When NBC decided to turn over their Monday-Friday 10pm hour to The Jay Leno Show last season they were immediately savaged by Hollywood and the TV media. How could they ruin what had been the golden hour for some of TV best dramas? Soon after TJLS began, the local NBC affiliates began whining about his ratings killing their late newcasts. The long national nightmare finally ended in February.

This season, NBC opened up its wallet (and likely crushed its income statement) and sprayed money around for new 10pm dramas (one of which was held for mid-season before its premiere, and The Apprentice moved to Thursday for the Fall).

Hollywood and the TV media hailed NBC’s turn around. They’d seen the light! The local NBC affiliates joined in the cheers, putting their stamp of approval on the Comcast acquisition of NBCU.

Too bad all that money spent (probably 4-5x what they spent on TJLS) on all those dramas failed to boost their 10pm ratings over The Jay Leno Show.

In the third week of the 2010-11 season, NBC’s 10pm line up scored the same average adults 18-49 ratings as the comparable week’s The Jay Leno Show. (which was TJLS‘ 4th week). The Jay Leno Show was better on two nights, the 2010 lineup was better on two, and one was a tie.

2010 Leno 2009
Mon: Chase 1.7 1.5
Tues: Parenthood 2.1 2.1
Wed: Law & Order: LA 2.4 1.7
Thurs: Apprentice 1.3 1.7
Fri: Outlaw 0.9 1.4
Adults 18-49 average 1.68 1.68

Update: Those complaining about cherry picking a week when TJLS ratings were still “high” should note that TJLS averaged a 1.5 rating for its entire run, not far below the 1.68 for this week. How much lower do you think NBC’s 10pm line up will fall? (well, its likely to go up this week now that Outlaw has been removed).

I’m sure that NBC’s thank you notes to Hollywood, the TV media, and its affiliates will be forthcoming.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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