TCA: NBC Tops In Season Viewership, NBC Hypes Peacock, Fallon To Host Variety Show

PASADENA, CALIF. -- NBC will look at TV viewership differently when it comes to future program performances -- especially as it expands to more streaming platforms, says Paul Telegdy, chairman of NBC Entertainment, speaking at the Television Critics Association meeting.

Telegdy noted that the network's streaming service Peacock is set to launch in the coming weeks. “Those in the NBC family will be main contributors to Peacock. Our talent will be seen both on NBC and Peacock.”

Right now, NBC’s prime-time viewership through the first three weeks of the season remains on top in total viewership. NBC is averaging 8.1 million viewers, looking at Nielsen live program-plus-seven days of time-shifted viewing and same-day viewing for the current weeks. Results are down 8% from a year ago.

Looking at the key younger viewers that advertisers desire, NBC is down 14% to a 1.8 rating in 18-49 viewers -- second place to first-place Fox, up 5% to a 2.01 average rating among 18-49 viewers.



NBC’s Telegdy also says numbers don’t tell the whole story, especially when looking at the broader picture of other NBC-produced programming -- broadcast, cable, syndication and streaming -- and their viewer and revenue performance.

For example, he points to “The Office,” the No. 1 show on Netflix and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” the No. 1 show on Hulu. Also consider some 110,000 hours in premium video produced every year by NBCUniversal -- much is expected to air on Peacock, an ad-supported streaming service.

NBC’s best results for its fall prime-time schedule continue to be with “Sunday Night Football” -- the top-rated overall broadcast prime-time show for many years, averaging 20 million Nielsen-measured average viewers this season, up 5% from a year before.

Looking specifically at NBC’s non-sports TV programming through 12 weeks of the season:  “This Is Us” (11.9 million viewers, down 17%), "Chicago Fire" (11.1 million, slipping 3%), "Chicago Med" (10.9 million, off 3%); “New Amsterdam” (9.8 million, losing 18%) and “The Voice” (9.8 million, down 12%). Results are from Nielsen’s live program-plus-seven days of time-shifted viewing.

Non-scripted, non-sports programming remains a strong component for NBC. A forthcoming variety show, “That’s My Jam,” will star Jimmy Fallon, a riff on the popular, celebrity-fueled musical segments on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Also, a documentary series from BBC Studios, “The New World,” will explore the earth's landscapes, remote wilderness and mysterious creatures. It will air midseason.

Other new shows coming this season include “Young Rock,” a comedy focused on Dwayne Johnson's early life as a teen, growing into a college football player who went on to become a big WWE wrestling star. Now, he's a theatrical and TV performer. 

“Indebted” is a comedy about parents who having financial medical troubles and move in with their son and his wife. Fran Drescher stars. “Council of Dads” is a drama about a father of four, who has a health scare and calls on friends to step in as back-up dads.

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