×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Baseball backlash

NBC weekend 'Cold'; Thursday reruns whiff

NBC’s primetime fortunes are starting to look a little spooky after a Halloween weekend in which Peacock rookies “Freaks and Geeks” and “Cold Feet” performed like a couple of Nielsen cadavers. And those weekend horrors followed a chilling Thursday in which NBC’s usually fearless lineup scared up record-low ratings.

Last week’s all-repeat lineup, quickly pressed into service when the New York Yankees finished off the World Series in four games, slid to NBC’s lowest in-season regular-sked Thursday homes rating ever, excluding holiday nights.

Scary sign?

The Peacock must hope these most recent Nielsens are not a sign of things to come, but rather an anomaly reflecting the disruption of baseball coverage and Halloween distractions for its target young-adult audience.

“Freaks and Geeks” performed passably with a special Friday rerun seg, scoring a 3.2 rating, 10 share in adults 18-49, according to preliminary Nielsens. That reps an OK 78% of the previous hour’s 4.1/16 from “Providence.” But the special “Freaks” didn’t help 10 p.m.’s “Cold Feet” (a prelim 3.6/7 in homes, 2.3/7 in adults 18-49), which shivered to NBC’s lowest-ever homes rating that hour with firstrun fare.

‘Freaks’ failure

“Freaks” was further shunned in its regular Saturday slot, where the high- school drama moped to a prelim 3.5/7 in homes and a 2.1/7 in adults 18-49, both fourth in the slot and both about as bad as year-earlier results from the fall 1998 wipeout “Wind on Water.”

“Freaks’ ” poor grades are dropping NBC’s Saturday average, leaving the Peacock fourth on a night it once led demographically.

Meanwhile, NBC’s Thursday schedule, still unchallenged on that night when in firstrun, is looking surprising vulnerable in rerun.

The once-invincible lineup beat CBS by a thin 0.1-rating point margin in homes (10.1/16 vs. 10.0/16), the Eye’s closest in-season finish behind NBC on a non-holiday regular-sked Thursday since March 7, 1985, in the days of “Magnum, P.I.” and “Simon & Simon.” NBC still ruled the night in adults 18-49, beating second-place ABC by 7 shares (6.6/19 vs. 4.1/12).

Half the battle

CBS ran ahead of NBC in households for three of the night’s six half-hours, as “Diagnosis Murder” (10.2/17 in homes, 2.6/8 in adults 18-49) out-sleuthed “Jesse” (8.7/14 in homes, 6.0/17 in adults 18-49), “Chicago Hope” (9.8/15 in homes — its top rating since Sept. 30, 1998, 3.6/10 in adults 18-49) injured “Stark Raving Mad” (8.7/14 in homes, 5.6/15 in adults 18-49) and “48 Hours” (10.2/17 in homes, 4.3/12 in adults 18-49) scooped the second half of “ER” (10.2/17 in homes, 6.6/18 in adults 18-49).

It was CBS’ highest-rated regular-fare Thursday since Nov. 6, 1997.

NBC will no doubt reassert its absolute control of the night once its lineup returns to firstrun, but last week’s results demonstrate the vulnerability of a schedule that isn’t working at 8:30 (with “Jesse”) and relies heavily on a continuing drama whose ratings decline significantly in rerun (“ER”).

From 8-9 p.m., “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (5.8/10 in homes, 4.1/12 in adults 18-49) improvised ABC’s best regular-sked in-season 18-49 rating that hour since Feb. 6, 1997 (“High Incident”).

Radio dazed

The WB’s “Radio Music Awards” (2.2/3 in homes, 1.3/4 in adults 18-49) went home empty-handed, settling for that netlet’s lowest Thursday numbers this season.

Each adults 18-49 rating point reps 1.24 million viewers, 1% of the U.S. total. The share is also a percentage, but measured against only viewers watching TV during the slot involved.

More TV

  • European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe VestagerSlush

    Liberty Global, Vodafone's $22 Billion Cable Deal Under Investigation by EU

    The European Commission has started an in-depth probe into Vodafone’s proposed acquisition of a raft of Liberty Global assets in Europe. The commission cited concerns that the deal could reduce competition in Germany and the Czech Republic. “It’s important that all EU consumers have access to affordable and good quality telephone and TV services,” Commissioner [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    How to Watch the SAG Awards Nominations Live

    Awkwafina and Laverne Cox will announce the nominees for the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif. Beginning 10 a.m. ET/PT, the nominations will be carried live on TNT, TBS, and truTV. SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris will introduce Awkwafina and Cox. Prior to that announcement, SAG Awards [...]

  • CBS News' chief White House correspondent

    Major Garrett Named Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News

    CBS News has promoted Major Garrett to the post of Chief Washington Correspondent. A veteran journo, Garrett has served as Chief White House Correspondent since joining CBS News in 2012. With the promotion, Garrett will expand his beat to a wider range of stories coming out of Washington as well as the 2020 presidential election [...]

  • SF Studios Acquires Norwegian Production Company

    SF Studios Acquires Norwegian Production Company Paradox

    SF Studios has acquired Paradox, the well-established Scandinavian company behind Erik Poppe’s “U-July 22,” to launch Norwegian production operations. SF Studios, which will be celebrating its centenary next year, has up until now focused on the production of feature films and drama series in Sweden and Denmark. The company also boasts distribution operations in Norway [...]

  • Hulu Picks Up Anna Friel Drama

    Hulu Picks Up Anna Friel Drama ‘Butterfly’

    Hulu has snagged U.S. rights to “Butterfly,” the family drama about separated parents who disagree over how to deal with their youngest child, Max, who was born a boy but identifies as a girl. The series was commissioned by ITV in the U.K. “Marcella” star Anna Friel plays Max’s mother, Vicky, and Emmett J. Scanlon [...]

  • Rupert Murdoch

    BBC Orders Documentary Series on Rupert Murdoch’s Print Empire

    The BBC has ordered “A Tabloid Empire,” a three-part documentary series on Rupert Murdoch’s influence over the British press. The series will air on BBC Two in the U.K. and examine in detail Britain’s popular press between 1997 and 2012, a period that covers phone hacking and corruption but that also saw Murdoch’s and other [...]

  • Supergirl -- "Elseworlds, Part 3" --

    'Elseworlds, Part 3' Recap: 2019 ‘Arrowverse’ Crossover Theme Revealed

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 2,” the final part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 11. After John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) got another go at using the Book of Destiny to rewrite reality, the “Elseworlds” finale saw Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephan Amell) facing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content