NBC’s Thursday ratings dive

From MediaWeek:

NBC’s ongoing rating woes were clearly visible on Thursday, April 12, with its combination of My Name is Earl, The Office [Safety Training], 30 Rock, Scrubs and ER resulting in the network’s worst performance in the traditional (September to May) season since at least the inception of People Meters (1987) — and perhaps historically — on this once-pivotal evening.

Wow. What is going on here?

Link: NBC Drops to Historical Thursday Low


  1. Well, I don’t want to blame it all on 9/11, but it certainly didn’t help.

    My money’s on Karen. America hates her.

  2. Perhaps television ratings are down in general? I rarely watch tv anymore, but I always download The Office on iTunes, so I’m still watching! I hope “ratings” aren’t the only way NBC judges shows…

  3. semmes like to me the rest of the shows they have beside the office suck. ER is only in its 38th year and the rest are below par at best

  4. I’m just getting into this kind of stuff in school (I’m a communications major), but I don’t think this is as dour as it seems. Comedy is tough to sell these days in the first place since the sitcom zenith died with Friends, Frasier, Raymond, etc. From the looks of it, the networks were scrambled to begin with on Thursday; ABC ran two clip shows instead of new episodes, and many people were expecting an “Earl” rerun that could have hurt the Office lead-in. I don’t know; given the ratings victories the “Office” has shown earlier in the season, I’m not ready to get worried yet.

  5. The 5 week hiatus + “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader”

    NBC already had a tough challenge opposite Survivor, CSI, Fug Betty & Grey’s Anatomy. But all season, they never had to deal with a competitive Fox.

    While they took their 5 week hiatus, 5th Grader made Fox a Thursday night player.

  6. I guess this proves I must be out of step with the rest of the country. Obviously, I’m an Office junkie, and I think 30 Rock is hilarious. Scrubs is great too – what is wrong with the TV-viewing public?

  7. Woah. What happened is right. I don’t even remember what was on Thursday, but I think CSI was new, but wasn’t that it? Or everyone watched the ABC recap thing? Wow. Everyone HAS to keep watching The Office though!

  8. Simple. NBC keeps dicking around with the schedule. People want continuity and an expected product at an expected time. Putting shows on extended hiatuses, running a full night of just one show and eliminating the rest, putting new shows on and then putting them on different nights then bringing them back. It’s impossible to know what’s going to happen next unless you’re a very dedicated viewer. The average viewer isn’t going to put up with it, and if the show of the week isn’t one you care for, you’re not going to watch it obviously. NBC needs to stop with the musical chairs scheduling, stop pre-empting for new shows, stop running new shows after the news and possibly even stop with the super-sizing. I’d hate to set my DVD-R for 7:30 to 8:00 only to find I’ve gotten 15 minutes of My Name is Earl and missed the last half of The Office, or cut off the end of The Office if it was supersized. I’m sure it happens to a lot of casual viewers who like the show but don’t watch the schedules beyond ‘Thursdays at 7:30.’ And as hard as NBC has made this season to watch, it’s really no surprise that viewership would be dropping.

  9. Yikes…that is not cool. We don’t have to worry about TO do we? They got a 2 year renewal a few months ago, so that hopfully means they’re safe from the axe. I wonder if NBC will do some shuffling of the fall schedule.

  10. Wow. Crazy, I liked Earl and Office that night, I don’t watch the rest of the lineup..but still, I wonder why that night was so randomly low. Perhaps people didn’t know of Earl’s return? (and I’m guessing the rest of the lineup was new as well?

  11. People have lost interest because they made us wait so long, maybe?

    and while the episode was funny-it was rather… uneventful….

  12. Maybe NBC should think twice before taking month-long hiatuses between new episodes of its most popular comedies? Hmm, makes sense to me.

  13. I think it’s because of how NBC screws around with scheduling. Put something on at one time and leave it there…I think it’s too confusing for the viewers, and most just give up. I know when a new Office episode is coming up because I care enough to pay attention. That’s not the average viewer. Remember when you could watch a new episode of Seinfield every Thursday night, along with new episodes of the rest of the Must-See lineup? Not so anymore.

  14. i blame it on the large gaps between new episodes and poor viewing tracking technology.

    people are just tired of waiting 4-6-10 weeks between new episodes and find other things to do.

    i wonder how TiVo and DVRs figure into the ratings. i never watch live- i always watch from my DVR.

    i would think that the technology exists to REALLY track how people are REALLY watching, and not just a small percentage of the population via TV logs and a few black boxes.

  15. I think NBC’s long break hurt its shows. Six weeks is a long time and people either forgot or got used to not watching NBC on Thursday.

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