How Low Can It Go? NBC’s ‘Awake’ Hits a Number That’s Rarely Seen on a Major Broadcast Network

May 4, 2012  •  Post A Comment

NBC’s troubled first-year fantasy crime drama “Awake” continues to lower the bar in the prime-time ratings. The series set a new low Thursday night in the key demo, TVbytheNumbers.com reports, sinking from last week’s already problematic 0.8 average rating to a shocking 0.7 in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen overnights.

“Awake” isn’t the only NBC show to be struggling to find an audience — and NBC isn’t the only major broadcast network experiencing difficulty in the Nielsens. Still, an 0.7 underscores that the problem is pretty serious — especially with May sweeps under way, and especially on a Thursday night. It’s still one of the most-viewed nights of the week, even if it’s no longer the night of "Must-See TV" that NBC previously owned.

Even the CW, which typically has numbers well below the last-place network among the Big 4, averaged a better number for Thursday’s prime time — a 0.8.

“Awake,” which aired at 10 p.m., wasn’t alone in running aground Thursday night. ABC’s “Missing” plunged 21% from last week to a series-low 1.1 average rating in 18-49. “Grey’s Anatomy” was down slightly — 3% — to a 3.2 average, while “Scandal” was up 8% to a 2.1.

CBS had the top show of the night, “Big Bang Theory,” which was up 12% from a week ago in 18-49 to a 4.6. the rest of the Tiffany Network’s lineup was also up: “Rules of Engagement,” up 8% to a 2.7; “Person of Interest,” up from a 2.4 last week to a 2.5; and “The Mentalist,” up 9% to a 2.4.

Fox’s “American Idol” was down one-tenth from last week to a 3.9 in the 18-49 demo, and “Touch” rose 11% to a 2.1.

Other than “Awake,” NBC had mixed results: “30 Rock” was down 13% from last week to a 1.4 in 18-49; “Community” was even with a 1.4; “The Office” was up 10% to a 2.3; and “Parks and Recreation” was up 6% to a 1.7.

For prime-time overall Thursday night, Fox was the winner by a slim margin in adults 18-49, averaging a 3.0 rating for the night to CBS’s 2.8, ABC’s 2.1 and NBC’s 1.4 — which tied Univision’s 1.4. CBS had the edge in total viewers with 12.3 million to Fox’s 11.0 million, followed by ABC’s 7.4 million. Univision moved ahead of NBC, averaging 3.6 million to NBC’s 3.1 million.

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