April 25, 2012



The final arrival of the season is a flop.
CW:  THE LA COMPLEX has some promise, but as a low-budget, no-star version of the network’s usual fodder, it didn’t give the Marketing department much to work with.  Viewers were not enticed, and the result was a terrible 0.3 debut.  (It’s not clear whether LA Complex is included in CW’s Netflix and Hulu deals, since it’s not produced by one of the network’s in-house studios–if not, that will make even the show’s low license fee untenable.)  Complex can’t complain about its 90210 lead-in, which was 0.6, down a bit from its last new episode but still double the crowd that stayed for Complex.

ABC:  The excellent news was that PRIVATE PRACTICE was up a whopping half rating point from last week, easily winning its hour with a 2.2, which is in the neighborhood of its Thursday night numbers.  If Practice can stay at this level next week, when CBS will be airing a new Unforgettable instead of a repeat, ABC will be able to take a sigh of relief and concentrate on trying to build Scandal on Thursdays.  The increase for Practice was especially notable because its DANCING WITH THE STARS results show lead-in was slightly down from last week.  Earlier, COUGAR TOWN was up a bit to 1.5, even following a LAST MAN STANDING repeat (albeit a repeat that, at 1.3, was remarkably close to what new episodes have been scoring).
FOX:  The Whitney Houston tribute episode of GLEE (which also started the show’s march to its big graduation storyline for May) was up to a 2.7, considerably higher than last week’s series-low 2.4.  NEW GIRL was down a bit, but within the range of recent episodes, and the 9:30PM repeat had a 1.5 that was better than new episodes of Breaking In had been doing.
NBC:  THE VOICE results show has been scoring within a very tight 3.2-3.5 range, and this week (at least in initial numbers) was on the low end.  THE BIGGEST LOSER and FASHION STAR were also similar to recent episodes, with respective 2.2 and 1.6 ratings.
CBS:  Another night of pre-Sweeps repeats, all between 1.5-2.0
After tonight, the rest of the season will be May Sweeps, so CBS is resting its scripted shows and ABC is only airing new episodes of DON’T TRUST THE B– and REVENGE.  NBC will be all-new (in case anyone cares), and of course IDOL has a fresh episode on FOX.  CW will repeat the LA COMPLEX pilot at 8PM in the hope of drumming up some interest.

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."