NBC Is TV's New York Yankees

November rubbed NBC Universal the wrong way, but not so at CBS and ABC.

On the day NBC was blown out of the November sweeps by CBS - in a shocking third place finish -- NBC decided nothing was going right either in primetime at CNBC. It cancelled the much-beleaguered "McEnroe."

"The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch," the ad industry's regular fun mouthpiece, will take a crack at the weekday 10 p.m. time slot. Perhaps the show should be renamed, "The Big Time," now that Deutsch has moved into primetime five nights a week.

The good news for NBC - yes, there was some -- was the Tom Brokaw-anchored "Nightly News" pulled in a whopping 15.4 million viewers for his closing night, besting the nearest competitor, ABC by over 6 million viewers and pulling in its best ratings in eight years.

Since the start of the season, NBC knew trouble was in store when CBS' newest CSI show, "CSI: New York" didn't just keep pace with, but beat out "Law & Order" in a key Wednesday night 10 p.m. match-up. Things just rolled from there for CBS.



But with CBS' dreams of dominating November sweeps in the adults 18 to 49 demo race, it couldn't have imagined who would be in second place.

ABC came out of nowhere thanks to "Desperate Housewives," "Lost," and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." No one guessed that NBC and Fox would come in third and fourth place, respectively.

The press couldn't have figured this out either - though many have been predicting NBC's demise for years. On paper, NBC's "Joey" and "The Apprentice" looked okay. While some may have been expecting CBS to increase its dominance, what entertainment business reporter worth his salt would have thought ABC could pull it together in just a few months - especially after two senior programming executives had resigned?

NBC is trying to build their line up as it moves into a mid-season schedule with a new drama and a new comedy. One NBC executive has said: "We're like the New York Yankees. We may not win every year, but we'll always be near or at the top again."

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