January 17, 2013


American Idol isn’t scary anymore.

FOX:  As Mitch Metcalf detailed this morning, AMERICAN IDOL‘s 6.0 season debut–while obviously still a huge number for any network series–was down 1.4 ratings points from last year’s premiere, and down a staggering 3.7 points from 2 years ago, a margin that in itself would be the rating for a hit series.  Since Idol declines after its premiere, in a few weeks it may not be rating much higher than Modern Family on ABC (last season, it was already routinely losing to Big Bang Theory on Thursdays), as it continues its decline to being a mere “hit.”

ABC:  Even with Idol as competition, the 8-10PM sitcoms held up fairly well.  The drops were 0.1 for THE MIDDLE (2.3), 0.2 for THE NEIGHBORS (1.9), 0.4 for MODERN FAMILY (4.3), and 0.2 for SUBURGATORY (2.4).  With NBC in reruns, NASHVILLE was just barely in 2d place at 10PM with 2.2, its best number since the series premiere (although nowhere near that 2.8).

CBS:  Still between Survivor cycles, the network started the night with a 1.1 NCIS rerun.  CRIMINAL MINDS was down 0.3 to 2.8 against Idol, while CSI was up a tick to 2.3, winning the 10PM hour by the narrowest of margins.

CW:  The 2013 return of ARROW had a robust 1.1, up a bit from the 2012 finale, and SUPERNATURAL was right behind with 0.9.  As Beauty & the Beast has declined on Thursdays, Wednesday has become CW’s most consistent night of the week.

NBC:  The network chose to sit out Idol premiere night with a slate of reruns, in last place across the board and “highlighted” by CHICAGO FIRE‘s 1.0.

Idol is back tonight, facing new episodes on NBC and ABC (CBS is airing reruns).  CW will re-broadcast its Carrie Diaries pilot post Vampire Diaries at 9PM.  On cable, SUITS returns to USA, and FX features the season premieres of ANGER MANAGEMENT and ARCHER, as well as the series premiere of LEGIT.

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."