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.