2013-02-16 06:47:38 UTC
Without "The Voice" and with a disastrous midseason schedule, the
Peacock once again finds itself struggling.
Through November, the once miserably rated NBC had somehow,
inexplicably risen to the top network in the prized 18-49 demographic,
after years of struggling. The network was riding high on the success
of Sunday Night Football, The Voice and their new drama, Revolution.
Things were going well for the network. The new president of the
company, Bob Greenblatt, was feeling cocky, often boasting about how
he’d turned the network around.
But then January came. Sunday Night Football ended its season. The
Voice and Revolution went on hiatus, and in a very short period of
time, NBC plummeted back down to its fourth-place position in the
ratings. How did it happen, and how did it happen so quickly? Here’s a
look at NBC’s seven most boneheaded mistakes in the last six weeks.
7. NBC decided to pull its SOLE new hit of the season, Revolution, for
a show called Deception, which no one watches. Revolution’s ratings
hovered around 3.5, while Deception is around 1.3. Also, Bob
Greenblatt reduced Revolution’s order by two episodes to make room for
6. Much of NBC’s early season success was attributed to the modest
success of the Matthew Perry sitcom, Go On and New Normal, which were
inexplicably scheduled to go up against more established sitcoms on
two other channels (Happy Endings and New Girl). After it was all said
and done, all of those sitcoms were damaged, but none more than Go On
and New Normal, which — without their The Voice lead-ins — fell to
ratings similar to that of Guys with Kids and below Whitney, 1.1 –
5. Part of the reason that both Community and 30 Rock received
shortened, 13-episode orders was to make room for mid-season
replacements, which were expected to perform better in the ratings.
Eventually, however, Community was shifted over to replace 30 Rock and
that mid-season replacement, 1600 Penn, receives a 1.3 rating. In
fact, its ratings are so bad and it is so reviled by critics that it’s
been preempted this week for an additional episode of The Office. It
would probably be canceled if NBC had anything else to put in the
slot, but it axed its Dane Cook sitcom before it even aired.
4. Despite tepid ratings, the well liked Up All Night returned for a
second season with a retooled format. It didn’t matter. Ratings
continued to fall. NBC pulled the show with the intention of
reformatting it as a multi-camera laugh track sitcom. During the
hiatus, the showrunner quit, and eventually, so did the show’s lead,
Christina Applegate. Nevertheless, this week, NBC inexplicably decided
to move forward and film ONE episode in the new format without
Applegate. Why? God knows.
3. For a full month before it was set to air, promos for the mid-
season drama Do No Harm could not be avoided. Despite heavy
promotional efforts, however, the show debuted with the lowest ratings
ever for a series debut (0.9 in the demo), and then fell even further
in its second week (0.7) before it was canceled. The one upside to
this, however, was that NBC found out that Rock Center with Brian
Williams had better ratings in its Friday slot than the Thursday slot.
What will NBC do? Probably move it back to Thursday in a few weeks.
2. NBC came in the 2012-2013 season with the idea that “broader is
better” with their choice of sitcoms. The strategy failed. Animal
Practice was quickly canceled, while Guys with Kids and Whitney
perform poorly in the ratings. In fact, the “niche” comedies, Parks
and Recreation, The Office, and even Community are performing better
than the “broader” comedies.
1. Despite a huge promotional effort, personnel turnover, and a lot of
hopes pinned on the second-season return of Smash, the premiere
debuted with a 1.1 rating in the 18-49 demo, essentially hammering the
nail into the coffin of NBC’s once promising 2012-2013 season.
Parenthood, which received a shortened 15-episode order to make room
for Smash, was receiving a 1.7 rating in the demo. At this point,
NBC’s schedule has been pretty much decimated, besides one bright
light in a sea of suck: Parks and Recreation‘s audience continues to