NBC finished fifth out of the big broadcast networks for the first time in sweeps history, even slugging behind Univision, as reported by Deadline. The Peacock’s last place finish, with an average 1.2 rating in the coveted 18-49 demo, handed Univision its first fourth-place ever in sweeps season. The Spanish-language station finished with a 1.5 rating in the demo, not far from ABC’s 1.7 and Fox’s 2.0 rating. CBS finished far ahead with a 4.9 rating thanks to the Super Bowl and the Grammys.
NBC has been floundering since its bellwether franchise, their Sunday Night NFL Football broadcast, wrapped up last year. Without football and the American Idol rip-off The Voice to inflate its numbers, NBC’s ratings have plummeted.
Under the leadership of NBC president Bob Greenblatt, NBC has bumbled along as the last among ABC, CBS, and Fox as the “Big Four Networks.” Greenblatt has presided over the lowest-ever-rated in-season premiere with Do No Harm, which debuted with a 0.9/3 and was mercifully canceled after its second episode. Greenblatt also greenlit the middling White House comedy 1600 Penn, created by former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett. Lovett is best known during his White House tenure for tired-before-they-were-told birther jokes and a fake movie trailer. “1600 Penn” also stars this guy.
Before NBC, Greenblatt helmed Showtime, a network that has thrived since his departure and won countless accolades with “Homeland”.
NBC was struggling even before Greenblatt cratered “Smash”. Before Greenblatt, NBC was headed by Jeff Zucker, who was once described as “a case study in the most destructive media executive ever to exist… You’d have to tell me who else has taken a once-great network and literally destroyed it.”
Jeff Zucker is the current president of CNN Worldwide.