NBC Gets its Mid-Season Report Card

The Good: ‘The Biggest Loser’ are three words that not only sum up one of NBC’s only bright-spots ratings-wise this fall, but also the fact that the downward spiral that the Peacock Network currently finds itself in has not just one, but two benefits for us TV Addicts. (1) It has set NBC’s bar for renewal so low, that is has allowed for little-watched laughers such as PARKS AND RECREATION, 30 ROCK (and hopefully COMMUNITY) to flourish. And (2) It has forced NBC to try harder, as evidence by recent deals that has the network paying top dollar for the top talent such as J.J. Abrams and David Tennant, both of whom are involved in shows set to launch next fall.

The Bad: Where to begin? From the network’s inability to recapture that must-see-TV magic with underwhelming new offering such as TRAUMA (It’s ER with bigger explosions!) and MERCY (GREY’S ANATOMY + Nurses!), to the failed JAY LENO experiment that has tarnished the brand, brought Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon down in the process and turned the once proud Peacock into Hollywood’s laughing stock, Fall 2009 may go down as one of the worst starts to the season since NBC launched MANIMAL (An NBC action-adventure-fantasy series revolving around a scientists turned shapeshifter that lasted eight episodes in 1983 before quickly becoming an industry joke.)

The Prognosis: Considering NBC’s only other ratings bright spot — their dominant Sunday Night NFL package — won’t won’t be around in Winter 2010 to counterbalance the rest of their losing schedule, CHUCK isn’t going to be anything close to the ratings saviour CHUCK fans are hoping for, and PARENTHOOD’s March premiere is still a long way away, the second half of 2010 isn’t looking too bright. Even with the Winter Olympics, which while great for buzz, will more than likely be a money-loser thanks to the sinking ship that is the US ad market/economy.

The Grade: D

Tune in tomorrow when we give CBS their midseason report card.

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  • I hope NBC treats both David Tennant and J.J. Abrams well and Mercy is nothing NBC should be ashamed of. I didn’t expect to enjoy the show..never got into Greys but I love Mercy.. a good dose of humour, drama and touching moments. Its my wednesday stress reliever.

  • I would think a grade of D is incredibly kind. NBC = meh

  • Mike

    Even if “Chuck” isn’t the ratings savior, does that mean it will suffer due to the fact that nobody likes NBC? I just hope they look at it on a scale compared to their other shows and treat it fairly. It is going up against a brutal Monday night lineup.

  • Josh Emerson

    If it’s only based on success, then sure NBC deserves a grade that low. But doesn’t quality count for anything? NBC has a two hour block of fantastic comedies and is bringing back Chuck next month. I would put that up against any other network even if the ratings suck.

  • Ace

    It really is sad that NBC has fallen so much in the last few years. I used to pretty much only watch NBC and right now the only things I watch are The Office and 30 Rock. AND I watch both of those on-line b/c they are against Grey’s and Fringe… I guess that will double in January with Chuck coming back. I don’t know what has taken them so long to get new leadership at the network, but they need to immediately. Most of the other channels had a great fall premeire season (even if you didn’t like all the shows). I’m hard on NBC b/c I want it to be the great network that brought us Seinfeld, Friends, Mad About You, Fraiser, ER, The West Wing… And those are just the greats that have been on in my TV watching memory.

  • Allie

    I largely agree with you although I am really starting to enjoy Trauma (but I expect it may be canned due to lacklustre ratings). Sure the big explosions are a little over the top but the relationships between the characters are drawing me in and I particularly like Rabbit. I do hope it sticks around and generates bigger ratings.

  • I do like the fact that the ratings don’t matter as much so shows like you mentioned can flourish. At the same time, it’s sad that more people don’t watch those hilarious sitcoms.

  • BizarroP

    NBC is a joke. I only watch on thursdays which, surprisingly, theyve succeeded in that for a long time… so congratulations, i guess

  • Community is hilarious! It should stay for at least another season!

  • Sarah

    These days I only tune into NBC to watch SNL.