May 3, 2012



The lows keep coming.
ABC:  MODERN FAMILY, THE MIDDLE, SUBURGATORY and REVENGE all set or tied season lows last night, and the only reason DON’T TRUST THE B— IN APT 23 didn’t was because it had aired the previous week after a Modern Family rerun.  The 8PM hour, in particular, is starting to look like a problem for the network, with both shows hovering at a 2.0 rating.  The slumps don’t appear to stem from quality issues on the shows (although Revenge is reaching that part of a soap’s season where the plot starts to run around in circles), but are part of overall viewer flight from network TV.

FOX:  AMERICAN IDOL also hit a new Wednesday series low, but when your low is a 4.6, that’s a high-class problem to have.  Idol, while seriously diminished from its prime, has easily overtaken The Voice in the singing competition bragging rights war, and FOX was 2 full rating points above its closest competition last night.
CBS:  New lows for SURVIVOR at 2.5 and CSI at 2.3 (the latter had a notably humdrum episode last night, but is promising a major shock in next week’s season finale, so we’ll see if that gets anyone’s attention).  CRIMINAL MINDS stayed steady with recent episodes and a bit above its season low, which these days counts as something of a triumph.
NBC:  …and then there’s the once-proud Peacock.  OFF THEIR ROCKERS set a new 1.3 low last night (still better at 8:30PM than what Best Friends Forever had been doing).  But hey, ROCK CENTER was up all the way to a 1.0, doubling its rating from 3 weeks ago!  And SVU managed to climb 0.2 from its all-time low to 1.8 (3rd place for its hour)!  So that’s something.  
CW:  THE LA COMPLEX‘s ratings are dreadful, but they’re consistent:  every airing so far, original and repeat, has scored the same 0.3.  AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL, though, was down to a grisly 0.4, down 67% from last Spring’s cycle average.  

The fun continues with an all-new Thursday tonight, as the networks start to approach season finales with the beginning of Week 2 of May Sweeps.  (And check out Mitch Metcalf’s Sweeps Week 1 Report for confirmation that yes, things at the networks really are as bad as you think.) 

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."