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NBC’s Ratings Plunge To A Humiliating New Low

By 02.22.13

Each Thursday at 9:30 p.m. EST, after The Office airs (or, in the case of last night, a monumentally terrific episode of Parks and Recreation), I change the channel from NBC and wash my hands of the its primetime offerings until the next Thursday, as the days in between have become barren wastelands of programming. I watch The Office and Community out of loyalty, though both are shells of what they used to be. Honestly the best thing on NBC outside of Parks and Rec is Saturday Night Live, and how often could you have said that about NBC? There are 22 hours of primetime programming on the network, and there’s only one half hour of great television in that entire time.

That’s pathetic.

Now, the ratings have gone from bad to worse. How bad is it? In the 18-49 demo, it fell to FIFTH during February sweeps. FIFTH. Behind UNIVISION. I don’t even know where Univision is on my programing guide (not that I should; it’s a Spanish-speaking network). Here’s a look at the month’s dismal numbers:

The two programs that were supposed to salvage NBC’s season, or at least hold the fort between cycles of The Voice were Do No Harm — which received the lowest debut for a Big Three drama of all time, with a 0.9 — and Smash, which returned with a 1.1, down 71 PERCENT since its debut the previous season. Those two shows fared even worse their second time out, with a 0.7 and a 0.9, respectively. But the kicker is this: NBC averaged a 1.2 for THE ENTIRE MONTH. Remember Lone Star, that critically adored Fox series that was cancelled after only two episodes in 2010? That show at least had a 1.3. If NBC were a program on another network, the entire station would be cancelled.

It’s a trainwreck. In fact, Univision has beaten NBC every single night of the sweeps month in the 18-49 demo. In total viewers, NBC doesn’t have a single show in the top 25, and among the 18-49, it has only one, The Office, at number 24. At this point, syndicated Big Bang Theory reruns would probably be the biggest hit on NBC. I kid you not: Dog with a Blog on Disney is outrating pretty much everything on the NBC schedule in total viewers.

It’s a sad state of affairs on the Peacock network. They’d probably be best off blowing the entire network up and starting from scratch as a kid’s network.


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