January 12, 2012



AKA the season’s final pre-American Idol Wednesday.
NBC:   In the absence of the 600-pound gorilla that’s arriving in a week, the new 8-9PM hour did respectably.  WHITNEY‘s 2.1 was slightly higher than where Up All Night had settled in last fall, and ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA built a bit on that to a 2.3, which is more than anything else at 8:30PM has been able to do for the network all season.  On a night when 3 networks were in repeats, that was good enough for 2d place in the hour.  However, as Mitch Metcalf notes, that’s partly because NBC spent a lot of money and effort marketing the shows.  And did we mention American Idol arrives next week?  HARRY’S LAW was up fractionally, while SVU couldn’t capitalize much on the absence of CSI in its hour, up only 0.1 from its season low.  (And apart from Idol, next week features the start of Marg Helgenberger’s departure from CSI, which can be expected to stunt that show’s ratings.)

ABC:  An easy night-long win.  Everything was stable except MODERN FAMILY, which was down a not-insubstantial half a ratings point… but if you’re Modern Family, you can afford to go down half a point.  Notably, even with presumably more female-skewing competition on CBS than usual, REVENGE still won its hour.
CBS:  The PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS were down 0.2 from last year, still enough for 2d place over its 2 hours.
FOX:  Basically bowed out for the night, with repeat and new episodes of MOBBED that didn’t top a 1.3.
CWONE TREE HILL‘s 0.9 season premere was excellent by CW standards.

Plenty of activity tonight, as NBC launches its midseason Thursday with the season premiere of 30 ROCK, and time-slot premieres of UP ALL NIGHT and THE FIRM.  FOX also kicks off the short run of THE FINDER to cover Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy, which curtailed this season’s order of BONES, and CBS debuts the Rob Schneider comedy ROB after Big Bang Theory

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."