Memories of “Must-See TV” are growing ever more distant. NBC unveiled its new Thursday night programming lineup last night, only to see it greeted by a less than stellar turnout among viewers.
Citing Nielsen overnights, TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the entire lineup was down significantly from earlier markers in the key 18-49 demo. “SNL Weekend Update Thursday” debuted to a 1.6 average rating — down only 6% from what “Community” delivered in the time slot a year earlier, but also down a hefty 69% from a similarly themed election special the network aired in October 2008.
The season premiere of “Up All Night” settled for a 1.3 in viewers 18-49, down 46% from its premiere a year ago (on a Wednesday) and down 38% from the number for “Parks & Recreation” in the time period a year ago. “The Office” tied its lowest-rated episode ever with a 2.1, down 46% from last year’s season premiere.
“Parks & Recreation’s” season premiere was down “only” 19% from its season premiere a year ago, with a 1.7 vs. a 2.1 in viewers 18-49. “Rock Center with Brian Williams” was down too, pulling a 1.1, off 21% from last week.
Over on Fox, the news was better. “The X Factor” improved on last week’s number by 10%, delivering a 3.4 average rating in the 18-49 demo. “Glee,” however, was down 6% from last week with a 2.9.
ABC’s only fresh program of the night, “Wipeout,” which aired its season finale, wasn’t enough to lift the network out of last place among the major broadcast nets. “Wipeout” did improve on last week’s number in 18-49 by 27%, but still delivered only a 1.4.
Fox wound up easily winning the night, while CBS’s all-repeat lineup beat everyone else. Fox averaged a 3.1 rating in adults 18-49, followed by CBS (1.8 average), NBC (1.5), Univision (1.4) and ABC (1.2). Total viewers was closer, but Fox led the way with 8.6 million, followed by CBS (7.4 million), NBC (4.0 million), ABC (4.0 million) and Univision (3.3 million).