July 17, 2012



Breaking Bad‘s arrival was the big ratings news on Sunday night, while the launch of Political Animals wasn’t.

HBO:  TRUE BLOOD, as usual, took the night with a 2.7 that was a tick higher than last week, beating the season premiere of Big Brother on CBS and for that matter everything else on broadcast TV, with a fantastic 75% of its viewers under 50.  THE NEWSROOM, despite all its many critics, held steady at 0.9, and that’s a solid number for the network (particularly with a somewhat surprisingly young-skewing 60+% of its viewers in the 18-49 demo) that won’t prompt HBO to import any sick horses onto Aaron Sorkin’s set.

AMC:  BREAKING BAD‘s premiere was even slightly higher than preliminary numbers indicated, launching with a 1.5 that was 34% higher than last year’s premiere.  That’s still not Walking Dead territory, but it’s considerably stronger than Mad Men for AMC.  Even better from a revenue point of view, almost 2/3 of its viewers are under 50.

USA:  No glad tidings here, as POLITICAL ANIMALS was both low-rated (0.5 in the demo) and old-skewing (only 25% of its viewers under 50).  Even among the older audience, it was handily outrated by both Longmire and Army Wives.

TNT:  FALLING SKIES held steady at a 1.2, the highest rated original programming on TNT in the demo (nor surprisingly, the show was renewed last week for a 3d season), but THE GREAT ESCAPE slipped a bit to 0.5.

LIFETIME:  ARMY WIVES was even with last week at 1.1, and DROP DEAD DIVA was up a tad to 0.9.

A&E:  Both LONGMIRE and THE GLADES were up in total viewership to record levels, and Longmire even inched up in the demo to 0.8, tying Glades.  Both shows still skew very old (1/4 of Longmire‘s audience is under 50 and 1/3 of The Glades‘), but they’re still substantial hits for their target audience.

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."