Ratings expectations for "Rock Center" are low — even from its own network — as NBC prepares to debut the program tonight, on Halloween, reports the Los Angeles Times.
"I don’t pretend to think that we’re gonna move the needle in the ratings when we come out of the gate," said Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, according to the story.
NBC "will have to be patient," said Jeffrey McCall, a media studies professor at DePauw University.
The program is debuting at a time when there are already many popular newsmagazines on TV, the story points out. "60 Minutes" on CBS, for one, still earns big ratings on Sunday nights, while ABC airs "Primetime" as specials and NBC already has "Dateline," the story points out.
Anchor Brian Williams sees the show as an opportunity to deliver quality long-form TV journalism, the piece says. "I’m not going to yell at you, and you’re not going to learn my opinion — nor do you care. … I think there absolutely is a market for more stories, well told," he said, according to the article.