Another NBC Series Sinks to a Historic Low

May 7, 2012  •  Post A Comment

In a season of historic ratings lows for not just NBC but broadcast overall, the bar seems to find ways to continue moving lower. The latest series to hit an all-time low is NBC’s “Harry’s Law,” which sank to a 0.7 rating Sunday night in the key 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen overnights reported by TVbytheNumbers.com.

The number for “Harry’s Law,” combined with a 0.7 for the newsmagazine “Dateline” at 7 p.m., dragged down the prime-time average for NBC even on a night when a two-hour “Celebrity Apprentice” pulled in what is by comparison a blockbuster number — a 1.9 in 18-49. NBC wound up finishing a distant fourth for prime time overall.

ABC won the night with a 2.4 in adults 18-49 for prime time overall, followed by CBS (2.0), Fox (1.9) and NBC (1.3). Total viewers went to CBS with 9.3 million, followed by ABC with 7.6 million, NBC with 5.8 million and Fox with 4.1 million.

CBS’s two-hour finale of “Amazing Race” pulled a 2.6 average rating in 18-49, up from last year’s finale and up four-tenths of a ratings point from a week ago. “NYC 22” rose one-tenth from last week to a 1.3 and “60 Minutes” was up four-tenths to a 1.6.

ABC was led by “Once Upon a Time” with a 3.0 average rating in viewers 18-49, even with a week ago. “Desperate Housewives” rose three-tenths of a ratings point to a 2.8, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” surged five-tenths to a 2.0 and the finale of “GCB” equaled last week’s installment with a 1.8.

Fox was mostly down: “Family Guy,” down one-tenth in 18-49 to a 2.7 average; “The Simpsons,” down two-tenths to a 2.1; “Bob’s Burgers,” down one-tenth to a 1.8; and “The Cleveland Show,” down one-tenth to a 1.4. “American Dad” broke the pattern, returning from a one-month hiatus to a 2.3, three-tenths higher than its previous original.


  1. One of the things that made the first season of Harry’s Law so charming was the oddball setting of sharing a law office and a shoe store, and the other thing was the offbeat characters.
    For the second season, all of that was gone with no explanation, and the charm was gone. And soon, so will be the show.

  2. It doesn’t matter what the networks put on Sunday Night it can’t compete with The Killing, Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Borgia’s. Those shows keep my VCR running all evening.

  3. The ratings system as we currently know it is worthless until they not only find a way to factor in every possible distribution method and in the case of PVR’s, how many times an episode of a series or a movie has been played back from a PVR or through their in-home PVR network (as with AT&T’s UVerse). If this industry managed to drag its collective feet any slower when it comes to figuring out accurate ways to gather viewership stats, they’d be in reverse.

  4. If these stats were accurate and didn’t take in account DVR’s (Digital Video Recorders) and people watching cable/satellite it would be very appalling that Harry’s Law did so poorly against Family Guy. Harry’s Law did mention that they liked the original setting more in this week’s script. Maybe they will go back to it. I watch over 40 shows a week and none at the time they are shown “live”. The closest thing to “reality” shows I watch is Shark Tank, the rest are scripted. I think the acting and writing in the last few years has gotten so good, I never go to movies. Ken is right (other than what PVR means) and it looks bad for advertising. People are time-shifting their viewing habits. I love u-verse!

  5. Wait a minute, your user name is “Digital Guy” but your’re still using a VCR to record TV? That’s funny!

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