It’s been a really, really rough couple of months for NBC, a fact that we have spent a lot of time discussing, including last week when we learned that during sweeps month, the network fell to fifth place, behind Univision. In fact, for the entire month of February, the highest rated show on the network was Saturday Night Live, which doesn’t even air during primetime. NBC’s executives are throwing their hands up in the air, acknowledging their own frustration with the plummeting ratings. Earlier this week, I tweeted this, one of the more telling facts about NBC’s decline: “The year The Office debuted, it averaged 5 million viewers, #112 overall. Now it averages 4 million viewers, and is NBC’s top rated sitcom.”
Indeed, it’s gotten so bad that even The Office can’t get any ratings respect, and last night, a Cleveland affiliate delivered yet another humiliating new low: The channel pre-empted The Office, a new 1600 Penn, and Law and Order: SVU to air a Matlock movie. A 21-year-old television movie in the 18th largest television market in the United States. Why would they do such a thing? As one commenter noted on the stations website:
“…the ratings for The Office and 1600 Penn are so poor (which is true-1600 Penn has only been getting a few million viewers each week nationally), that they are airing the Matlock rerun locally here in Cleveland in order to “give back ratings points to advertisers”, which is basically saying that they expect a Matlock rerun from 20 years ago to generate better viewership than NBC’s lineup.”
So, basically, WKYC thought that a Matlock film would do better than NBC’s programming. Naturally, viewers were concerned, but in searching Twitter, they weren’t really upset, for the most part, as much as they were resigned.
Honestly, I’m with the last person. WHAT’S WRONG WITH MATLOCK? It’s sure a hell of a lot better than 1600 Penn. The best part, though, is that one guy — John Koterba — live-tweeted the whole damn movie.
(A Hat Tip to Mike Toole for bringing this to my attention)