As 'Off Their Rockers' Out Rates 'Community' & '30 Rock' Does NBC Need More Betty?

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

April 20th, 2012

Those keeping score at home can't have missed the fact that Betty White's Off Their Rockers (1.6 adults 18-49 rating) out rated both of the "Night Formerly Known As Must See TV" sitcoms Community (1.3) and 30 Rock (1.5) this week.

It seems a perfect discussion for a Friday afternoon.

Does NBC need more Betty?

 
  • Oliver

    Oh, I also forgot to give a special shot-out to NBC’s scheduling department, which spent years dragging NBC into fourth place.

    Putting Community after The Office for three episodes before making it lead the night to put 30 Rock in the same slot (which let CBS move TBBT into the Thursday 8pm slot the next season)? Launching The Office quasi-spin-off Parks and Recreation at 8:30pm instead of after The Office?

    It’s like they wanted NBC’s Thursday night comedies to fail.

    Thankfully, NBC is slowly getting more competent since Greenblatt came along.

    In spite of all the promotion they wasted on Whitney.

  • MJDB

    @Oliver

    Didn’t earlier on in the season ABC had the now cancelled Man Up, which was entirely aimed at us guys. Not that I watched that show, but not entirely women and families.

  • RC

    @ Oliver: good round-up.

    I have said and will be repeating that NBC needs a focus. The channel could aim, for instance, at higher quality shows watched by young but higher educated or more affluent viewers. That way, a smaller public could bring in just about the same amount of money.

    But please NBC: cancel – asap – The Biggest Loser, Fear Factor and the other garbage watched by few. Including the Thursday comedy series. Next to some sole survivors, they have to try cablelike human-interest series, documentary series, prestigious high-profile drama. They need to invest in their broadcasting network, even if the Universal cable outlets are making the money. They have the name, they have the people, the have the means to rebuild that house.

    Just try.

  • peter198

    Lets not forget also that Whitney has consistently out rated these comedies also and has beaten The Office a couple of times this season in viewership.

    It really does tell you what direction NBC needs to go in next season with their comedies. NBC needs to bring back Betty White for the fall to lead off a block.

  • Oliver

    I’m not arguing that NBC shouldn’t renew Whitney (it’s a bubble show) just that it was a mistake for NBC to throw all their resources giving Whitney blanket promotion last fall.

    NBC throwing their resources behind a single show to create a hit is a good strategy, but they have to ensure that the show is compelling out of the gate to have any chance of keeping that audience.

    Whitney wasn’t that show, which is why Whitney’s ratings started off huge and quickly dropped to bubble levels.

  • Liz

    @Oliver

    it was a mistake for NBC to throw all their resources giving Whitney blanket promotion last fall.

    NBC throwing their resources behind a single show to create a hit is a good strategy, but they have to ensure that the show is compelling out of the gate to have any chance of keeping that audience.

    You keep saying that NBC threw their resources behind a single show (Whitney), but that’s simply incorrect. ShowBuzzDaily tracked summer and early fall promotion for new shows in each of the network’s most popular summer shows. Up All Night came out way, way ahead with over 840 seconds. Whitney was a distant second at 615 seconds, only slightly ahead of Prime Suspect at 550 seconds.

    Really, shouldn’t you be pointing to Up All Night as the problem? Although no matter which way you spin it, your claim of NBC “throwing their resources behind a single show” is wrong.

    Link: http://tinyurl.com/3dmh6mo

  • Cliff Macke

    Sorry but when the network can’t even get 2 mil. to watch a GREAT new show like AWAKE where the writing, directing and acting is great or Harry’s Law where the same can be said…it’s just sad times for this network, maybe they ought to consider doing what FOX does and give that 10pm hour back to the local stations…and call it a night early

  • One

    YOU AND YOUR VILE QUEST FOR PAGEVIEWS! HOW ABOUT I SELL YOUR SOUL TO NBC TO FACILITATE COMMUNITY’S RENEWAL! YOU [rest of comment redacted due to unsuitable content for anyone not well versed in the Necronomicon]

  • Oliver

    That’s somewhat skewed. UAN premiered early after the AGT finale, so NBC put effort into promoting it earlier. It also doesn’t acknowledge that Whitney got the best timeslot on the network and had ridiculous ads (billboards and web ads).

    But I concede the point: NBC also ridiculously overpromoted UAN, a show which didn’t deserve it. And, yes, UAN also flopped and should not have been made.

    UAN is a show that likely only got produced because Lorne Michaels was executive producer and because of its great cast. The pilot’s script was crap and NBC (badly) retooled the show.

  • rob60990

    I can’t see Betty’s show working all year round. I can see interest fading quickly.

  • One @ rob60990

    What, like how interest in Hot in Cleveland faded the instant they started ordering 22 episode seasons w/ three month breaks in between episode dumps?

  • One @ rob60990

    To be fair, though, ABC got five good years out of Whose Line Is It Anyway. Well, one or two good years and then several of “We’re tired of getting expensive scripted shows crushed on Thursdays @ 8, this’ll let us get crushed on a budget”…

  • Doug

    NBC doesn’t need more Betty because it’s not doing that well in the first place. Nothing is, and The Voice keeps going lower and lower every week. The name of the game in broadcast these days is managing declines because, excluding Olympic/Super Bowl bumps, the last network to be up substantially, in any season, was ABC in 2004/2005. NBC has done the absolute worst at managing declines, and had relied on football over the past few years to wall paper over some of the losses. For that reason, I don’t think that things will get substantially better for NBC no matter what it does. It’s one true option is to try to hold the line until the other networks decline to its level (and that will take a long while for CBS). I’ve said this in other threads, so I’m probably repeating myself, but I don’t expect NBC Primetime to be around in its current form in 4 or 5 years. It will be the first network to go – either strictly to cable carriage, or it will give nights back to the affiliates to avoid revolt. If affiliates were near revolt over the Jay Leno fiasco, how must they be now, with ratings in some of those 10pm timeslots 40% lower than TJLS?

    From all accounts, the only thing that holds NBC up is The Today Show and The Tonight Show. I can’t imagine anything else on NBC turning a profit at this point, outside of The Voice and perhaps The Biggest Loser. Reality shows are cheaper than scripted, but they’re not free.

  • Doug

    Another general question – ratings will eventually bottom out – the declines can’t continue to go on forever. What will that bottom be?

  • kyle

    I never understood why the ratings for NBC have sucked. They have the best quality programming in my opinion. They got shows for everybody. Which is the reason I loved it. Their scheduling department sucked a lot. Thats half the reason their in the trouble their in.

  • One @ Doug

    No one knows. But everyone cares…

  • Doug

    I’m more looking for predictions. I think that NBC is nearing that bottom now, but then again, look at the CW…

  • Ultima

    @Doug
    The name of the game in broadcast these days is managing declines because… the last network to be up substantially, in any season, was ABC in 2004/2005

    Nonsense. FOX was up 17% in the fall; CBS is up despite not having the AFC championship game in primetime this year (effectively up ~10%).

  • Joe

    A 1.6 in a less competitive timeslot isn’t all that much better than a 1.5, really. Plus, Off Their Rockers is a very gimmicky show. The hype of Betty White was enough to give it decent numbers to begin with, but I can’t see them sustaining, and the fact that the show has dropped with every broadcast supports that.

  • Don

    I thought 30-Rock was cancelled? I guess NOT.

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