Did NBC Make the Grade? We Hand Out its End of Season Report Card!

The Good:After a disastrous Fall that saw the viewing public summarily dismiss virtually all of the networks new offerings (RIP: PLAYBOY CLUB, PRIME SUSPECTS, FREE AGENTS), the house that Carson built came back relatively strong in the second half of the season with a little help from THE VOICE, Betty White and did we mention THE VOICE? Yes, after an almost unprecedented marketing campaign, NBC’s IDOL wannabe actually lived up to the hype ratings-wise and in doing so helped the network jump from fourth to third in the season’s final 18-49 demographic rankings. Meanwhile, on the scripted front, NBC’s low ratings continued to be a boon for the longevity of such critically acclaimed fan favorites like PARENTHOOD, PARKS AND RECREATION, 30 ROCK and COMMUNITY. Which brings us to…

The Bad: Patience is a virtue NBC President Robert Greenblatt can no longer afford. How else to explain the flurry of winter and spring premieres that, with the notable exception of SMASH, failed to catch on (See: ARE YOU THERE CHELSEA?, BENT, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER and THE FIRM). Suffice it to say, more isn’t always better. Which, it would appear is a lesson that NBC still has yet to come to grips with based on the Network’s equally crowded slate of 2012-13 offerings. But before we get to the future, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention America’s dismal track record when it came to tuning into shows created by LONE STAR’s Kyle Killen. As anyone who bothered to tune into AWAKE will attest to, the ambitious Jason Isaacs vehicle deserved so more than the paltry 2-3 million viewers per week it attracted.

Prognosis for the Coming Season: Murky. While there is no doubt that NBC will make the most out of the megaphone that is the London 2012 Olympics — rumor has both GRIMM (one of last season’s few bright spots) and Matthew Perry’s new single-camera comedy GO ON getting August premiere dates to make the most out of the sizeable promotional platform that is London 2012 — it’s no guarantee of success. Just ask THE PLAYBOY CLUB and PRIME SUSPECT, both of which were heavily promoted last Fall to the tune of the 20 plus million or so viewers that Sunday Night NFL Football regularly attracts.

Grade: C+

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  • Nick

    2-1 odds, the suits at NBC regret cancelling Harry’s Law before the end of this calendar year.

  • Liz

    Grimm was a definite bright spot hidden away on Friday.  It earned it’s place on my PVR schedule.  I wasn’t sure at the beginning, but it was entirely enjoyable. 

     I’m glad they are playing repeats on other days to try and capture some additional interest for the fall.  Hope it works out.