NBC Picks Up Kath & Kim for Full Season, No Surprise

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October 31st, 2008

to quote James Hibbered:

Yup, you read that right.

NBC has ordered a full season of Thursday night comedy "Kath & Kim."

Guess last night's fourth episode rising 9% helped boost NBC's confidence in the show. The UMS/Reveille-produced comedy was seen by 5.4 million viewers and received a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49, matching its "My Name Is Earl" lead in. But that's after the first three episodes dropped each week.

Sign of the times? To some degree it's a sign of how bad things are for NBC this fall, because even with Sunday Night Football, it's still the number four network among 18-49 year olds. And even before last night's up-tick, Kath & Kim fared well versus the peacock's season-to-date 18-49 year old viewer average in our Renew/Cancel Index, where Kath & Kim is currently actually pegged for renewal next year.

It's at the low end of renewal, but NBC's index is skewed because of Sunday Night Football (which of course performs better than any show on the net). NBC winds up having a few shows worse than average, a bunch of shows right around average and a few shows that are way, way above average (Heroes, The Office and of course, Sunday Night Football).

Kath & Kim is right around average -- just a tiny bit below through last week's numbers, but excluding Sunday Night Football, it would actually be outperforming NBC's season-to-date average for 18-49 year old viewers. That's good enough for most networks really. And particularly in this case, as NBC execs are apparently very enamored with the show, where despite the low total viewer numbers, it's performing (relative to the rest of NBC) OK when it comes to 18-49 year old viewers.

Plus, NBC has some history with The Office where it didn't really catch on until the second season. And plus, if they replaced it, they'd just have to replace it with another 30 minute show (given the current schedule) that likely wouldn't do any better. So while I do sometimes mock the low total viewer numbers, I'm not surprised at all.

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