On Fifth-Place NBC, One Sitcom Premieres With a Whimper as Another One Goes Out With a Thud

Apr 5, 2012  •  Post A Comment

On a Wednesday night when NBC found itself in the increasingly common position of fifth place in the ratings, the network’s newest sitcom premiered to mediocre numbers while another NBC comedy wrapped up its difficult freshman run with some of its worst totals yet.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the Peacock’s new show “Best Friends Forever” pulled in a modest 1.2 average rating in viewers 18-49 in Nielsen overnights for its series premiere at 8:30, even with a lead-in from “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” in its time period premiere (1.8 average).

Meanwhile, NBC’s “Bent” wrapped up its six-episode season, which aired over a three-week span, with two episodes in the 9 p.m. hour, and continued its downward trend with a 0.9 average rating in 18-49 for the opener and a 0.7 for the season finale. The numbers have been trending down throughout the run, with a 1.0 and 0.8 in week one and a 0.9 and 0.8 last week.

Things didn’t get any better for NBC by the time “Rock Center” came on at 10 p.m., with the newsmagazine settling for a 0.8 in 18-49.

For prime time as a whole, NBC found itself in fifth place again, in both the 18-49 demo and total viewers. Fox, paced by “American Idol,” won the night handily in both categories, taking viewers 18-49 with a 4.7 average rating, ahead of CBS (2.8 average), Univision (1.5), mostly repeat ABC (1.3) and all-new NBC (1.0).

Fox averaged 16.7 million total viewers for prime time, topping CBS (11.1 million), ABC (3.8 million), Univision (3.7 million) and NBC (3.6 million).


  1. Another premiere that I knew nothing about. NBC needs to get better at promoting these shows where people are and not just on NBC.

  2. I agree with Digital Guy. If you have no viewers for your current shows, nobody will see promotions for new shows that appear there.

  3. Of the shows mentioned, I like Bent and had it not been up against the karaoke show or have waited until summer, it should have done better. BFF was OK, but not really a comedy. Betty White’s show is unique, not ROFL funny, but good. Never seen Rock Center, but wouldn’t watch any NBC news venue especially how they treated Sarah Palin on Today while trying to beat Katie Couric. If I were an actor and had a shot at an NBC show, I think I would either pass or realize it was very short term and could hurt my career.

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