Maybe "Southland" Won't Save Ben Silverman After All


When NBC’s new cop drama Southland premiered four weeks ago, it had observers saying the top-rated show could save Ben Silverman’s flagging network. It pulled in an impressive 9.7 million viewers, including 3.2 million viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic, beating the debut of CBS’ Harper’s Island among 18-49 year olds. But it’s beginning to seem like that success was just a fluke.

First, Harper’s Island proved to be such a ratings disaster that CBS moved it to Saturday nights. Also, for its first two weeks, Southland wasn’t facing any real competition in the form of ABC’s sudden hit Private Practice. Since Practice came back, Southland‘s been getting trounced in the ratings for 18-49 year-olds. The same was true last night, when Private Practice aired its season finale to an impressive 9.8 million viewers, 3.5 million aged 18-49, and Southland drew 6.7 million viewers but only 2.1 million in the coveted 18-49 demo.

Maybe it’s time for another controversial frontpage LA Times ad.

Elsewhere in television, Ugly Betty returned a week earlier than ABC originally planned with the same ratings it had before it went off the air. The show came in fourth place with 6.8 million viewers, which is still better than Samantha Who? and In the Motherhood‘s ratings during the same time period.

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