May 17, 2012





ABC is glad last night happened after its Upfronts.

ABC:  With the exception of THE MIDDLE, which stayed even (albeit at its season low 1.9), everything plunged:  SUBURGATORY‘s season finale down 0.3 to a new low 1.8, MODERN FAMILY down an ugly 0.5 to a season low 3.9, DON’T TRUST THE B___ down 0.3 to tie its 3.0 low, REVENGE down 0.2 to a new low 2.0.  A night like this has nothing to do with the quality of the week’s episodes, all of which were fine (Family) or better (Suburgatory, Revenge).  The numbers may be a Nielsen blip–remember, 22 people determine a 0.1 shift in 18-49 ratings–or a result of increased competition on CBS and FOX, or both.  Still, no network likes to see its big night crash.

CBS:  Meanwhile, after 1.1s for a pair of comedy repeats in the 8PM hour, CRIMINAL MINDS had a very solid 2-hour season finale, scoring a 3.5, up 0.6 from last week and its best rating in months.

FOX:  AMERICAN IDOL won the night with a 4.8, but while that was up 0.3 from last week, as Mitch Metcalf noted, it’s no cause for celebration compared to the way Idol has performed towards the end of previous seasons.

NBC:  This is the lead-in Dick Wolf’s new Chicago Fire can look forward to on Wednesdays next season:  his SVU declined to 1.7 with a new episode last night (after a repeat trudged to 0.8 in the previous hour).  At 8PM, OFF THEIR ROCKERS was slightly down to 1.4.

CW:  AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL, newly demoted to Fridays in the Fall, ticked up to 0.5, after a repeat was only slightly lower at 0.4 in the previous hour.

Plenty of season finales tonight.  On CBS, PERSON OF INTEREST and THE MENTALIST (for the latter, its last new episode on Thursday, as it moves to Sunday next season), plus what could be the series finale of RULES OF ENGAGEMENT if CBS and Sony don’t make a new deal.  ABC wraps up MISSING (for good), plus GREY’S ANATOMY and SCANDAL for the season).  FOX features the last new Thursday episode of TOUCH, which will air on Fridays in the Fall.  NBC has a truly weird night planned:  90 minutes of COMMUNITY season finale wrapped around the 30 ROCK season finale at 8:30PM, followed by a non-finale episode of AWAKE.

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."