NBC Makes Excuses About Their Ratings Instead of Looking Inward

Last season, NBC somewhat flat lined in the TV ratings. All while cable network shows and CBS dominated the imaginations of TV viewers everywhere, despite reality TV.

Despite avoiding confronting the issues last May in the upfronts, which to me, sort of already said something in and of itself, COMCAST owned NBC finally stepped up to talk about it. 

But rather than looking inward and saying, hey, we can do better, they seemed to take the other avenue of explanation.

They called cable TV the bastard child of network television, they called AMC's The Walking Dead an anomaly of cable TV.  They made sure to add that if those ratings were on basic network TV, they'd be cancelled. 

They also called their ratings dive last season their most competitive in nine years, and referred to their ratings numbers as flat, not declining.  (They used summer ratings [with some of their sports coverages] to help define flat, calling the critical TV season date range an arbitrary set of dates.  Don't forget that summer ratings are not the huge focus of advertisers.)

They then continued to make excuses saying comedy programming is frustrating, that one of their failed comedies was ahead of its time and that Parenthood seems to be getting looked over at Emmy time.  (Yes, it is an entertaining series, if I do say so myself.)

They also made a claim they can never back up by saying “If we could put on one show a year, it would be the best show you ever saw.”

Which has me wondering why don't don't apply that premise to any one show now.  Like, um, say, CBS's NCIS?  Just saying.


Ever since I noticed how NBC was using their slight-of-hand in how they marketed Revolution* in the front half of its first season, I started turning a critical eye towards some network practices in general.

*They first advertised it was the most watched show on TV and if you did the math, the numbers did add up, when you added online preview viewing (it was online for a few weeks before it premiered on TV), plus the live+7 premiere and On Demand viewing.

Then they said it was the best new show on TV.  Even though it did not break the top-25 viewed shows on TV for the week, once I dissected the TV ratings, I found it was the most watched new show...  on it's night and the hour the aired in.

NBC is up against a huge slate of new and quality content programming from CBS, Netflix, Starz and well, across the board on any network, cable, basic or streaming venue.  Calling them out with derogatory names or detracting references doesn't help their case at all.  In fact, rather than digging in, they spend their energies calling out everyone else.

Making excuses.

It's disappointing.  In the meantime, NCIS dominates, The Walking Dead continues to be an "anomaly," and other basic cable shows continue to hit the mark with viewers.  Hell even Syfy is hitting the mark with some of their fun stuff, including the ever infamous, Sharknado!  (BTW, in case you didn't know, Syfy is owned by NBC, aka, COMCAST.)

[Inspiring source:  EW]

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