January 4, 2012



Justice was swift for the worst new show of the season.
ABC:  WORK IT debuted with a lousy 2.0 on its quick journey to the TV boneyard.  In fairness, LAST MAN STANDING‘s 2.4 gave it a much weaker lead-in than the 3.0 the show was able to provide for MAN UP‘s 2.4 debut in the fall.  But look where Man Up is now–and Work It, facing reruns on 2 networks, will almost inevitably go down from its premiere, which should seal its fate. At 9PM, CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP rose modestly from Work It to a 2.2, holding the hour until the return of Dancing With the StarsBODY OF PROOF returned disastrously to new episodes with a 1.5.

NBC:  BIGGEST LOSER‘s weak 2.3 premiere was a full ratings point below last year’s winter premiere, but on par with this season’s fall start–it’s simply a show in steep decline, and dates and competition don’t matter much. PARENTHOOD didn’t do its bubble status any favors with a series low 1.7 rating, and creatively, it was an unusually gimmicky (road trip!) and pat episode for a show that’s typically better than that. 
CBS:  Meanwhile, on the winning side… CBS simply aired new episodes of its regular shows and obliterated the competition for the night, with NCIS beating its closest competitor at 8PM by a factor of 75%, and NCIS LA and UNFORGETTABLE each winning their hours by 45% margins. 
FOX:  Still in repeat mode, with a 1.3 for NEW GIRL the night’s high-point.   
CW:  More repeats of SECRET CIRCLE, more 0.3-0.4 numbers.
Tonight ABC is the only network with all-new episodes.  CBS starts the night with an I GET THAT A LOT special, then reruns; FOX has a new episode of MOBBED at 9PM as it waits for American Idol to arrive; NBC is all-rerun; and CW continues the marathon of Secret Circle episodes that no one seems to want.  

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."