December 12, 2012


It was quite the 10PM hour on broadcast TV last night, as both NBC and ABC aired episodes largely revolving around their shows’ cancer patients.

NBC:  PARENTHOOD scored a convincing win in the hour, matching its season high 2.0 with about the most wrenching “holiday” episode you’ll ever see on network TV. That beat CBS by half a ratings point (although the vastly older-skewing Vegas just about doubled its total viewership.)  It may have been helped slightly by its lead-in, as the second night of TAKE IT ALL did better in its 9:30PM half hour than The New Normal has been rating.  However, although Take It‘s 2.3 in the full hour was decent enough, its drop from 2.4 to 2.1 as the hour went on isn’t a great sign.  We’ll see how it does tonight when it airs for the first time without THE VOICE as a lead-in.  Thinking of which, at 8PM Voice was flat at 3.5 (rising from 3.3 to 3.7 during the course of the hour).

ABC:  The yearly run of SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN only managed a 1.7, down half a point from last year (when it aired on a Thursday).  Things only got worse from there, as HAPPY ENDINGS was flat at 1.3, DON’T TRUST THE B– fell 0.2 to 1.0, and PRIVATE PRACTICE held even at a miserly 1.2.

FOX:  Mildly good news for the network’s suffering sitcom slate.  RAISING HOPE rose 0.3 to 1.7, and then after a terrible lead-in from a rerun of the BEN AND KATE pilot (0.8), NEW GIRL was steady at 2.0, and THE MINDY PROJECT (which had one of its best episodes since the pilot) climbed slightly to 1.4.

CBS:  An off night all around.  NCIS was down a whopping 0.8 to 2.8 at 8PM, its cohort NCIS LA fell 0.3 to 2.6 (still enough to win the 9PM hour), and VEGAS fell 0.1 to 1.5.

CW:  The midseason finale of HART OF DIXIE rose 0.1 to a solid 0.6, followed by a 0.4 for A MUPPETS CHRISTMAS.

Take It All continues its run on NBC tonight (with a rerun Guys With Kids as lead-in, which will certainly test the game show’s ability to generate its own audience), and the only other event is Barbara Walters’ yearly 10 MOST FASCINATING PEOPLE special, which had a 2.3 rating last year.

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."