May 21, 2012





Last night, it was good to have cable. 

CBS:  The sole scripted drama on broadcast TV last night was another in the series of Tom Selleck MOWs, JESSE STONE:  BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, which was watched by almost 13 million people, but only 2 million of them under 50 years old, giving it a meager 1.2 in the demo.  (It will almost certainly prove to be outrated by last night’s gripping, surprise-laden Game of Thrones–any episode with a Tyrion/Cercei confrontation is a good one–which, being on HBO, was only available in one-quarter as many homes.)   Jesse was even outrated in 18-49s by the 2 preceding episodes of 60 MINUTES, with 1.4/1.5.

FOX:  The aging “Animation Domination” series aren’t feeling quite so dominant these days, as season finales for THE SIMPSONS, BOB’S BURGERS and FAMILY GUY were all down around 20% from last year’s finales (although slightly up from last week for the most part), with a 2.5 for the 1-hour Family Guy scoring best.

NBC:  CELEBRITY APPRENTICE lurched to a 2.2 season finale, up from last week (when the show faced much heavier competition), but heavily down from last year’s 3.0.

ABC:  The BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS special easily won the night for ABC with a 2.7, down around 10% from last year’s installment.

Tonight’s big event is the series finale of HOUSE on FOX, which is preceded by a 1-hour salute special.  ABC has the first part of the DANCING WITH THE STARS season finale, and the other networks are in post-season mode, with AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR on NBC and a special about US commercials vs. foreign commercials on CBS.

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."