April 13, 2012



This is what it’s come to:  on a Thursday night, repeats of CBS sitcoms beat new NBC sitcoms in every half-hour.
NBC:  Last night’s episode of THE OFFICE set a new all-time low of 2.1 2.2 (in final numbers) for the series, and that includes its first season, when it came within a whisker of being canceled.  I think we can all agree that the post-Steve Carell strategy hasn’t worked out so well, right?  It was downright sad to see how little emotional impact the big Andy/Erin episode last night was able to generate. (Rumors are already being floated of a “reboot” of the series next season.)  Incredibly, thanks to Smash‘s new series low on Monday, that 2.1 still makes it NBC’s highest-rated scripted series.  About the best that can be said for the rest of the night was that with a new Office in the line-up, the other 3 sitcoms (including the season finale of UP ALL NIGHT) rose a bit from last week’s season lows.  AWAKE remained mired in oblivion at 10PM with another 0.9.

CBS:  Some, including us, have posited a 4-sitcom Thursday for CBS next fall, and last night provided weighty proof that it would be a good idea.  A 9PM repeat of THE BIG BANG THEORY beat new episodes of The Office, Grey’s Anatomy and Touch, and a repeat 2 BROKE GIRLS beat NBC in the half-hour and was competitive with the other networks.  Another repeat Big Bang and a new RULES OF ENGAGEMENT also beat everything in the 8PM hour except American Idol.  Rounding out the good news, a repeat PERSON OF INTEREST had a strong 2d place finish at 10PM.  
ABCGREY’S ANATOMY was only 0.1 above last week’s season low to 2.9.  Even with a repeat on CBS and virtually nonexistent competition on NBC, SCANDAL did manage to build slightly to a 2.1, which isn’t much of a number (see NBC, above), but is at least moving in the right direction.  SCANDAL was only able to hold even with last week’s 2.0 in final numbersMISSING hit a new low 1.4.
FOXAMERICAN IDOL easily won the night for FOX, and with a repeat Big Bang Theory airing against it, the show rebounded from last week’s season low to 4.2.  That helped TOUCH, which held steady at 2.3.
CW:  Repeats of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE SECRET CIRCLE drew 0.4/0.3.
Tonight CBS preempts its scripted shows for a 2-hour Lionel Richie country-music concert special that one assumes was part of the network’s overall deal with the Academy of Country Music.  Most of the other networks (except CW) air new episodes.

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."