Former No. 1 television network NBC has dropped to fifth place among viewers in the key 18-49 demographic for its January ratings, for the first time in the station's history, Deadline reports.
NBC had poor ratings
with its January premieres, but the drop is a new low for the broadcaster.
The fall comes as a big surprise, considering ratings months prior. Back in November, NBC won the network's first sweeps week since 2003. Hit shows such as "Revolution" and "The Voice" kept NBC in front of its competitors. However, both of those programs took hiatuses in December.
During the January-February sweeps period, NBC averaged a 1.2 rating in that 18-49 demographic. Even Univision had a higher rating, with 1.5.
The rating is far lower than August and November's. The London Olympics in August, was a particularly big boost
for the broadcaster. The sporting competition was the most watched event in U.S. TV history, the network said.
Despite success in recent months, 2013 has yielded NBC's lowest ratings yet for an in-season scripted series premiere, when "Do No Harm" debuted on Jan. 31. The program was promptly cancelled.
Deadline reports that the presidential comedy "1600 Penn" could be on its heels as well, as could "Smash."
Joe Adalian, a reporter for New York Magazine, said that a talk-show that broadcasts after the AMC hit "The Walking Dead" out-performed any NBC program that hit the air during sweeps.
When Robert Greenblatt took over as the chairman of NBC's entertainment division in Jan. 2011, he had to climb the network out of a deep pit. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't look like he has gained much ground.
"You get the feeling that it's never gonna be possible to move the needle again," Greenblatt told The Associated Press. "You just keep fighting against the forces that are coming at you in a crowded environment, with more programming on more networks than in the history of our business, and you start to feel like it's never gonna be possible to do anything dramatic."
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