October 26, 2012


Several TV institutions tottered last night.

ABC:  It’s going to be awfully hard to justify a back order for LAST RESORT, which plunged 0.4 to a terrible 1.3.  Perhaps even scarier for ABC was GREY’S ANATOMY.  The show has been steadily sinking since its season premiere (last night’s episode was the first of the fall not to be relentlessly downbeat), and last night it fell an additional half rating point to 2.9, probably putting it in 3rd place for the hour once final baseball numbers are in.  Considering all that, SCANDAL looked pretty admirable by rising a bit to 2.0, just 0.2 behind CBS.

NBC:  The preliminary numbers for the Peacock are padded by a local Minneapolis simulcast of the NFL Network’s Vikings game, but Mitch Metcalf’s projection of the network’s final numbers is ugly for THE OFFICE, which is likely to fall to a 1.9, a sad way for a once-celebrated TV comedy to plod through its final season.  (And this despite a hyped guest appearance by Stephen Colbert.)  The rest of the schedule was in slightly better shape (relatively speaking), with a surprisingly political episode of 30 ROCK projected to hold even at 1.2, and UP ALL NIGHT and PARKS & RECREATION both up slightly to 1.4 and 1.7, respectively.  ROCK CENTER was also up, if it matters, to a still-awful 1.1.

CBS:  THE BIG BANG THEORY was steady at 4.8, once again the best number of the night.  But 2 1/2 MEN moved in the wrong direction by 0.3, falling to a 3.7 as it barely scored better than Rules of Engagement was doing in the slot last season.  PERSON OF INTEREST has been very steady all season, and rose by 0.2 to 3.0, ahead of ABC in the hour.  ELEMENTARY, though, keeps slipping, hitting a new low 2.2 last night.

FOX:  As Mitch Metcalf’s Daily Ratings Report detailed, it’s a sad time for America’s Pasttime, as WORLD SERIES GAME 2 will be, by a considerable margin, the lowest rated Game 2 ever.,

CW:  BEAUTY & THE BEAST may have found its level, holding even at a 0.7, even though its VAMPIRE DIARIES lead-in was down slightly to 1.2.  Stability is good, but that’s a lower rating than the canceled Secret Circle had in that slot last October (although Vampire was higher then as well).

Tonight’s schedule includes the rare network airing of a busted pilot, in this case NBC’s attempted reboot of The Munsters as MOCKINGBIRD LANE, now transformed into a one-time Halloween “event”.  The rest of the schedule is all-new (aside from an 8PM NCIS rerun on CBS), with ABC preempting Primetime for a Katie Couric ALL ACCESS special about Nashville, which will no doubt find a way to plug the network’s two country-music themed new series, NASHVILLE and MALIBU COUNTRY, the latter of which premieres next week.

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."