Dark Days Ahead: Last Place NBC Renews Lowest Rated Show On Television
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Dark Days Ahead: Last Place NBC Renews Lowest Rated Show On Television

By Dustin Rowles | Trailers | April 1, 2013 | Comments ()


It's no secret that NBC is struggling. It's not just the last place network; it's not even close. The once high-flying network -- home of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," "Ironside," "The Waltons" and "Rockford Files" -- hasn't had a decent hit in years with the exception of "Diff'rent Strokes," "The Facts of Life,", and Saturday Night Live, which isn't nearly as good as it once was. It's so bad for NBC that they've actually lost affiliates in major markets, like Atlanta, and the network lost nearly $100 million, thanks to NBC's decision not to air the 1980 summer Olympics after President Carter pulled out the Americans.

Just how bad is it? Bad enough that at their upfronts, NBC announced that they have renewed, for a second time, what was the lowest rated show on ALL OF TELEVISION? "Cheers" was the last placed show on television in the 1982-83 season, and it didn't improve much this season with "We Got It Made" and "Mama's Family" as it's lead ins. "Simon and Simon" on ABC has regularly been kicking "Cheers" ass.

So why renew the low-rated "Cheers" for a third season? Because the network simply didn't have anything better. It helps, of course, that "Cheers" is the best sitcom on television, but like a lot of critical darlings, the audiences just don't understand it. It has a darker edger that audiences haven't been able to warm up to. NBC is hoping that audiences will finally gravitate toward "Cheers" in its third season. In fact, they have so much faith in the show that -- despite suffering ratings -- they've decided to boost its prospect by programming Bill Cosby's new sitcom as a lead-in next season.

It's a risky move. Bill Cosby is not exactly in the prime of his career, and even if he can bring in an audience, there's not guarantee that they'll stick around for "Cheers," in which case, NBC will have wasted a prime lead-in opportunity.

It's a strategy that NBC's new chief of programming, Brandon Tartikoff, thinks will work, however. Tartikoff employed a similar strategy in his decision to continue renewing the low-rated "Hill Street Blues." It's shown some improvement in the ratings, and NBC is hoping that, by keeping it on Thursday nights, "The Cosby Show" will turn around the ratings of "Cheers," which will boost "Hill Street Blues" even more.

Hopefully, "The Cosby Show" can also improve the ratings of its immediate time-slot partner, "Family Ties," which is moving from Wednesday's to Thursdays. NBC is also renewing mid-season replacement, "Night Court," to air after "Cheers." Good luck to Tartikoff, but as much as critic's like it, I don't see NBC succeeding with this schedule next season, not when these shows are competing against the likes of "Magnum P.I." and "Knots Landing."

8:00: "The Cosby Show"
8:30: "Family Ties"
9:00: "Cheers"
9:30: "Night Court"
10:00: "Hill Street Blues"


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • par1964

    NORM!!!!!! How's life treatin' ya Normie?? **The way a baby treats a diaper ...... gimme a beer Sam.

    NORM!!!! How's Vera, Norm?? **Like I always say ..... women, ya can't live with them ...... pass the beer nuts.

  • ,

    "Whattaya say to a cold one, Mr. Peterson?"

    "See ya later, Vera, I'm going to Cheers."

  • Uriah_Creep

    What the hell are those moving pictures at the end of the article? They almost look like GIFs, but animated, which I don't think is possible with our 80s technology. Whatever they are, they're giving my modem a hard time, so cut it out.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Give Coach a spinoff, that character has years of great stories waiting to be told.

  • Torgotronic

    "The Waltons" was on CBS, not NBC. April fools, indeed.

  • googergieger

    I just finished watching Columbo reruns on the Netflix. I can now officially detect anything. Got the "one more thing" all ready to go!

  • Arran

    I wonder if this means that in a couple of years Park and Rec will be the biggest comedy on television and people will chuckle over the time it didn't have many viewers.

  • Sadly I don't think NBC has another Cosy Show coming down the pike to jump start its ratings.

  • Anna von Beav

    That Selma! She cracks me up. I wish there was a word for the sort of comedy made of snide remarks that she does. A portmanteau of some kind.

  • Rochelle

    An interesting twist on 'those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.'

  • the chaplain

    Shelley Long from 'Cheers' really seems like she's going to take off though! Movie stardom can't be far off, if she can manage to ditch this low-rated show.

  • DarthCorleone

    Fortunately for NBC, season 3 of Cheers is one of the best seasons of any show ever. What a lineup. Those were the days.

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    Ahhhh, Night Court. I know my next download marathon.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I'll be so happy for Selleck when Magnum ends and his big screen career can finally take off. Imagine on all that on a large movie screen.

  • Mrs. Julien

    What sicko downvoted the prospect of Tom Selleck shirtless on the big screen? Shirtless and wearing short shorts.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I hope they don' do to us with Cheers what they did with Taxi and bring it back just to cancel it.

  • toblerone

    At least this isn't about Community...

  • I'mNotTheGreatest

    Everything is about Community

  • This sadly reminded me of how much Tartikoff really did for NBC. And he was willing to poke fun of himself, too.

  • logan

    Gosh i had forgotten about Night Court. That show was rather subversive for its time.

  • BLA

    2013 needs more men with the hair of a Danson.

  • Wōđanaz Óðinn

    Can't stop dancin'!

  • csb

    A postscript would be nice for us non-Yanks about the results of this bold move, which I'm guessing laid the groundwork for NBC's ratings domination in the 90s.

  • Mrs. Julien

    12 seasons.

  • Mrs. Julien

    And, yes, total NBC domination for years and years, particularly Thursday nights.

  • Arran

    Funnily though, as a company they actually started making more money once Friends and ER went off the air, because they had become so damn expensive to make.

  • Jezzer


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