What’s Behind the Historic Ratings Flop for NBC’s Newest Show?

Feb 4, 2013  •  Post A Comment

NBC’s latest show wasn’t expected to perform well, but it opened even worse than expected, with a historically low 0.9 average rating among viewers 18 to 49, reports Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com.

Rival networks had predicted the show, "Do No Harm," would come in a little below the 2.0 rating in the key demo in its premiere Thursday night, but the 0.9 rating was "even lower than the dismally rated newsmagazine ‘Rock Center with Brian Williams’" earned this season, Andreeva writes. The 0.9 rating for "Do No Harm" makes it the lowest in-season premiere rating in history for a series on one of the top four broadcast networks, the piece reports.

"The soft pre-launch tracking suggested that many viewers didn’t know of the show or weren’t sure what it was about, something that can be chalked up in part to the modest marketing campaign supporting the launch," Andreeva writes.

She continues: "’Do No Harm’ also was saddled with a weak lead-in from an original ‘The Office’ (1.9) on a night where NBC’s lights had been off for a long time. And it faced spirited competition in the 10 p.m. hour from the pre-Super Bowl episode of ‘Elementary’ and hot sophomore ‘Scandal.’"

Another blow might have been the reviews, which were "pretty bad across the board," the story adds.

“And then there is the Jekyll and Hyde premise of a successful neurosurgeon with an evil alter ego (Steven Pasquale),” Andreeva writes. “Interestingly, it was NBC that tried the Jekyll and Hyde dual-personality premise most recently with the 2008 drama ‘My Own Worst Enemy.’ Toplined by Christian Slater, it too died a quick death. There has been a host of dual-reality series in the past couple of years, including Kyle Killen’s ‘Lone Star’ and ‘Awake,’ which fizzled in the same NBC Thursday 10 p.m. slot last midseason — one of three new NBC dramas to come and go in the hour last season, along with ‘Prime Suspect’ and ‘The Firm.’

“The post-mortem consensus on most of those complex-narrative dramas has been that they are likely better suited for cable. Especially with an antihero at the center like ‘Do No Harm‘s’ Dr. Jason Cole.”

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