: LA (CBS) vs. NEW GIRL/THE MINDY PROJECT (FOX)–From the time the fall schedules were announced in May, the fact that 3 networks were going to throw sitcoms at each other in the same hour–and not just sitcoms, the same kind of urban, single-camera comedies–has seemed suicidal.  A clear winner here is CBS, which will be more than happy to rake in all the viewers who aren’t in the mood for urban, single-camera sitcoms.  Of the comedy-laden networks, FOX has the edge because New Girl is already thriving, and The Mindy Project goes along with it just about perfectly.  Go On has shown some strength against low-level preseason competition, but will find the going tougher now, and The New Normal is neither very compatible nor very good.  (Up All Night would be a better companion for Go On, if one of them is jettisoned from its current night.)  The odd network out may be ABC, once it’s done with 2-hour Dancing specials to start the season:  Happy Endings is a terrific show that unfortunately aims for the same audience as New Girl, while Don’t Trust the B barely had time to build a following with a 7-episode first season.  Someone start drawing up those “Free Happy Endings!” petitions now.

10PM:  PARENTHOOD (NBC) vs. PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC) vs. VEGAS (CBS)– CBS has a real opportunity here.  Both Parenthood and Private Practice are borderline shows (even though Practice is in its 6th season, it currently has only a 13-episode order, and will lose star Kate Walsh at that point even if it’s extended) that aim for the same female-centric audience, while Vegas is a big-ticket show with name stars (Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis) that’s completely compatible with its lead-in.  As a period show, Vegas will skew old, but also male, and that could make it a hit.

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."