/// NBC’s Ratings Momentum Stalls

February 13, 2013  |  Media Week

After NBC enjoyed its strongest fall quarter in recent memory, the loss of Sunday Night Football and The Voice have erased the network’s early gains. Twenty weeks into the 2012-13 broadcast season, NBC has fallen to second place in the all-important adults 18-49 demo, averaging a 2.7 rating through Feb. 10. This represents an 8 percent decline versus the same period one year ago, and marks the first time since the season began that NBC didn’t enjoy an advantage over the rest of the Big Four. As late as mid-December, NBC was scorching the competition, averaging a 3.1 in the dollar demo, an improvement of 24 percent from the year-ago period. But with the National Football League sidelined until next fall and The Voice on hiatus until March 25, the bottom has fallen out at 30 Rock. Through the first 11 weeks of the broadcast campaign, NBC posted the highest demo deliveries 10 times. (It tied CBS in Weeks 8 and 10 and lost outright to Fox during the World Series.) Since that time, NBC has won three weekly ratings races (Weeks 13-15), while CBS has owned five and Fox one. ABC is the only member of the Big Four without a single ratings victory—the closest the network came was when it posted a second-place 2.3 in Week 7. While buyers can set their watches by NBC’s post- Sunday Night Football doldrums—it’s never easy to say goodbye to the NFL’s brawny GRPs—the loss of The Voice was even more disruptive. In moving the show to the fall cycle, NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt supercharged Monday and Tuesday nights, providing strong lead-ins for the new series Revolution and Go On . Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the third cycle of The Voice averaged 12.2 million viewers and a 4.3 rating in the demo, making it one of the fall’s top performers. By way of comparison, SNF delivered 21.4 million viewers and an untouchable 8.2 in the demo. The generous lead-in provided by The Voice went a long way toward making NBC’s Revolution the season’s biggest new series. Through 10 episodes, the dystopian drama averaged 8.38 million viewers and a 3.1 in the demo. Like The Voice , Revolution returns on the final Monday in March. (With a smaller sample size of four episodes, Fox’s new serial-killer psychodrama The Following is averaging 9.3 million viewers and a 2.9 rating.) Without a boost from The Voice , the Matthew Perry comedy Go On has faltered. After premiering to 9.73 million viewers and a 3.4 in the demo, the show foundered in the absence of its lead-in. In its first week without the tailwinds of Adam, Blake, Cee Lo and Christina, Go On dropped to a 1.5 from a 2.4

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NBC’s Ratings Momentum Stalls

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