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

  • Apple-TV-subscription-streaming-event

    Apple TV 'Show Time' Event: How to Watch Live-Stream

    Monday is the big coming-out party for Apple’s Hollywood ambitions: After years of trademark secrecy about its plans to stream into video entertainment, the tech giant is set to pull back the curtain at a media event. The live program kicks off at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, on Monday, March 25, from [...]

  • Rosie O'Donnell Had a Crush on

    'The View' Book: Rosie O'Donnell Reveals Secret Crush on Elisabeth Hasselbeck

    For most of Season 10 of “The View,” which aired from 2006 to 2007, Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck publicly feuded on TV. But in a new book, O’Donnell reveals more complicated emotions about her former conservative colleague. In “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View'” by Variety‘s Ramin Setoodeh, O’Donnell talks [...]


    Samsung Offers 'Tonight' Audience Different View of Jimmy Fallon (EXCLUSIVE)

    Samsung wants to change the way viewers look at Jimmy Fallon. Monday night’s broadcast of NBC’s “Tonight Show” will feature no opening monologue and no traditional sit-downs with guests. Instead, Fallon will open the program by telling viewers that the entire episode has been shot with the Samsung Galaxy S10+ smartphone, which features an ultra-wide [...]

  • Netflix Producing Second Turkish Original, 'The

    Netflix Boards Second Turkish Original, 'The Gift,' Starring Beren Saat

    Netflix has announced its second Turkish original, supernatural drama “The Gift,” toplining local star Beren Saat, who is best-known for playing the lead in female empowerment drama “Fatmagul,” which was a global hit. Shooting has started in Istanbul, with British producer Alex Sutherland (“Argo”) shepherding the eight-episode show, which is produced by Turkey’s OG Medya [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    DirecTV, Viacom Avert Blackout After Marathon Negotiation

    DirecTV and Viacom have agreed on a carriage renewal pact covering a raft of Viacom’s cable channels after a marathon negotiation over the weekend. In a joint statement early Monday, the companies said: “We are pleased to announce a renewed Viacom-AT&T contract that includes continued carriage of Viacom services across multiple AT&T platforms and products. [...]

  • Osmosis

    Netflix Feeds Fantasy-Hungry YAs in France

    LILLE, France —  The series the audience was about to see on Sunday night at Lille’s central UGC Cine-Cité multiplex wasn’t even playing in Series Mania’s main International Competition. But in many ways, Netflix’s” “Osmosis” was certainly among the most-anticipated of shows at this year’s festival. The excitement before the screening was palpable, and pointed [...]

  • Series Mania: Q & A with

    Series Mania: ‘Hierro’ as ‘Southern Noir’ and an Industry Groundbreaker

    LILLE, France —  Banijay Rights-sold “Hierro” begins with sea, land, air and fire: Shots of the stunning volcanic isle of El Hierro, the most westerly point of Spain’s Canary Islands, with its black basalt rock, brown iron-rich gravel, white waves pummeling the coast, trees trunks twisted by wind and lava, a juniper bent double by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content