Rating the Ratings: Season five of Shameless saw the series' most significant decline yet, but by cable standards dropping 13% is still the equivalent of being up significantly in Plus. This was one of a few shows that got somewhat derailed by having to air against the enormous SNL 40th Anniversary special in mid-February; in fact, Shameless had a lower rating against that (0.53) than it did in its annual airing against the Super Bowl (0.60)! It struggled to get back to normal after that; it was even to slightly up for most of the first half of the season, but down significantly for most points after that SNL airing. We'll see if that audience is gone for good and there's a big decline across the full season next year, but for now it's hard to complain about a cable series going -13%. Grade: B+.
Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for Shameless.