Ratings aren’t amazing, but NBC is showing confidence in most of its Monday lineup, providing a full-season pickup for freshman drama “The Event,” with “Chuck” expecting a similar call any minute.
“The Event,” which took over “Heroes” spot on NBC’s schedule starring Jason Ritter, Laura Innes and Blair Underwood, premiered to a strong 6.8 rating/10 share on Sept. 20, some of the network’s best numbers in that timeslot in a long time, and almost doubling the audience of its “Chuck” lead-in.
However, audiences have drifted away quickly from the show, its Oct. 11 episode picking up just a 3.9/6, according to Fast National ratings from The Nielsen Co. That was a drop of 43 percent from the premiere, and is pushing numbers back to where NBC was with “Heroes” and “Trauma” last year in the same timeslot.
But because of the strong series premiere, “The Event” is averaging a 5.2/8 after four episodes, nearly 63 percent ahead of what NBC did in the timeslot last year, and it remains NBC’s best-rated show on Mondays — if not by much.
One thing that’s helping “The Event,” of course, is that the show is an in-house production. That means alternative viewing methods on Hulu, iTunes, later DVD collections and the like, will increase revenue for NBC, thus convincing the network to continue giving it a chance.
NBC also ordered full seasons of “Law & Order: Los Angeles” and “Outsourced,” two other new shows on NBC’s schedule, despite the fact that “Outsourced” was one of the Big Four networks’ lowest-rated series last week.
“Chuck” is not being left behind. Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly says he’s hearing that show starring Zachary Levi will receive a full-season pickup as well. It has averaged a 3.3/5 so far this season, an 8 percent fall from NBC’s Monday at 8 p.m. programming the previous year.
NBC was hoping to return to ratings glory with its freshman offering, led by “The Event,” but that doesn’t seem to be working for the network so far. Last week, NBC finished fourth among all the networks with a 3.7/6, and after six weeks, is averaging a total of a 4.1/6, tied with Fox for third place.
The Peacock already cancelled “Outlaw” starring Jimmy Smits.
CBS has yet to make an announcement on the five new shows it has premiered so far, all of which occupy the top five places among new shows, according to weekly ratings.
“The Event” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, immediately following “Chuck” at 8 p.m. ET.