NBC Sinking Again
After two years of trying to recover from the loss of "Friends" NBC seemed to be on the right track last fall with a new smash hit "Heroes" and a number of critically-acclaimed new dramas. The spring has arrived and NBC is back in a rut.
"Sunday Night Football" and "Heroes" fueled NBC's ratings last fall and with FOX's inability to launch a new hit, NBC seemed to be (as its execs loved to point out) one good show away from being back from the dead.
Six months later NBC is back where it used to be. In fact, the network's ratings are down 3% from where they used to be at the same time last year and a part of the problem are the new shows.
All of the network's midseason shows have bombed. "Raines", "Andy Barker: P.I.", "The Black Donnellys" and "Grease: You're The One That I Want" will probably never return to the Peacock's schedule.
The network also has a number of sagging old shows including Donald Trump's tired "Apprentice" that they might want to put out of their misery if the new pilots turn out to be promising.
Although the threshold for what is considered to be a successful show has come down in recent years of market fragmentation, many of the critically-acclaimed new dramas on NBC attract a truly minuscule following.
Despite that, the low-rated critic darlings like "30 Rock" and "Friday Night Lights" will probably return for a second season, although many other shows ('Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip'?) won't be that lucky.
After all, "The Office" which failed to generate any remarkable ratings in its first season was given the much needed bode of confidence and it returned evolving into a modest hit for the network.
The network now hopes its new crop of freshman shows (including Candace Bushnell's "Lipstick Jungle" or the new version of 70's classic "The Bionic Woman") will lure back viewers to what used to be known at Must See TV.
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