May 23, 2012




One-third of last year’s viewers have left.


FOX:  The next-to-last AMERICAN IDOL of the season, airing against repeats on every other network, scored a 4.2, which gave FOX the nightly win but was down a whopping 2.2 rating points from last year’s parallel show.  GLEE‘s season finale, given that mighty lead-in, earned a 3.0, solidly up 0.5 from last week and the show’s best number in months–but down 1.8 rating points from last year’s season finale (about 38%).  If the trend continues, tonight’s IDOL finale should get around a big but very mortal 4.7 rating, down from last year’s 7.0  

ABC:  Similarly, the season finale of DANCING WITH THE STARS was up almost 50% from last week (3.2 compared to 2.2), but that was down from 4.5 last year, a decline of about 30%.

NBC:  AMERICA’S GOT TALENT‘s 3.2 beat both the first hour of the Dancing finale and Glee, and it was only slightly down from last year’s final hour of The Biggest Loser.  A special Dateline at 10PM managed only 1.6, behind even CBS’s rerun.

CBS:  The Eye let the other networks fight it out last night, airing reruns of the NCIS shows.  The 1.8 score for the 10PM repeat was as good a number as many first-run series have been doing in the 10PM slot all season.

CW:  Viewers are treating THE LA COMPLEX like something noxious that might get into their eyes if they watch:  last nights 0.2 came in below a rerun of HART OF DIXIE.

Tonight closes the book on the 2011-12 broadcast network season.  Squaring off against the Idol finale will be a night of ABC finales  (except for a Modern Family repeat at 8:30PM subbing for the already-done Suburgatory), and at 10PM when Idol is done, NBC airs the SVU season finale.

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."