Last fall it appeared that NBC might finally be making inroads in its quest to return to its former frontrunner status in the Nielsen ratings. But appearances turned out to be deceiving. NBC’s success was built on the slender shoulders of just two series, reality competition “The Voice” and freshman drama “Revolution,” and when those shows took a break between December and March, NBC’s ratings again collapsed.
NBC is poised to end the 2012-13 TV season later this month in fourth place among total viewers behind No. 1 CBS, No. 2 Fox and No. 3 ABC. (NBC will likely rank third place among adults 18-49 behind No. 1 CBS and No. 2 Fox; when it comes to the audience demographics advertisers crave, ABC is arguably in worse shape.)
With an abundance of low-rated series, the pink slips were bound to fly and they did. NBC canceled “Deception,” “Go On,” “Guys with Kids,” “The New Normal,” “Rock Center,” “1600 Penn,” “Smash,” “Up All Night” and “Whitney,” adding these series to a refuse pile that already included the 2012-13 shows “Animal Practice” and “Do No Harm.” (NBC has not yet made a decision on the futures of “Hannibal” and “Celebrity Apprentice.”)
NBC will replace these programs with three new dramas and three new comedies this fall, and the network ordered an additional five dramas, three comedies and three reality shows to also air during the 2013-14 TV season. Previews of these programs will be unveiled to advertisers today in New York as part of the annual “upfront” week when advertisers buy commercial time in programs up front before the start of the fall TV season.