NBC’s Freshman Sitcoms Go Quietly as Season Finales Flop — and the Reinforcements, in the Form of Two ‘Bent’ Episodes, Fare Even Worse

Mar 29, 2012  •  Post A Comment

NBC had another tough night in the Nielsen overnights Wednesday night, as two freshman sitcoms saw their numbers drop for their first-season finales, the network’s new sitcom “Bent” was down from last week and the network finished a distant fifth for prime time overall, TVbytheNumbers.com reports.

Freshman comedy “Whitney” managed only a 1.5 average rating in the key 18-49 demo, down a tenth of a point from last week, while “Are You There, Chelsea” closed out its first season with a 1.2, down two-tenths from last week.

“Bent’s” two episodes averaged a 0.9 and a 0.8, down from last week’s 1.0 and 0.8 for the series premiere and extra episode. Wrapping up the grim night was “Rock Center” with a 0.8, which was an improvement on last week’s 0.7.

With CBS and ABC airing mostly repeats, Fox had a big night with “American Idol.” The network finished prime time as the runaway leader with a 5.0 average in the 18-49 demo, easily outdistancing CBS (2.1 average), Univision (1.4), ABC (1.3) and NBC (1.0). The results were similar in total viewers, with Fox on top with an average of 17.2 million to 8.3 million for CBS, 4.3 million for ABC, 3.6 million for Univision and 3.1 million for NBC.

On ABC, the night’s only original episode, “Happy Endings,” was up a tenth of a point from its season-low 1.8 last week with a 1.9 this week.

CBS’s only fresh episode, “Survivor,” was even with last week’s 2.8 in viewers 18-49.


  1. Actually, I like “Bent” and see some potential in it. “Are You There Chelsea” could disappear without regrets. Never watch “Idol”, but how can anything else compete against it – even though it is very tired. I’m sure half the age group (18-33) go “Idol” and the top half find an alternative. There have been much better comedies trashed, so I doubt if these will be given a chance, perhaps on another night. But even then, according to TVWeek, almost all shows across the board are down (way to go “Happy Endings”). Everyone out seeing what fresh air and sunshine can do for you? Reading a book? Watching Fox Cable News?

  2. The truth is that television is changing quickly. People watch what they want when they want using DVR’s, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc. A new show, like Bent (which I agree has potential) can’t just be dropped in against American Idol and hope some people see it. It doesn’t have a chance. The fact that its ratings are almost as high as the over-hyped “Chelsea” says a lot about the show. I have not talked to anyone that even has heard of Bent.

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