November 30, 2011



America knows what it wants this holiday season:  a flying middle-aged reindeer and lots of lingerie models!
CBSRUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER first aired (on NBC) in 1964, and 47 years later, it’s still going strong.  Its 4 rating easily won the 8PM time period.  (Here’s a fun fact about Rudolph, courtesy of Wikipedia:  the original 1964 version of the show didn’t resolve the fate of the Island of Misfit Toys, which caused such a viewer ruckus that the rescue of the Misfits was added the following year.)  An NCIS repeat was a solid 2d at 9PM, and then the VICTORIA’S SECRET FASHION SHOW beat the other networks senseless with a spectacular 4.6 (so much for no one watching network TV at 10PM anymore), more than doubling its closest competition.  Safe to say the Secret ladies will be back in primetime sooner rather than later.

FOX:  All things considered, not a bad night.  Even with the strong family competition from Rudolph, GLEE managed its highest post-baseball number with a 3.2.  NEW GIRL is still substantially below where it had been in early October, but at 3.6 it was a steady winner of its half-hour, and RAISING HOPE was up from the last couple of weeks.
NBC:  Both BIGGEST LOSER and PARENTHOOD tied season highs, and while those are still low numbers (2.4 and 2.2, respectively), when you’re NBC, you don’t poke at good news.
ABC:  The 8PM hour was badly dented by Rudolph on CBS, with both LAST MAN STANDING and MAN UP! hitting series lows at 2.4 and 1.7.  Without a Dancing results show at 9PM, the network threw an hour-long repeat of THE MIDDLE at 9PM and couldn’t manage better than a 1.4.  With that lead-in, BODY OF PROOF slumped to tie its season low of 1.8.
CW:  90210 did an OK 0.8, but despite some promoted plot twists in its “fall finale,” RINGER was blah with a 0.6.  (Incidentally, it’s worth noting that in Monday’s final ratings HART OF DIXIE rose to a 0.9.  That’s higher than anything on CW has done lately on a non-Thursday, and even more impressively, it marked a 50% improvement from its lead-in Gossip Girl‘s 0.6.)

Tonight ABC will air a full night of reruns, opening the door for other networks to do some business.  NBC has its annual CHRISTMAS IN ROCKFELLER CENTER special at 8PM, while CBS airs its odd concert/awards announcement GRAMMY NOMINATION show at 10.  Meanwhile, FOX seizes the opportunity to premiere the final “fall” show of the broadcast season, I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER, at 9:30PM.   

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."