NCIS: Los Angeles S12E09 Review


Jimmy Fang and his gang.  A ‘previously on NCISA’ provides a reminder that Jimmy Fang was the one who got away back in Overdue (S12E07) when he was trying to buy US high end developmental technology.  This allows for a significant shift away from last week and instead focuses finding Fang and his latest attempt to obtain military technology. 

Jimmy Fang is not fleshed out and remains a fringe character. The only threat he poses is when he’s involved in a gunfight with the team - which has happened in each of his episodes.  This effects the intensity and excitement, as well as the overall narrative. Finding Fang takes the team down various routes that involve a Nigerian working on a new defence system designed to intercept hypersonic missiles, who has an (innocent link) to Boko Haram, and a criminal gang, one of whom works for Fang. The characters involved are different from the ones featured last week, which makes it tricky to keep track of who’s who, particularly when there is a high number of characters.  It’s a shame there is little continuity in this respect.  Sabatino is still present though, chasing down the counterfeit bills which are now very much a secondary concern.  And Nell, who was conspicuous by her absence last week, is again missing in action - although none of the team seem to realise! Eric is once again up in ops.

Plugging the gaps with absent and semi-absent characters is the surprise return of Retired Admiral Kilbride, who’s checking in on the team and partners up with Sam, as Callen has taken time off for personal reasons.  Kilbride brings his own dry, no nonsense attitude, and there was a great call back to his last appearance, when he was extremely grumpy and impatient, and Callen and Sam had to act as his bodyguards. Once again there are references to different generations, pre empting conversations between Kilbride and Sam about their children.  There is no doubt a career with a federal agency and can affect personal relationships and family life.

Deeks is still at FLETC and in a reversal of last week’s trials where he was failing, he is now preparing for the graduation ceremony, with Kensi ready to fly out post-case.  They have a great bantering session, with Kensi advising Deeks he needs to be silent for ten minutes of every 100 miles during their road trip home.  Clearly Deeks had a lot to say about that!  Kensi and Sabatino remain partners and again they have fun in the field, as do Rountree and Fatima.  In more throwbacks to recent episodes, Rountree has found the TV show that starred Fatima Namazi, in her pre-NCIS days. The two work well together, evident in their early action scene where Rountree runs towards the racing getaway van and tackles a tramp out of the way as Fatima fires at the van. The scene is filmed in slow-motion and captures Rountree’s excellent facial expression, mid-tackle.  The same filming technique is adopted for the final shootout with Fang, Kensi and Sabatino. Worryingly (and not mentioned), Kensi shoots and kills the human shield Fang uses, to try and get to him. He may have been a fellow villain but he was unarmed.  Consider the ramifications Anna Kolcheck endured a few seasons ago...Sabatino also reveals his artistic side as a musician and there is a wonderful scene as he leaves to inflict himself on his next target, walking off singing ‘Cum on Feel the Noise’, instigated by Kensi.

Deeks’ impending graduation is short lived when he calls Kensi to say he’s actually washed out, and is jumping on the next flight back to LA. There is no reason given although it quickly becomes clear when he returns to the bullpen and Hetty appears on screen, that she has pulled the most messed up, inhumane trick on him (in his words), making Deeks think he’s failed FLETC when Hetty wanted to be the one to ‘virtually’ hand him his NCIS Investigator badge. A fait accompli.  

Possibly the most controversial issue of the episode lies with Callen. He’s taken time off whilst the team are in the middle of a case which is out of character (most likely due to actor availability), to surprise Anna with a marriage proposal.  He is a little frustrated when he can’t speak to anyone at Rebuild USA where Anna is volunteering, immediately followed with a flashback to Callen as a young man.  Flashbacks are seldom used in the show and character-wise have only been used with Callen to further his development.  They should have a defined purpose, for example in season 2 when he suddenly recalls witnessing his mother’s murder when he was about four. A pivotal moment was revealed in Rage (S6E20), with a teenage Callen spiralling into a life of crime until Hetty saved him. Three episodes ago, the return of a foster brother prompted the third insight into a young Callen who was not yet standing up to bullies. 

The first of two flashbacks, filmed in flashes of sunshine, partially obscuring the characters, shows Callen happy and in love.  There is no hint of the emotionally closed-off loner, and yet there is no reason to think that Callen shouldn’t have made a few friends and fallen in love whilst at college.  There is certainly evidence that he is applying skills learnt from Hetty, when his girlfriend gently accuses Callen of playing ‘Jedi mind tricks’ on her father. The sharp intake of breath and the “no” is on point for Callen, who then replies that he can tell what people want to talk about and make them feel comfortable, and so they keep talking.  The mannerisms and inflictions in his reply demonstrate a great casting choice, and deliverance of the lines. It is her comment that he’s going to be the best consultant (in Chicago), which raises questions. Has Hetty only partially trained him? Did college open his eyes to other avenues he never thought possible and he’s rebelled against his destiny?  This certainly goes against the grain of what is known about G Callen to date.

In the second flashback he’s breaking off the relationship, literally turning his back and walking away from his girlfriend while she asks him why. He fails to answer. In the back of a chauffeur driven car Hetty tells him he’s walked away from his one chance of a nice peaceful life, and it will be a lonely existence. Callen’s view is polarised, he can’t reconcile a nice peaceful life with finding his father, or discovering his name. The two options are mutually exclusive in his mind, perhaps as a result of Jedi mind tricks applied by Hetty? The inference is here is that Callen chose to be a spy rather than being groomed for such a life in the ‘Hetty Lange school of mischief’, with his ‘great potential’.  Whereas these can be explained away, what cannot is the rather awful CGI of a young Hetty.  Eric Christian Olsen had the right idea with last season’s Mother, where Hetty was only seen from behind with a young Akhos. It is a shame the same methodology was not adopted in A Fait Accompli.

Outside the flashbacks, Callen has driven to Anna’s motel only to find Rebuild USA has never booked the motel or been heard of by the owner.  Anna has been lying to him for months and the pain and confusion is evident. He had overcome his trust issues with Anna and now she’s let him down again. She did not trust him with her CIA operation with Joelle, Katya and his father (S10 Searching & No More Lies), although he would have insisted in involving himself and potentially jeopardising the mission if he had known... After the DOJ advised Anna her record was wiped (S11E18 Missing Time), they were seen setting up surveillance on Anna, to see if Katya made an appearance. It was rumoured this was the intended season 11 finale, if the pandemic hadn’t broken.

If this was not enough of a shocker, the final scene tops this when Sam’s daughter calls him for a quick hello when she’s walking to her car. As they hang up, she is attacked from behind by a masked man.  There is no hint of a current villain out for Sam, and surely he deserves not more heartache and stress of yet another family member in peril. He’s experienced this with his son, lost his wife and now his daughter has been kidnapped.

A Fait Accompli is a key episode with Deeks passing FLETC, Anna’s lies and disappearance and Kamran’s kidnapping but unfortunately the execution, muddled in with the case of the week, was rather lacking, as were the questionable flashbacks for Callen.  They weren’t really needed and it’s part of the cannon of his character, that he struggles with relationships and commitments, especially after Joelle’s betrayal.   In addition to this, earlier Kilbride advised that Hetty’s op has hit a snag but no need to worry yet, and so another seed is planted.  Generally, there was a great feeling of team cohesion, particular with the bullpen back in play, the early scene between Kensi and Deeks, and the teams in the field, with banter and an increase in the action. 

The next episode is on 14th February and titled The Frogman’s Daughter, suggesting Kam’s kidnapping will be tackled immediately. 

A Virtual Scrawl

Friday TV Ratings 1/22/21: The Blacklist Returns Steady, Shark Tank Remains On Top, Magnum PI Rises as MacGyver and Blue Bloods Slip

Preliminary Analysis: Friday night staple 'Shark Tank' (0.7) matched last week's performance and reigned victorious, leading ABC to another easy win. '20/20' (0.5) was in repeat-mode at 10 but still outperformed an original episode of NBC's 'Dateline' (0.4) head-on. The peacock network also offered up the winter return of 'The Blacklist' (0.4), steady with its previous installment. 'MacGyver' (0.5) and 'Blue Bloods' (0.5) both lost a tenth on CBS while 'Magnum PI' (0.6) inched up at 9. 'WWE Smackdown' (0.6) shed a tenth on Fox after tying 'Shark Tank' seven days prior. The CW had 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' (0.2/0.1) and 'Penn & Teller' (0.1).

Final numbers to come.

Prime Time Cable News Ratings: CNN Crushes The Competition As Fox News Struggles Despite Start of New Show


Thursday TV Ratings 1/21/21: Walker Has a Strong Premiere, Young Sheldon and Mom Rise for Returns, ABC Game Shows Slide

Preliminary Analysis: Back in action after a month-long hiatus, CBS returned with comedies 'Young Sheldon' (0.8), 'B Positive' (0.6), and 'Mom' (0.6) all rising a tenth from where they last left off in December. 'The Unicorn' (0.4) and 'Star: Trek Discovery' (0.2) remained the weakest links in this lineup, neither able to make significant gains. Whether as a result of CBS coming back or not, ABC's 'Celebrity Wheel of Fortune' (0.8) plunged to a new low, shedding an alarming four-tenths on a week-to-week basis. 'The Chase' (0.7) and 'The Hustler' (0.5) held on a bit better from there, down two-tenths and a tenth respectively. NBC had steady editions of 'Mr. Mayor' (0.5) and 'Law & Order: SVU' (0.6) but 'Superstore' (0.4) hit a new low in-between. A low-rated 'Dateline' (0.3) closed out the night for the peacock network. Fox's 'Hell's Kitchen' (0.7) matched last week's performance while 'Call Me Kat' (0.5) and 'Last Man Standing' (0.4) both inched down to series lows. The CW had a surprisingly competitive evening with the series debut of 'Walker' (0.4) rivaling original programming on the big 4 networks. The return of 'Legacies' (0.2) was a tenth below its fall 2019 opener at 9. 

Final numbers to come.

Off Topic -- January 2021 (Seasons of L...O...V...E...)

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.  At which one of these do readers remember COVID-19 became a reality for them?  Broadway hit "Rent" broadway hit rings true as 2020 was a penultimate year which felt like a season/series finale for a series.  Life, death, birth, marriages, victories, setbacks and a reinvented life.  2020 tested all, but many were also given great opportunities to reinvent.  The networks took this sentiment and appear to be turning a corner from scripted to reality.

Wednesday Cable Ratings 1/20/21: President Biden’s Inauguration Rates Higher than President Trump’s in 2017, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Slides

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Wednesday, 1/20/21. Items of note include coverage of the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, the season premiere of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS, and Morning Joe on MSNBC.

(Click the names of the shows written in teal or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.) 

Tuesday Cable Ratings 1/19/21: CNN and MSNBC Dominate Inauguration Eve, Curse of Oak Island Rises

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Tuesday, 1/19/21. Items of note include Cuomo Prime Time on CNN, The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, and Curse of Oak Island on History.

(Note: Click any show with its name in green or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Wednesday TV Ratings 1/20/21: NBC Leads Coverage of Celebrating America as ABC Special on President Biden’s Inauguration Leads at 8, The Conners Steady at Special Time, Riverdale Returns Stable (UPDATED)

Preliminary Analysis: On another night where no show broke the 1.0 threshold, ABC's 'Biden Inauguration' coverage (0.8) narrowly beat out NBC's (0.7) in the 8pm hour. That quickly shifted at 8:30 when NBC's 'Celebrating America' special (0.8) took the lead over the alphabet network (0.6). ABC closed out the evening with a steady edition of 'The Conners' (0.6) and a shrinking 'Call Your Mother' (0.4). 'Mother' inched down from last Wednesday's series premiere. NBC capped their night off with a 'Chicago PD' encore (0.4). As it has done since September when it comes to election and political coverage, CBS trailed the other two with its Inauguration coverage (0.5) and 'Celebrating America' (0.4) special. They fell even lower in the 10pm hour with a rerun of 'Magnum PI' (0.2). Fox once more stayed out of the political arena but 'The Masked Dancer' (0.6) and 'Name That Tune' (0.6) seemed to suffer in the process. Both shows were down a tenth from their last installments. On the CW, 'Riverdale' (0.2) returned for its fifth season and 'Nancy Drew' (0.1) came back for its second. Both programs were two-tenths behind their previous season debuts from fall 2019.

Finals Update: NBC's Inauguration special (+0.1), Celebrating America on ABC (+0.1) and CBS (+0.1) and The Masked Dancer (+0.1) adjusted up. Riverdale (-0.1) adjusted down.

Monday Cable Ratings 1/18/21: Fox News Primetime Off to Rocky Start as CNN Continues Cable News Domination, NBA Leads, Kids Baking Championship Slips

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Monday, 1/18/21. Items of note include Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, the series premiere of Fox News Primetime on Fox News, and NBA on TNT.

(Note: Click any show with its name in yellow or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.) 

Sunday Cable Ratings 1/17/21: Your Honor Nears Series High, 90 Day Fiancé Leads, CNN Has Another Strong Day

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Sunday, 1/17/21. Items of note include Your Honor on Showtime, 90 Day Fiancé on TLC, and American Gods on Starz.

(Note: Click any show with its name in orange to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Saturday Cable Ratings 1/16/21: Big City Greens Returns Steady, CNN Leads, Judge Jeanine Rises

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Saturday, 1/16/2021. Items of note include Big City Greens on Disney, Two for the Win on Hallmark, and CNN Newsroom on CNN.

(Note: Click the name of any show with its title in red to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.)

Tuesday TV Ratings 1/19/21: NCIS Returns Mostly Steady with Double Episode, The Resident and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Slip (UPDATED)

Preliminary Analysis: After more than a month off the air, a double-pump of 'NCIS' (0.8/0.7) returned a tenth higher in the 8pm hour and steady at 9pm. Although the longtime crime drama remains on the lower-end of its usual delivery, it was strong enough to top all other competitors. CBS capped off their night with a steady edition of 'FBI: Most Wanted' (0.5). Fox came in second with 'The Resident' (0.5) shedding two-tenths from its week-ago start and 'Prodigal Son' (0.5) matching its tepid return. With 'This Is Us' (0.3) in repeat-mode on NBC, 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' (0.4) lost a tenth in the 8pm slot while 'Nurses' (0.2) took a steep, two-tenth decline, hitting a new low in the process. ABC aired the 2015 film 'Cinderella' (0.5) and received the same rating it got out of last week's 'Captain America: Winter Soldier' (0.5). Repeats of 'Call Your Mother' (0.3) and 'The Conners' (0.3) followed. The CW went with 'Two Sentence Horror Stories' (0.1/0.1) and 'Trickster' (0.1).

Finals Update: The 9 PM NCIS (+0.1), FBI: Most Wanted (+0.1) and The Resident (+0.1) adjusted up.

Reality Renew/Cancel Part 4: Mixed News for The Masked Dancer, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, The Hustler, The Chase, Name That Tune & Others

There have been many new reality shows debuting on broadcast in the past few weeks, and it's a good time to look at where they stand ratings-wise and give my initial predictions for all of them. Keep reading for my thoughts on The Masked Dancer, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, The Hustler and more!

Friday Cable Ratings 1/15/21: Real Time with Bill Maher Returns Steady, Secrets of Sulphur Springs Off to Decent Start, Drag Race Slips, NBA Leads as CNN Continues Cable News Dominance

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Friday, 1/15/21. Items of note include the season premiere of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the series premiere of Secrets of Sulphur Springs on Disney, and RuPaul's Drag Race on VH1.
(Note: Click the name of any show with its title in purple or blue to be taken to its page in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Ratings Database.) 

Monday TV Ratings 1/18/21: 9-1-1 Returns Lower as 9-1-1: Lone Star Starts Steady, All American Has Excellent Premiere, The Bachelor Rises (UPDATED)

Preliminary Analysis: Fox brought back dramas '9-1-1' (1.2) and '9-1-1: Lone Star' (0.9) in fairly solid fashion. Although '9-1-1' was down four-tenths from last season's start (1.6), it remains one of the few shows in this climate to post ratings above a 1.0. 'Lone Star' was a lot steadier, only down a tenth from January 2020's timeslot premiere (1.0). While Fox put up quite a fight, ABC's 'The Bachelor' (1.3) remained the night's top program, rising a tick from its week-ago installment. 'The Good Doctor' (0.6) held even in the 10pm hour. CBS had stable editions of 'The Neighborhood' (0.8), 'Bob Hearts Abishola' (0.6), and 'Bull' (0.5). 'Let's Make a Deal' (0.5) took over for 'All Rise' in the 9pm slot. NBC was also flat across the board with 'Ellen's Game of Games' (0.6), 'The Wall' (0.5), and 'Weakest Link' (0.5). On the CW, the season three premiere of 'All American' (0.4) posted a phenomenal result, cementing a new series high in its return. A 'Batwoman' repeat (0.1) matched Sunday's premiere in the 9pm hour.

Finals Update: The Bachelor (+0.1), Bob Hearts Abishola (+0.1), Weakest Link (+0.1), Ellen's Game of Games (+0.1), and 9-1-1: Lone Star (+0.1) adjusted up.

Sitcom Scorecard - January 13-14, 2021

Original sitcoms were slim pickens this week as all of CBS and FOX Sunday took the week off, leaving lower entries to fend for themselves.  ABC's comedies returned to lackluster results after weeks off on January 13 with The Goldbergs (0.69) and American Housewife (0.56) down 0.06 each, while The Conners (0.62) up 0.02.  New entry Call Your Mother (0.53) sadly made an underwhelming debut, though it was up 0.11 from Blackish's last entry in December.  

Sunday TV Ratings 1/17/21: Massive NFL Boosts The Great North, Batwoman Returns Low, Millionaire Slips (UPDATED)

Preliminary Analysis: Bolstered by the monstrous 'Buccaneers v. Saints' NFL game (8.1) and 'Postgame' (7.4), Fox's 'The Great North' (2.6) soared to wild heights for a special 10pm showing. This was higher than any other scripted program of the night and goes nearly 300% above its January 3rd start (0.69). It's unlikely that 'Great North' carries more than a third of this audience over to its February 14th timeslot premiere but it was still sampled rather nicely here. 'North' was followed by an original episode of 'Family Guy' (1.1), the longtime veteran rose by four-tenths and hit a new season high. This is the first time that the Seth MacFarlane series has broken the 1.0 threshold since October 2019

ABC had a rather bleak evening as 'AFV' (0.5) lost two-tenths and 'Millionaire' (0.4) inched down in its move to the 8pm slot. 'Card Sharks' (0.3) and 'The Rookie' (0.4) were steady in the back-half of the night. CBS's '60 Minutes' (1.1) shed a full point from last week's Pelosi-fueled broadcast while 'NCIS: Los Angeles' (0.6) lost a tenth. 'NCIS: New Orleans' (0.5) held even in the 10pm hour and led into a repeat of 'NCIS' (0.4). NBC had 0.3s across the board with repeats of 'Weakest Link', 'The Wall', and 'American Ninja Warrior'. The CW's 'Batwoman' (0.1) returned for season two in horrific fashion, matching its series low and going well below the 0.5 it garnered for its 2019 debut. A repeat of 'All American Stories' (0.0) only went lower from there.

Finals Update: Fox's NFL game (9.9, +1.8), CBS's '60 Minutes' (1.2, +0.1) and ABC's 'The Rookie' (0.5, +0.1) all adjusted up. 'The Great North' (2.1, -0.5) adjusted down.

NCIS: Los Angeles S12E08 Review


In ‘Love Kills’, the team is dragged into an investigation involving a counterfeiting operation, which features the return of a female antagonist from season 9, and also sees recurring character Sabatino makes another appearance. DOJ Agent Lance Hamilton, mentioned only in name, asks the NCIS team to assist when a star witness shows up dead in a safe house.  Sabatino contacts Kensi about the same situation, and meets with Sam and Callen in the boatshed. While the team is investigating, Deeks is at FLETC, undergoing physical training and crime scene assessments.

This is a confusing episode on a number of levels. On the one hand the number of minor characters involved makes the case of the week a little hard to follow, )which admittedly improved with a second viewing).  On the other hand, the return of Sabatino with his witty one liners and interactions with multiple characters, really lifted the episode to a purely enjoyable level.  There is some great banter as expected between the partners, and Kensi provides an excuse about why Pietra beat her in a fight back in season 9.  Cramps and her period, which she took delight in telling Rountree. And then there is Deeks.

The biggest frustration of this episode is the ongoing subplot involving Deeks. The Deeks of recent seasons has questioned his career choice in law enforcement and challenged Kensi’s desire to remain honest to herself and remain an NCIS agent. They’ve had fiery debates about their future and parenthood.  Now they’ve moved past this and are ‘all in’ for starting a family and buying a family home, Deeks has had the choice of whether to leave law enforcement taken away. As per last week’s episode, this made him realise what he’s lost and cemented his desire to attend FLETC and becoming an NCIS agent. This week he is shown struggling with the physical aspect of the training, unable to keep up with the twenty-somethings on the run and struggling to tackle ‘gigantor’.  He is even caught snoozing in the back of a car when he and the other recruits are on a crime assessment.
He later comments in a call to Kensi that he’s struggling, he’s tired - of almost everything. He’s in a depressive state and Kensi’s fails to lift his spirits, even when referring to him as ‘Party Marty’. Deeks calls a reality check by stating Party Marty’s been dead for twenty years...

There is so much here which is contradictory to the established character of Deeks. Of course, he has verbal diarrhoea with the FLETC trainers, but Deeks is fit and healthy. He’s always shown working out and so the age difference between raw recruits and Deeks should really be negligible. He may always have a carefree and casual attitude towards training but would he really catch forty-winks instead of collecting forensic evidence from the back of a car? He certainly kicks himself after, yet the power is in his hands. Think of his early seasons where he had to choose a training course and at the end he shot a cut-out of Hetty, and how he failed the bomb defusing course in S6 Spiral.  Neither jeopardised his LAPD liaison position at NCIS, and Deeks always comes through, shoots the bad guys and with a spot of luck, did defuse that bomb.  This is different. He wanted this so much last week, yet now he’s sleeping on the job, knowing it will most likely affect his future.  

At the episode’s start, Fatima asks Kensi how Deeks is getting on at FLETC, and she admits he hates it. The reason why Deeks works so well in the show is down to his carefree, relaxed and jovial attitude and how he wears his heart on his sleeve (maybe excusing his earlier communication issues with Kensi). This contrasts sharply with the emotionally controlled NCIS agents and that is one of the team dynamics which has lifted the show. It is also the reason why Deeks is not agent material. Deeks is flunking FLETC and it will be very interesting to see what role Hetty has for him next week.

The theme of age which is so prevalent this season continues with Rountree and Fatima in their opening scenes. Rountree talks about his younger sister and her friends at UCLA and their conversations on racial bias and policing. Rather than labouring on the points of injustice he is once again progressive, as he was with Sam in S12E02 War Crimes. He sees young law enforcement officers as needing to set high standards and being the solution, not the problem. Fatima listens but seems more concerned about continuing her practice of film one-liners to be uttered when apprehending a suspect. Maybe it was felt that her perspective on racism and by extension religious persecution, would be too much for the episode (or maybe the show). Failing that, it did nothing to further her character development and made her seem shallow. The serious topic of racism and policing is not raised again, which unfortunately makes it seem like a bit of a moot point, there because it’s a tick in the box.

There was no apparent loose end from Pietra Rey’s first appearance in S09E10 Forasteira and her reappearance here allows for a little fight scene with Sam, a reconnection with Kensi and conversations in Portuguese and of course a scene with Sabatino.  It is the latter who steals the show, as expected. Sabatino works well with all characters and in this era of COVID precautions, he has the privilege of scenes with Sam and Callen, Rountree and Kensi, and Pietra.  The team never question why a CIA agent is operating on US soil and certainly he never announces himself as such to the DOJ jobsworths.  Sabatino is on fine form, throwing one liners, quick repartees and sarcastic comments with all characters. He refers to Sam and Callen as Laverne and Shirley, and asks if anyone likes them, when Callen comments that Pietra tried to blow them up twice.  He also has a ‘man-bun’ which becomes a running joke. Even in the closing scene with him and Kensi under severe fire, Sabatino quips that debris is bad for the bun.

Although not a bad episode, it is a tad confusing with Deeks and the number of minor characters connected to the week’s case.  At one point Sam even channels Deeks, answering a question from ops with ‘Jean-Claude van Damme’ - most unusual for him.  There is also a lack of characters with Nell, Hetty and Eric absent, noticeable with Fatima running the ops centre and leaving the place unmanned to join Rountree in the field.  Sabatino is on overdrive and an absolute delight and there are call backs to ongoing subplots when Sam asks Callen where he’s going to live when Deeks sells the bar. ‘Love Kills’ concluded with Kensi and Sabatino under fire and the team five minutes out. Next week’s episode has different writers and the difference between part one and part two - if any - will be interesting to understand.   

Saturday TV Ratings 1/16/21: Ravens and Bills NFL Game Dominates, Masked Dancer Repeat Takes Second (UPDATED)

Preliminary Analysis: NBC scored an easy win with its 'Ravens v. Bill' NFL game (5.6) trouncing all other broadcasts of the night. In an incredibly distant second, Fox had a strong encore of 'The Masked Dancer' (0.6) but a meager 'Prodigal Son' (0.2) encore. CBS had repeats of 'Magnum PI' (0.1), 'Bull' (0.2), and an original '48 Hours' (0.3), improving ever-so-slightly as the night went on. ABC had passable encores of 'Celebrity Wheel of Fortune' (0.3) and 'The Chase' (0.3) but went ridiculously low with a 10pm 'For Life' repeat (0.1).

Finals Update: NBC's 'Ravens v. Bills' NFL game (7.3, +1.7) and the repeat of 'For Life' (0.2, +0.1) adjusted up.

Friday TV Ratings 1/15/21: Figure Skating Draws Little Interest, Shark Tank and 20/20 Lead (UPDATED)

Preliminary Analysis: 'US Championship Figure Skating' (0.3) made very little noise on NBC, prompting ABC's 'Shark Tank' (0.7) to top the night despite shedding a tenth from last week's episode. Lead-out '20/20' (0.7) held even despite the slippage from 'Shark', likely benefiting from 'Dateline' not airing. Fox's 'WWE Smackdown' (0.6) matched its previous installment but was a tenth shy of the alphabet network. 'MacGyver' (0.5) and 'Magnum P.I.' (0.5) both lost a tenth on CBS while 'Blue Bloods' (0.4) was in repeat-mode. The CW had a surprisingly solid night (by their standards) as 'Whose Line Is It Anyway' (0.2) and 'Penn & Teller' (0.2) both rose a tenth.

Finals Update: 'WWE Smackdown' (0.7, +0.1) adjusted up on Fox.

Prime Time Cable News Ratings: CNN Leads Another Chaotic Week While Most Fox News Shows Finish In Third


Thursday Cable Ratings 1/14/21: Go-Big Show Narrowly Down in Week 2, CNN Remains Dominant as Maddow Leads in Viewers

Below are the top 25 programs on cable on Thursday, 1/14/21. Items of note include Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, Go-Big Show on TBS, and The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

(Note: Click the names of the shows written in purple or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.)



18-49 Viewers

Viewers (mil.)

Anderson Cooper 360CNN0.644.02
Cuomo Prime TimeCNN0.623.86
NBA: Warriors v. NuggetsTNT0.581.49
CNN Tonight with Don LemonCNN0.563.16
Erin Burnett OutFrontCNN0.53.39
The Rachel Maddow ShowMSNBC0.474.32
The Situation RoomCNN0.453.06
CNN NewsroomCNN0.453.00
The Situation RoomCNN0.432.69
CNN NewsroomCNN0.432.45
CNN NewsroomCNN0.422.35
CNN Tonight with Don LemonCNN0.412.17
The Lead with Jake TapperCNN0.412.85
CNN NewsroomCNN0.42.70
NBA: Rockets v. SpursTNT0.381.06
CNN NewsroomCNN0.372.44
Jersey Shore Family VacationMTV0.360.67
CNN NewsroomCNN0.362.24
The ReidOutCNN0.333.14
Go-Big ShowTBS0.290.99
Last Word with Lawrence O'DonnellMSNBC0.293.30
The Beat with Ari MelberMSNBC0.282.89
Tucker Carlson TonightFox News0.273.28
All In with Chris HayesMSNBC0.273.01
Southern CharmBravo0.260.93

Highlights Below the Chart:

The 11th Hour with Brian WilliamsMSNBC0.262.81
Deadline: White HouseMSNBC0.223.05
HannityFox News0.213.00
The FiveFox News0.192.78
The Ingraham AngleFox News0.192.22
The StoryFox News0.171.69
Morning JoeMSNBC0.151.82
MSNBC Live with Stephanie RuhleMSNBC0.131.98
Rob Schmitt TonightNewsmax TV0.070.37
Greg Kelly ReportNewsmax TV0.070.81
StinchfieldNewsmax TV0.070.59
Spicer & CoNewsmax TV0.060.63
John Bachman NowNewsmax TV0.060.45
National ReportNewsmax TV0.050.41
The Chris Salcedo ShowNewsmax TV0.050.45
American AgendaNewsmax TV0.040.39





Total viewers

Anderson Cooper 360






Cuomo Prime Time






CNN Tonight (10pm)






Erin Burnett OutFront






Rachel Maddow Show






The ReidOut






Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell






Tucker Carlson Tonight

FOX News





All In with Chris Hayes







FOX News





The Ingraham  Angle

FOX News





The Story with Martha MacCallum

FOX News





Greg Kelly Reports

Newsmax TV




Newsmax TV



Rob Schmitt Tonight

Newsmax TV