April 2, 2013



Simply a spectacular night for cable television.

AMC:  The season finale for THE WALKING DEAD had an astounding 9.1 rating in 18-49s when its 9PM, 11PM, midnight and 1AM airings are combined, and the 9PM broadcast alone scored a giant 6.4, up a full point from the previous week.  Even the TALKING DEAD post-finale talk show had a 2.6, enough to make it a solid hit on any broadcast network.

HISTORY CHANNEL:  The Easter Sunday finale of THE BIBLE had a 3.0 rating in 18-49s (up 0.3 from the previous week’s installment), rising to 3.5 with a midnight rerun included, but the show skewed far older than Walking Dead–only 34% of Bible viewers were under 50, compared to 70% for Walking Dead.  VIKINGS slipped 0.1 to 1.3 for the week (1.8 with a re-airing), but the big question for the show will be how it fares next week without the big Bible lead-in.

HBO:  The network gave GAME OF THRONES its Season 4 renewal this morning–which among other things means the show won’t have to break off midway through George R.R. Martin’s third novel–after a superb 2.4 rating on Sunday, rising to 3.1 with a later re-airing (keeping in mind that only a fraction of US households actually have HBO).  A remarkable 74% of Game viewers are under 50.

LIFETIME:  Both ARMY WIVES and THE CLIENT LIST slipped 0.1, to a respective 0.8 and 0.7, still very solid numbers but not tremendous hits.  Client continues to get a much younger audience than Wives, with about 60% of its audience under 50 compared to 45% for Wives.  We’ll see next week if they bounce back against less fierce competition.

SHOWTIME:  A steady 0.8 for SHAMELESS (Showtime, of course, is like HBO only in a fraction of American homes). A healthy 2/3 of its viewers are under 50.

A Saturday note:  ORPHAN BLACK, the new offering from BBCAMERICA, had a good start with 1M live + same day total viewers, better than the roughly 600,000 viewers Copper has been getting on more-watched Sunday nights.  (In fairness, Orphan Black had the benefit of a Doctor Who lead-in, with over 2M viewers the 2nd highest rated show ever on the network.)


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."