November 11, 2011



For one network, a night that moved in the wrong direction.
FOX:  Does FOX have to start worrying about X FACTOR?  The show seemed to make its way through the wave of baseball-related preemptions and reschedulings very smoothly, but this week has been troubling.  Both Wednesday and last night, the show has hit season lows for those respective nights, and while the numbers are still perfectly fine (last night’s 3.3 was enough for a strong 2d place in its hour), this is the part of the season when competition shows are supposed to start building, not falling apart.  BONES was also down almost 20% from last week, although a drop after the season premiere isn’t unusual.  

ABC:  If the network hadn’t used the 8PM hour to burn off what may have been the last completed episode of CHARLIE’S ANGELS, ABC might have won the night.  The “fall finale” episode of GREY’S ANATOMY was up to a very solid 4, the highest number it’s seem since the season premiere, and PRIVATE PRACTICE is peaking at the right time, with its season-highest rating as lead-up to next week’s  2-hour special.
CBS:  Even with mostly reruns, CBS was in the hunt to win the night.  BIG BANG THEORY and RULES OF ENGAGEMENT won their hour handily, and the MENTALIST rerun easily beat NBC’s new programming at 10PM.
NBC:  The good news was that THE OFFICE stayed on the safe side of a 3 rating, and WHITNEY, while far from a hit, retained a steady 70% of that number.  The 8PM hour was a disaster, though, with COMMUNITY and PARKS & RECREATION both tying their season lows.  (And when it comes to those shows, that does mean “low.”)  PRIME SUSPECT, like a crippled racehorse no one will have the mercy to shoot, continued to howl in pain at a 1.2.
CW  The “fall finale” gambit worked less well for VAMPIRE DIARIES and SECRET CIRCLE, which were both down a bit from last week.
Tonight the Friday watch will be on GRIMM, which needs to stop dropping so NBC can reasonably claim a fall hit (by Friday standards), and A GIFTED MAN, fighting to stay off the autopsy table.

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."