TV by the Numbers On NPR's 'Morning Edition': How Does NBC Plan To Climb Back Up Rating's Ladder?

Categories: Broadcast TV,TV Ratings

Written By

May 10th, 2013

A  story from today's NPR Morning Edition featuring yours truly on NBC's current ratings situation, a favorite topic of the media these days.

You can listen to the interview, and read the transcript here.

  • Jared

    Hannibal is a case of great show wrong network. Easy as that. Would have been considered a hit on any cable network.

  • Ben

    Fingers crossed that Hannibal survives NBC’s killer wave. If it doesn’t, I really hope Netflix or a cable network picks the show up. It’s one of my favorite shows this season and certainly the best show I’ve seen on network TV in a long time.

  • Anna Bones Clarkwood

    Personally, I think if NBC has another horrible comedy season (dramas are fine enough, at least for now) they will need to do something drastic.

    My Idea:

    8pm The Voice
    9pm The Voice
    10pm NEW HIT DRAMA

    8pm Must See TV Comedy Hit Reruns (s1 to conclusion).
    8:30pm NEW Comedy that would pair well with it.
    9pm Voice Results, 1st half of the season is 2hrs, like usual.
    10pm NEW Drama/last years Mon 10pm New Drama

    8pm Must See TV Comedy Hit Reruns (s1 to conclusion).
    8:30pm NEW Comedy that would pair well with it.
    9pm & 10pm are probably both Chicago Fire & Chicago PD, granted they stick, otherwise Parenthood @9 & new drama @10.

    8pm Must See TV Comedy Hit Reruns (s1 to conclusion).
    8:30pm NEW Comedy that would pair well with it.
    9pm Must See TV Comedy Hit Reruns (s1 to conclusion).
    9:30pm NEW Comedy that would pair well with it.
    10pm Parenthood if both Chicago Fire/PD last otherwise L&O:SVU

    Fri & Sun can remain basically unchanged or where some of the dramas that I haven’t mentioned can last long enough for syndication, if they are still here, like Revolution/Chicago Fire. And, of course Grimm is perm on Friday.

    They have a lot of Must See TV Comedies to choose from. By airing them at the top of the hour & like ABC does for Wed with The Middle & Modern Family, they can really cushion new shows.

    Then, unless a show really fails plus stinks quality wise, keep these comedies for years to come, at least until syndication.

    Granted, the rights to air these shows might be expensive. But is the risk of being the CW & of course a bunch of one & done new shows costs worth not trying this approach?

  • PurpleDrazi

    I actually caught it on the radio while I was driving to work. The person in the car next to mine at the stoplight must have thought I was crazy when I suddenly screamed out BILL!!!

    Interesting story even though it wasn’t anything new to followers of this site.

  • American

    With the clean sweep of Go On, Brian Williams, Whitney, and alike, NBC means BUSINESS for the 2013-2014 season. Their luck ran out after the New Year and the network found that certain shows just would never be hits, and finding that out now sooner than later is commendable. They have an array of new buzz-worthy dramas and comedies coming next season, so maybe then the NBC fortunes will be riding on the positive for a change.

  • AniMatsuri

    Overall NBC does the opposite of what CBS does.

    While CBS generally programs comedies & dramas that will appeal to a broad audience NBC seems to think they can narrowcast programs to the 18-49 demo. So far that hasn’t worked out that way.

    Plus, like their loser news organization they are the most liberal in a liberal media world. That’s got to be part of the reason The New Normal might get renewed after similar low rated shows have got cancelled.

  • Iggy

    Anna Bones Clarkwood, reruns would tank worse than The Jay Leno Show. FOX got laughed at when it put one comedy rerun (FOX Comedy Wheel) on the schedule about ten years ago. NBC would sooner move to cable.

  • Jessica

    NBC has made a lot of mistakes in the past few years. I don’t know if the network can come back unless they do some major revamping. They have done a not-so-great job of picking new shows lately and the ones they pick they don’t really give time to grow an audience. I don’t watch reality shows like The Voice and I’m really hesitant to watch any new NBC shows (much like I never watch any new Fox shows) because the show will get cancelled within one season. I don’t know; maybe they needed to clean house with all the problems they’ve had this year. I was surprised the CW didn’t follow suit and dump most of their underperforming shows- they’re giving them a chance to find an audience, I suppose.

  • pete5125

    The Office started out low rated and moved its way into a hit, Parks and Rec did the same to a lesser extent…Law And Order was doing OK in ratings until season #5 A&E reruns turned it around…Parenthood seems to be turning into a bigger show for NBC…

    It happens just not all the time, even in Cheers/Seinfield days this was rare.

    NBC has been keeping low rated, show that skew young/rich/yuppie for the last couple years and it didn’t help.

    They tried to go broader this season, and stick “Guys W/Kids” on Wed a night they have struggled with, they could of tried it after the Voice after GO ON collapsed, they didn’t not that it would of saved NBC, GO ON was the strongest new show, they brought back all their low rated comedies and made new ones that weren’t compatable with the old shows

  • ROLY

    Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!

  • I like this show

    For my personal tastes NBC might be my #2 network right now lol. Revolution I like and watch every week not live either I go out of my way to watch on the net. Hannibal has my interest and I will watch this summer with The Following. NBC also has Parks and rec. ABC is Lifetime light besides Shark Tank. All Fox has is Ramsey and cooking show that I like and The Following. NBC you got some good things just need a few more.

  • AniMatsuri

    Looks like I was wrong about NBC keeping The New Normal. I stand by everything else I wrote though.

  • Dan

    NBC is at a good spot, basically how ABC was 2006-2007, all of their comedies are gone except 2 veterans (So they are starting from scratch comedy wise) and they have 5 strong dramas and The Voice. NBC could rebound if MJF succeeds. Hopefully there comedies do better next year. Honestly Hannibal could go either way, NBC can bring it back midseason or they can just cancel it. Personally with all the dramas they have they may just cancel it but again its purely 50/50.

    @RTV, Guardian Owl – Probably The Office which was at one point around April 2005, basically cancelled. There was an article if you google NBC to cancel the office 2005. And that soared. Also the Big Bang Theory started in 2007 lower than How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement and Two and a Half Men and then skyrocketed to success. Its rare for comedies to rebound, The Game actually is an example after 3 seasons on The CW and then now on BET.

  • Dan

    @AniMatsuri – I actually thought for a brief few minutes after NBC cancelled Go On and The New Normal was the only bubble show that NBC would renew it but it did worse than Go On and NBC doesnt even own it, FOX does. It seems like the show wrapped up pretty well after 1 season anyway, it told a good story.

    I’m very surprised NBC didnt keep Go On, even with the garbage ratings, the show was good creatively. Looks like Matthew Perry cant catch a break

    Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, 1 Season, 22 episodes
    Mr. Sunshine 1 Season 13 episodes
    Go On 1 Season 13 episodes

  • Jiji Moran

    I disagree, I think SVU has amazing stories lately, and it’s being hurt by its schedule against “Criminal Minds”, which has a big following, and the ratings-monster “Modern Family”. The Meloni guy is not missed, and the new characters have integrated into the SVU family. It just needs to find a better showtime.

  • PaulMax1957

    It’s come to a point where I rarely watch network TV. I was interested in “Last Resort”(ABC) but when I saw the ratings after the 2nd week I knew it would be cancelled.

    I watched “Vegas” (CBS) but once it moved to Friday nights I knew it would be cancelled. I was interested in “Chicago Fire” but I figured the show would be cancelled. I’ll probably find it somewhere online. I’m debating whether to watch the remake of “Ironside”. With the history NBC has with remakes (Knight Rider, Bionic Woman) it will probably be cancelled.

  • roly


  • Jacob

    NBC needs to stop with the cheesy single-camera sitcoms

  • Mike

    NBC doesn’t have a hope of ever recapturing their 90’s glory days — they are their own worst enemy, based upon on the programming decisions they’ve made over the last decade.

    Looking at the descriptions of the pilots picked up for next season, in my opinion, Undateable and the Untitled MJF project are the only strong comedy contenders for renewal, based on the solid track records of Bill Lawrence and MJF in comedy, and Ironside, Night Shift, and The Blacklist are the only strong drama contenders for renewal, based on their concept, their cast, and their producers. Everything else either suffers from a concept that has been done over time and time again, or from a weak leading actor/actress.

  • Flame

    Well, it seems that they are willing to finally clean ship, even though I am sad to see Go on, ahem, go on… We will have to see if anything sticks, but given NBC’s luck lately I can see them being in the same position as this year, despite the Olympics.

    I have a feeling I heard that report before, and would have liked a longer one. This one was barely scratching the surface. By the way, when done right, this quiz show could be something, but can NBC do anything right?

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