December 16, 2011



Silent Night = America’s TV sets during holiday season…
FOX:  Reality competition shows are supposed to build as contestants are eliminated and the show nears its conclusion.  THE X FACTOR, though, has been steadily slipping, and as it heads into its final week, it’s now shed 35% of its early ratings.  The show is still a success for FOX, but like Dancing With the Stars and The Biggest Loser this season, it may reflect an audience that’s getting a bit tired of the genre.  BONES was a repeat.

CBSPERSON OF INTEREST took some advantage of the fact that for the first time, it didn’t air against any regular competition, with reruns on NBC and FOX, and a weak special on ABC–not that it zoomed upward last night, but holding steady from the prior week and a couple of ticks above a low looks like a win at this point.    THE MENTALIST technically faced a new competitor on NBC, but that was a straw foe, and it also held even with last week.  A repeat BIG BANG THEORY at 8PM held down RULES OF ENGAGEMENT at 8:30.
ABC:   A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS was down 10% from last year, and there was coal in the stocking for Katie Couric, whose Year In Review special could only muster a 1.5.
NBC:  Repeats at 8-10PM, with all ratings below a 1 except THE OFFICE‘s 1.1, set things up for a terrible PRIME SUSPECT result, and the show delivered:  even with a new episode, it barely breathed a 0.8 on its way to the Island of Misfit Television Shows.
CW:  Repeat after me:  Repeats!
Tonight, NBC airs new episodes of CHUCK and GRIMM, and ABC is also all-new.  FOX goes the holiday special route, with yet more Charlie Brown plus ICE AGE and SIMPSONS repeats, and CBS is in rerun mode.

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."