In his first monologue back from the writers strike, Leno quipped that there had been more people out picketing NBC than watching the network. That was only half a joke.
Here’s the scenario: Sunday Night Football has been carrying NBC all fall in the ratings, but SNF is over for the season and NBC hosts its final two NFL games Saturday. With football, NBC is down 11% this TV season, but strip out football, and the network is down a whopping 22% this year in the 18-49 sales demographic, according to analysis of the data from Goldman Sachs.
Adding to the pain: NBC no longer has new comedies and dramas to show – save for MySpace’s Quarterlife. And while none of its scripted shows were ratings kings to begin with, NBC will be even more screwed without them. As it stands, none of NBC’s shows break the top-10, but there’s always hope: a new, improved (?) version “American Gladiators” premieres in place of football on Sunday.
Update: NBC says the premiere of “Celebrity Apprentice” won Thursday night with 11 million viewers, according to Nielsen, so a little help may be on the way.
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