March 1, 2012



February Sweeps go out not with a bang, but with the other thing.
ABC:  The first “midseason arc” episode of REVENGE looked almost exactly like all the other episodes, so it was fitting that the rating stayed even.  The show will now take a break from fresh episodes until the end-of-season push in April.  (Meanwhile, the network will air REVENGE FOR REAL, some kind of “ABC News” concoction about actual rich-people crimes.  If it works, no doubt NBC is poised to launch Smash For Real.)  Elsewhere, even with a 2-hour Idol as competition, HAPPY ENDINGS had a very nice 0.4 bump over the last 2 weeks–and continued to pile up its pre-Community Random Pop Culture Reference points with a nod to Krippendorf’s Tribe that must have made Richard Dreyfuss very happy.  THE MIDDLE was also up a gratifying 0.4, while SUBURGATORY was slightly up and MODERN FAMILY was even.  

FOX:  AMERICAN IDOL 2-hour Wednesday was in the same position as its Tuesday:  dreadfully down from the parallel episode last year (44%, ouch), but only slightly down from last week.  The days of its dominance certainly seem to be over.
CW:  Audiences were not waiting with baited breath for the US vs. Brit version of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL, which had a 0.6 that was down a disastrous 45% from last year’s Spring premiere, and even down from its lead-in ONE TREE HILL.  (And for anyone looking for excuses, sorry:  last year’s premiere also aired against a 2-hour Idol.)
NBC:  On the plus side, nothing got worse. ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA and SVU remained tied with their all-time lows, while WHITNEY and ROCK CENTER were a wildly exciting 0.1 above theirs’.  Next week, the network begins its Wednesday roundelay, with a new version of the schedule practically every week.  Fun!
CBS:  No good news here, either:  CRIMINAL MINDS tied its season low, while SURVIVOR and CSI were 0.1 above their respective lows.  The latter, though, still had enough to win the 10PM hour.
When NBC chose tonight for the debut of its difficult, highly conceptual AWAKE, the plan was for it to face no competition at 10PM but reruns.  Which is true, except ABC had the interesting idea of re-running its star-studded JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE post-Oscar special in the slot as counterprogramming.  Otherwise, little is new on the schedule:  FOX has another 2-hour Idol, and CBS stuck a new ROB amidst the rest of its otherwise all-repeat night.

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."