NBC’s Situation Getting Worse

Nov 7, 2011  •  Post A Comment

For NBC, which has been mired in fourth place in the ratings, the situation isn’t getting any better, according to a report in The New York Times. In fact, the network’s position has only gotten more precarious this fall, Bill Carter and Brian Stelter report in the publication.

Despite a bump in the budget for the network’s fall shows, NBC’s ratings have continued to drop, while rival networks have rolled out successful shows, the story points out.

NBC’s ratings in the key demo of viewers 18 to 49 have dropped 11% on average this year. The one bright spot has been “Sunday Night Football,” without which the network is now tied for fourth place in the 18-49 demo with Spanish-language network Univision, the article notes.

NBC has lost more than 800,000 total viewers from last season, the story reports. In the 18-49 demo, the network is down to an average rating of 2.5, from a 2.8 last year. That represents a drop in viewers 18-49 from 3.57 million to 3.1 million.

The network’s new shows have struggled this fall, with “The Playboy Club” and “Free Agents” already being canceled.

Nevertheless, Comcast, which recently bought NBC, plans to remain patient while the network tries to rebuild its schedule. Steve Burke, the new CEO of NBCUniversal, has said his top job “is to keep everybody in the company from driving the development people crazy” by demanding a quick turnaround, the story notes.

Susan Lyne, who is now a retail executive but who served as president of ABC Entertainment when it was in a similar downturn, said her advice is to copy what cable networks do, according to the piece.

"You find that one piece of programming and you stick with it,” she said. "You make sure it’s good, that you genuinely believe in it, and you just keep running it until it finds an audience. Once you’ve got that building block, you keep adding to it.”


  1. Want ratings? Bring back Earl.

  2. This is more of the same. NBC News and MSNBC are following the same route to the bottom of the toilet bowl.
    Self-inflicted and well-deserved…

  3. VideoSavant – Tell us how you REALLY feel!
    The problems with NBC’s primetime schedule have nothing to do with the relative merits of NBC News. They’re as different as FOX News (which it seems you’re a fan of) and FOX Television, two organizations with totally separate ideas of what makes for good television.

  4. The major difference is that Fox News is a cable news network and Fox Entertainment is a broadcast network. NBC News and NBC Entertainment are on the same Broadcast Network. If viewers get annoyed with NBC News content they might boycott the station carrying it. Boycotting FNC because of their content would not affect Fox Broadcast.
    As a long time broadcaster, I stand by an old philosophy I’ve held for many years. “Put something good on TV and people will watch it.”
    That’s my two cents worth

  5. I do not watch NBC because of the content of MSNBC. I find it to be highly offensive. They do not even make an effort to be objective. I realize that the idea is for them to be the opposite of Fox News but Fox is even handed in their news, maybe not on their opinion shows such as Hannity, O’Reilly, etc.

  6. I don’t watch FOX News or MSNBC and my life is better off for it

  7. Anyone who believe FoxNews is even handed is living under a rock. When Americans allow any foreigner such as, Rupert Murdoch, to buy citizenship within 60days, then buy and control our airwaves/media, it will always lead to no good. Fox News promotes Hate, and they do it in a soft smooth pretend to be patriotic way. They have allegedly turned this country into a deep hole of hate, ignorance, widespread payoffs and corruption. What can we expect when the head of Fox has been on trial in other countries for corruption. No American citizen can go to a superpower or progressive country and own their airwaves, disrespect the head of that country and create hate and havoc. While Fox is distracting the unable to think, or research for themselves viewer, they are finding ways to control this country by using paid for politicians to pass laws that will turn us into the real communist Russia. The people yelling the loudest calling others a commie, are the real communist. Keep people dumb, keep them afraid, and take away their rights and privacy by pretending to keep them safe and you have Commuism. Rupert and the boys at Fox are great at that tactic. All of this foolish talk about Socialism. The country of my great grandparents Israel, is a Socialist country, so why hasn’t Fox said anything about that? We all love Israel, we are ready to send our men and women to die protecting it (thank God), but they are Socialist. Do you think Fox News would ever say anything about Americans dying to protect a Socialist Israel? No, because thay are playing games with Americans and promoting Hate and quietly turning us into Communist Russia on paper through laws. Real patriots would not be yelling about ObamaCare, they would be yelling about something far more serious like the Patriot Act, NDAA, Xray Machines looking at your genitals, private companies and the government looking at your emails and text, listening to your cell phone calls all without a warrant. Politicians taking money from Lobbyist to serve their interest not the voter, political kickbacks disguised as honorariums for a 10 min speech, etc. Where are the so called Patriots and the pretend to love America host at Fox News on those issues.
    After you are done being brainwashed by Fox News, go over to MSNBC and get some balance. At least look at something other than Fox News for a different point of view. Thank you.

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