March 12, 2012



GCB gives, even while DST taketh away.
ABCGCB is a very bad show, but not an unpopular one.  Its 2.3 inched up over last week’s premiere, at least in preliminary numbers, and seemed to squeak out a timeslot victory, by 0.1 over NBC and 0.2 over CBS.  It still looks awfully weak to inherit the DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES mantle next season, but if it can hold at these numbers, it won’t be departing the scene either.  The GCB success tipped the night to ABC, but that was the end of the evening’s good news for the network.  Daylight Savings Time smashed into ONCE UPON A TIME, giving it a series low 2.8 that was down a painful 0.6 from last week (we’ll find out later in the week if the lower same-day viewing led to higher DVR eyeballs over the next few days).  And although Housewives was steady with last week, that was a disappointment considering that this was a hugely-promoted episode that started the march to the series finale by killing off a central character.  

CBS:  The uncharitable might say that Daylight Savings Time doesn’t affect CBS viewers because at that age, they mostly sit on their couches anyway.  In any case, 60 MINUTES and THE AMAZING RACE held steady with last week, and thanks to Once Upon A Time‘s decline, that gave Race a tie for 1st place in the hour.  THE GOOD WIFE, with a creatively sub-par episode (despite the presence of Dylan Baker) that very oddly seemed to abruptly end the arc of a continuing character, sank to another series low 1.7, in 4th place for its hour.  With its pedigree and upscale audience, Wife doesn’t have to be a big hit to have a safe place on the CBS schedule–but it can’t be an outright flop either, not on CBS.  Some viewers came back at 10PM for CSI MIAMI, which was even with last week at 2.1.
FOX:  BOB’S BURGERS premiered lower than the numbers Napoleon Dynamite had been doing in the same slot, although in fairness THE SIMPSONS–possibly affected by Daylight Savings Time–gave it a lower lead-in.  FAMILY GUY was even, and AMERICAN DAD was slightly up.
NBCHARRY’S LAW arrived on Sundays with a thud, matching the 1.1 series low it had set on Wednesdays.  That didn’t help CELEBRITY APPRENTICE (read Mitch Metcalf’s post for an analysis of why the same lead-in number as last week was actually much worse for Apprentice), which would have hit a series low with its 2.0 if the network hadn’t aired an episode opposite the Oscars
Tonight is SMASHWatch: can the show hold on to last week’s gains?  That would be awfully impressive, because tonight is BACHELOR finale night at ABC, meaning the After the Final Rose post-show (which scored a 4.7 rating last year) will be direct competition.  CBS and CW will be in repeats, while FOX plays out the string on HOUSE and ALCATRAZ.  

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."