February 8, 2012



Not all shows premiere like Smash.
ABC:  In recent years, viewers have flocked to horror series from True Blood to The Walking Dead to The Vampire Diaries, and at the multiplex, “found footage” thrillers like Paranormal Activity, The Devil Inside and Chronicle sell tickets like crazy, so… So this is why the entertainment business drives businesspeople crazy, because comparatively speaking, no one showed up for THE RIVER, ABC’s stab at the genre, which had a blah 2.4 opening, with a steadily decreasing track that bodes very badly for next week.  It’s a short-term problem for the network, since only 7 episodes were ordered, but it’s not going to make Tuesdays in the rest of February and March pleasant for ABC.  The 8PM LAST MAN STANDING was just 0.2 above its season low, and a special 8:30PM episode didn’t do much better.

NBC:  Any hope for a halo effect after the best 2 days of the network’s season went out the window, as THE BIGGEST LOSER was up only 0.1 from recent weeks, and then PARENTHOOD, facing a stronger competitor on ABC than the usual Body of Proof, slumped to a season low 1.6.  Parenthood‘s ratings in 2012 have been terrible, and with only a few more episodes left in its season order, its producers have to be glad they’re on the one network where those numbers aren’t necessarily a death sentence.
CBS:  The 200th episode of NCIS easily won its hour, but with The River perhaps siphoning off some male viewers, NCIS LA and UNFORGETTABLE were both only 0.1 above their season lows.
FOX:  GLEE was way down from last week’s Michael Jackson episode (apparently Ricky Martin doesn’t have quite the same name value).  NEW GIRL won its timeslot, but shows no signs of recapturing the highs of its fall ratings, and both it and RAISING HOPE were 0.2 above their season lows.
CW90210 held its own with a 0.7, but RINGER‘s 0.5 was down 0.1 from last week’s midseason premiere.
Tonight the only news is on the news side:  CBS fills in at 8PM (pending the return of Survivor) with a special PERSON TO PERSON interview show hosted by Charlie Rose and Lara Logan (the title is from an Edward R. Murrow series that ran 1953-1961, a reference that should certainly pull in the young crowd).  At 9PM, ROCK CENTER moves to its new timeslot, where it can look forward to being decimated by a new MODERN FAMILY on ABC.  At 10PM, CSI will probably be down from Marg Helgenberger’s exit episode, while REVENGE moves toward the endgame of the first arc of its season’s storyline.

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."