February 8, 2013


Compared to the return of Smash, the season premiere of Community looked like–well, a smash.

NBC:  Were they just curiosity-seekers, intrigued by the show’s overhaul, or fans who will stick around?  We’ll find out next week, but for one night at least, a network desperately in need of good news got a bit, as COMMUNITY hit a 1.8 in its belated season launch, higher than the Season 3 premiere and a hefty half-ratings point higher than last season’s finale.  That was still 3rd place in its timeslot, only ahead of CW and an ABC rerun, but hey, if you’re NBC, you take what you can get.  PARKS & RECREATION built on its lead-in to a season-high 2.0.  THE OFFICE was merely even with last week’s 2.1, and then the bottom fell out (this is NBC, after all), as 1600 PENN hit a new low 1.1, and it turned out DO NO HARM could indeed fall from its historically awful premiere, crawling to a 0.7 that would be considered mediocre on basic cable.

ABC:  After a slow start with 1.3 for a SHARK TANK repeat (Zero Hour fills that slot next week), GREY’S ANATOMY was up a solid 0.3 to 3.1, and another ridiculously enjoyable SCANDAL, this one wrapping up the election-fixing storyline (for now, anyway) in typically you-gotta-be-kidding fashion, tied its season-high 2.8, up slightly from last week and easily taking the 10PM hour.

CBS:  THE BIG BANG THEORY is now doing football-sized numbers and serving as a reminder that network television can still hit giant highs, up 0.7 for the week to 6.1 and swamping FOX.  2 1/2 MEN rose 0.2 to 4.1.  At 9PM, PERSON OF INTEREST was steady at 3.2, which for the moment edges it ahead of ABC for the hour.  The night’s disappointment was ELEMENTARY, which despite the huge post-Super Bowl sampling rose a meager 0.1 to 2.3, nowhere near Scandal‘s number.

FOX:  A big but very mortal 4.1 for AMERICAN IDOL, down 0.4 from last week.  Despite its lead-in’s drop, GLEE rose a tick to 2.2.

CW:  THE VAMPIRE DIARIES fell 0.2 to 1.1, and BEAUTY & THE BEAST dropped 0.1 to 0.6.

Tonight brings the 2-hour season premiere of TOUCH, an event seemingly eagerly awaited by no one (although in fairness, early word is that the show has improved from last season’s treacly mysticism).  It airs against the premiere of CBS’s unscripted THE JOB.  All the networks feature new programming tonight, although NBC is doing it with 3 hours of news:  a 2-hour DATELINE followed by ROCK CENTER.



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."