October 15, 2012


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


Another week’s worth of ratings are in, and once again, we ask:  what do we know now that we didn’t know a week ago?

NEXT CALLER MUST HAVE BEEN A REALLY, REALLY BAD SHOW.  Last week NBC stopped production on Next Caller, a single-camera sitcom slated for midseason that starred Dane Cook as a douchebag shock jock radio host forced by boss Jeffrey Tambor to work with a perky newcomer (Colette Wolfe).  The pilot, written by former Weeds writer-producer Stephen Falk, was bad–see our report HERE–but not necessarily worse than, say, The New Normal, Animal Practice, or the still-in-production Save Me.  Shutting down a show when 4 of its 6 episodes have already been produced, at a dead loss of probably $4-5M, indicates a level of hatred that almost makes the project interesting.  How bad could it have been?  We may never know.

VIEWERS AREN’T DONE WITH SCRIPTED TELEVISION.  Have you seen the ratings for THE WALKING DEAD‘s Season 3 premiere?  Take a look.  There are plenty of eyeballs out there for shows people actually want to watch.

THINKING OF WALKERS…  ARROW and BEAUTY & THE BEAST have about as much going on in their heads as the zombies on AMC, but both got off to very strong starts for a network that was starving for hits.  If they can hold up this week, CW may live to funnel more product to Netflix in seasons to come.

ABC IS HAVING A BAD FALLNASHVILLE‘s start was no more than fair, LAST RESORT is sinking fast, THE NEIGHBORS only looks OK because it airs against the nearly DOA Guys With Kids, and 666 PARK AVENUE is facing swiftly declining property values.  Plus ONCE UPON A TIME is no longer the phenomenon it looked like a year ago, and DANCING WITH THE STARS is skewing so old that it may need to stage its next season in a rest home.  MODERN FAMILY is still a smash, but it’s not good news when despite plenty of effort, the network’s highest rated drama remains the 9 year-old GREY’S ANATOMY.

IT’S NOT THE CHAIRS.  There was speculation last week that after THE VOICE ended the swiveling-chair part of its competition and the teams were set, ratings would take a hit.  But the ratings on Monday were actually up a bit from the previous week, to an even bigger smash 4.8.  NBC is probably riding this horse to an early death (the network announced an extended episode Oct 30, probably the first of many, and in the Spring will air a cycle with largely different judges), but it’s not like there’s anything else in its stable.

DON’T LOOK FOR A MADE IN JERSEY SPINOFF.  When CBS canceled MADE IN JERSEY and moved CSI NY back to its 9PM timeslot, every hour on the network’s schedule went up, even at 8PM where the temporary occupant was an NCIS rerun.  That’s pretty much the definition of a show that should never have found its way onto the air.

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."