Friday, March 03, 2006

NBC Makes The Right Moves For A Ratings Rebound

NBC is finally making the right sort of moves for a ratings rebound. While the 2006 Torino Olympics had mixed ratings results including a low of 14 million viewers for the closing ceremonies, and lows of 16 million for some skiing events, NBC did garner around 26 million viewers for the high interest women's figure skating events. All of this helped NBC to place in the top 20 of last week's programs with the Olympic coverage.

But NBC is making other wise moves post-Olympic moves. DEAL OR NO DEAL is back for a full week this week, and will return on Mondays and Tuesdays after this week. Like the once popular ABC's, WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE, NBC has a chance to play this series out for sometime before audience fatigue starts to set in.

And NBC is greatly improving their ruined Friday night with DEAL OR NO DEAL, LAS VEGAS and the new drama CONVICTION. These are exactly the right sort of moves to improve Friday rather than make it a complete throwaway to the strong CBS lineup. NBC finally realizes that garbage like THREE WISHES, INCONCEIVABLE or THE BOOK OF DANIEL is absolutely not the kind of waste of network airtime to offer up. Compared to the old lineup of DATELINE, THIRD WATCH and LAW AND ORDER:TRIAL BY JURY, this new lineup is the best NBC lineup since these three Friday night programs. This is exactly the kind of Friday night moves I recommended here and on other Websites.

The only weak spot in the schedule is JOEY returning to NBC on Tuesday. While I personally like this show as not that bad of a comedy, JOEY will be absolutely slaughtered in the 8pm Tuesday time slot by AMERICAN IDOL, the quirky drama, NCIS, and will fight it out for the scraps of audience left over from GILMORE GIRLS, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO JIM and any UPN offering. JOEY may only see fourth place in this competition. But until NBC is able to have a better Tuesday night draw, JOEY at least is a decent lead-in to episodes of the outrageous comedy, SCRUBS. Some of last week's jokes were so outrageous that it was surprising a few made it under the network censor's radar.

But NBC should be in a position to improve it's ratings with a stronger second season leading into the May sweeps. And with any viewers who are not fans of the CBS coverage of March Madness college basketball which should bump new episodes of the CSI franchise, NCIS, CRIMINAL MINDS, GHOST WHISPERER and other popular programs as the competition heats up.

NBC should be able to close the ratings gap considerably with all their new improvements to their schedule. It's about time. NBC is a quality network, deserving of some decent programming improvements to add to their other quality programs such as the LAW AND ORDER franchise, CROSSING JORDAN, MY NAME IS EARL and other quality NBC schedule standouts.


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