September 21, 2012


For NBC, the preseason was nice while it lasted.

NBC:  The network launched its Thursday line-up last night against little or no competition from 2 of the other networks…. and fell off a cliff.  THE OFFICE, the last remnant of “must see TV,” tied its lowest-rated airing ever at 2.1, which was down a ghastly 1.8 from last season’s premiere.  PARKS & RECREATION, at 1.7, was down more than half a rating point from last season’s average.  UP ALL NIGHT could only reach 1.3, down more than a rating point from last year’s average, down more than half a point from the average that got Community‘s showrunner fired and the show banished to Fridays, and down 0.3 from its lead-in.  And yet worst of all was that lead-in, the SNL WEEKEND UPDATE THURSDAY special, which at 1.6 was down 3 and a half rating points from the 2008 SNL Thursday election specials.   Folks, CBS and ABC haven’t even started their Thursday seasons yet; this elevator is only going in one direction.  The cherry on the night was ROCK CENTER, with a 1.1 that lost to the Person of Interest rerun on CBS.

FOX:  THE X FACTOR was up 0.3 from last Thursday to 3.4.  GLEE, with a heavily promoted Britney Spears episode (which of course included an X Factor plug), couldn’t hold last week’s premiere number and slipped to 2.9, still a few tenths better than it was doing on Tuesdays last spring.

ABC:  WIPEOUT‘s season finale was the only original hour in the line-up, currently (there were football preemptions) up 0.3 from last week to 1.4.  A 1.6 for the repeat of last season’s GREY’S ANATOMY finale indicates viewers are ready for the show to return; the 1.0 for SCANDAL‘s, not so much.

CBS:  Reruns of THE BIG BANG THEORY beat NBC’s new shows in the 8PM hour, and a repeat 2 1/2 MEN tied Parks & Rec at 9:30PM.

CW:  A VAMPIRE DIARY rerun and THE NEXT are currently listed at 0.5/0.6, but that includes broadcast viewers of the NFL Network’s Giants game in NY, so those numbers will be coming down.

Only ABC has a full new line-up tonight, while NBC airs the ALMA AWARDS, and CW has a new AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL.

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."