March 2, 2012



AWAKE didn’t keep anyone from a full night’s sleep.
NBC:  In the universe of NBC these days, you take your glass-half-full where you can get it, and here it is:  AWAKE won its time slot, it was up from its lead-in, it had the network’s highest Thursday 10PM rating of the season, and despite its unusually convoluted premise, it lost relatively few viewers during the course of the hour.  So there’s that.  Back on earth, though, Awake was for all intents and purposes NBC’s last chance for a scripted break-out hit this season (whatever Smash is, it’s not that), and marked yet another failure.  It could only reach a 1.9 rating against repeats on the other networks, and fell considerably below even the season lows for new episodes of The Mentalist and Private Practice.  (Even against a Mentalist repeat, its margin of victory was a mere 0.2.)  So:  on to next year!  Meanwhile, the rest of the evening was dismal as well:  none of the sitcoms were more than 0.2 above season lows, despite airing against repeats on 2 other networks.  Creatively, it was also a down night:  THE OFFICE neared the end of its Tallahassee arc with its weakest recent episode (the big gag was that Ed Helms’ character was beaten up by a little girl), 30 ROCK was unable to match the conceptual brilliance of its last couple of entries and resorted to network television’s one millionth Law & Order parody, and PARKS & RECREATION was unusually scattered.  (Let’s not even speak of UP ALL NIGHT.)

FOX:  It’s been the same story all week, as AMERICAN IDOL, with another 2-hour episode, was up from last Thursday (since this week aired against ABC and CBS reruns), but horribly down (more than 40%) from the parallel episode last season.  
ABC:  For an explanation of the network’s schedule shenanigans last night, see Mitch Metcalf’s rating reportIn any case, nothing on the night scored higher than a 1.3.
CBS:  With THE BIG BANG THEORY in repeats, the season finale of ROB hit a series low 2.6, which on the bright side was down only 0.6 from its depressed lead-in.  Repeats of PERSON OF INTEREST and THE MENTALIST were both under a 2.
CW:  Reruns of VAMPIRE DIARIES and SECRET CIRCLE were at 0.4 and 0.3, respectively.
Tonight is all new (except CW), with the notable event–such as it is–being the season (at least) finale of CBS’ A GIFTED MAN.

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."