April 23, 2012



Clip shows aren’t what they used to be.
FOX:  The network tipped off that it knew its 25TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL wouldn’t be much of an event by airing it on the last pre-Sweeps Sunday of the season.  The lazy show (its major event, held until the last 10 minutes:  a reunion of the In Living Color cast… without Jim Carrey) scored a 1.8, around the same as a night of animated reruns would have done.

CBS:  NYC 22 wasn’t able to build any kind of case for its survival (and deservedly so), slipping to a sub-mediocre 1.4–even against weak competition on ABC–that was below the season lows for both THE GOOD WIFE (which did a steady 1.8 last night) and CSI MIAMI.  Earlier, THE AMAZING RACE was in the range of recent ratings with a 2.5, and 60 MINUTES was up a bit to 1.7.
ABC:  ONCE UPON A TIME, with a strong episode that started the end-of-season run of plot revelations, was up to a 2.9 from its last (season low) new episode, although considerably below where the show had been in the fall.  The HALLMARK HALL OF FAME:  FIRELIGHT MOW was a reminder of why CBS got out of the Hallmark business:  an extremely old-skewing audience, with a low 1.6 rating in 18-49s (below all but the lowest GCB number so far, and that one had the excuse of the terrible Titanic miniseries lead-in), but lots of older viewers skewing the total audience number up to near-Harry’s Law levels.
NBC:  Thinking of HARRY’S LAW, it was steady at 0.9.  Despite weak competition on all the other networks, CELEBRITY APPRENTICE was down on the night to 2.0, still the 3rd highest number of the evening (below Once Upon A Time and Amazing Race).
CBS is in reruns tonight, but the other networks feature new episodes of regular programming (except that ABC is preempting CASTLE for a special 20/20).  SMASHWatch notes that since the Uma Thurman gambit didn’t work, promos are plugging the fact that there are only 4 new episodes left this season, as though viewers might be desperately grasping for every precious hour that’s left.


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."