NBC’s primetime programming has been in a harder free-fall than a skydiving expedition with Louie Anderson wearing a lead parachute.
Their newest shows have become something of a punchline among critics and regular viewers and even their most trustworthy and loyal shows like The Office and Community are failing to find steady footing.
The network reached a new low when Univision actually beat NBC during the all important February sweeps period knocking the Peacock network to a dismal fifth place. Who knew it was possible for anyone to get more than two black eyes?
It gets even worse: They can’t control their own affiliates. WKYC in Cleveland, Ohio aired a 21 year old Matlock movie instead of The Office, 1600 Penn and Law & Order: SVU during NBC’s all-important Thursday night block.
The truly amusing part is that the ratings were pretty much the same and Matlock did better than 1600 Penn, the presidential family sitcom starring Bill Pullman. Station manager and WKYC president Brooke Spectorsky told The Hollywood Reporter that they aired the Matlock rerun because they thought it would be a fitting tribute to the late Griffith after the Academy Awards failed to include him in their “In Memorium” segment for his work in film.
The greater outrage in my mind was that they chose to honor Griffith’s legacy with Matlock instead of the classic Andy Griffith Show. That’s like memorializing the legend of Michael Jordan by showing footage from his minor league baseball career.