One Big 4 broadcast network, which hasn’t launched a hit show in two years, has an especially ambitious slate of new programs lined up for fall, The Wall Street Journal reports. Ironically, the network is the same one that has been No. 1 in the key demo of viewers 18-49 for the past two seasons: NBC.
Much of the Peacock’s recent demo success has been attributable to two shows: “Sunday Night Football” and “The Voice,” TV writer Joe Flint notes in the WSJ piece.
“While rivals CBS, ABC and Fox each launched at least two successful shows last season, NBC hasn’t had a bona fide new hit in two years,” Flint writes. “Only one new series from last season — the crime drama “The Mysteries of Laura” — made it to a sophomore year, and its average audience age is 60, limiting the show’s appeal to most advertisers.”
It hasn’t been for a lack of trying. NBC had high hopes for its Charles Manson-themed period piece “Aquarius,” which Flint says had a disappointing rollout this summer. Meanwhile, a “Coach” reboot with Craig T. Nelson didn’t pan out and was scrapped.
“In addition, the popular drama ‘The Blacklist’ has lost viewers since NBC moved it from a cushy Monday slot following ‘The Voice’ to Thursday,” Flint notes. “The network made the switch because it is desperate to turn around its ratings on Thursday night, when advertisers — particularly movies studios and car companies — spend heavily.
NBC, which is rolling out 14 new series this fall — more than any other network — isn’t alone in its struggle. Flint notes that 54 new programs were launched last season by the broadcast nets, and only 19 of those will see a second season.
The early results for NBC’s new slate are less than encouraging. The network’s new live variety hour, “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, launched last week to soft ratings and a lukewarm critical response. The report quotes media buyer Billie Gold of Carat calling the program “a clunker.”