NBC reiterated its creative faith in “The Event,” “Law and Order: Los Angeles” and “Outsourced” when it gave the frosh trio full-series orders.
None of the three shows have made any significant ratings traction since launching last month.
Insiders also say “Chase” and “Chuck” are likely to receive full-season orders by the end of the week.
As for spy drama “Undercovers,” insiders say NBC will order four additional scripts, but won’t commit to a full nine-episode back order.
“We are pleased with the quality of ‘The Event,’ ‘Law and Order: Los Angeles’ and ‘Outsourced,’ and feel they are an important part of helping to rebuild our schedule and our studio pipeline,” said Angela Bromstad, the net’s entertainment president and topper at Universal Media Studios.
Of the newly extended shows, “The Event” received more marketing muscle than any other newbie at the Peacock. It opened to a healthy 3.6 rating in the 18-49 demo and 10.9 million overall viewers when it debuted Sept. 20, but has since dropped to a 2.8 average in live plus same-day Nielsens. The show faces tough competition — ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” CBS laffer “Two and a Half Men” and ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” — and NBC must decide whether to keep the show in the 9 p.m. Monday timeslot, where it draws 8.5 million viewers, or move it.
One reason NBC execs are remaining positive on the skein is because “The Event” has fared well in live plus seven-day cumulative totals. Drama series sees a 0.9 rating jump in the 18-49 demo when the DVR numbers are factored in, as well as a 2.4 million increase in total viewers.
Also, NBC has made deals around the globe with nearly 200 territories, and not showing confidence in “The Event” could ultimately cost the network millions in lost revenue if the series doesn’t run at least a full season.
Performing slightly better than “The Event” is sitcom “Outsourced,” averaging 2.9 in the 18-49 demo and 6 million overall viewers. Workplace comedy about a novelty company based out of India has a good lead-in — “The Office” — and is the top new show among ABC, CBS and Fox in the 18-34 demo.
“Law and Order: Los Angeles” premiered Sept. 29 to a 3.2 rating and 10.6 million viewers, but has dropped to a 2.5 average in same-night Nielsens. Since it began a week later than “The Event” and “Outsourced,” only one week’s worth of live-plus-seven data is available, and the Dick Wolf procedural saw a 1.2 million increase in total viewers when those numbers are factored in.
Despite falling ratings, the “LOLA” pickup is not surprising considering the network’s long association with Wolf and the “Law and Order” franchise. “Law and Order: SVU” continues to be one of NBC’s top performers and there was little reason to upset the iconic TV producer.
Still, some were disappointed with the storyline of the debut episode, which centered on a Hollywood nightclub murder, and that may have turned off viewers. “LOLA” is performing 39% better in the 10 p.m. Wednesday time-slot than a year ago, but “The Jay Leno Show” was a ratings failure and comparisons may not be apt. CBS’ “The Defenders” moved to the broadcast lead in the hour last week opposite “LOLA.”
All three skeins that received full-season orders are from Universal Media Studios — NBC’s own production shingle — and that inhouse relationship clearly played a part in the decision to keep the shows in production.
With Jimmy Smits starrer “Outlaw” already canceled, NBC must decide whether “Undercovers” is the next to go. It and Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Chase” are from Warner Bros. Television.
“Undercovers” is arguably the biggest ratings disappointment for NBC this fall. Peacock marketed the show using the J.J. Abrams connection to help sell the series, as the “Lost” exec producer feature film helmer directed the pilot.