In the early 1990’s, you weren’t a TV fan unless your television was tuned to NBC. A new phenomenon called “Must See TV” was a big hit, and they dominated the ratings with shows like “Seinfeld,” “Frasier,” “ER” and “Friends”.
But then, something happened.
Shows begin to end their long, powerful runs, and NBC quickly became…well…another UPN: a network where television shows went to die. They tried shows like Joey, which was a disastrous attempt at keeping the dream of “Friends” – and Must See TV – alive. It didn’t work.
These days, take a good long look at any of the weekly TV ratings reports and you will see one trend: NBC doesn’t exist, with the recent exception of “The Voice,” which has possibly led viewers to reconsider this once-flourishing network.
But there is some potential promise of a second wind for NBC. Several shows have shown a significant amount of promise. The first season series Grimm has shown week-over-week gains in its rating shares for it’s Friday time slot. The show – based on the real Grimm fairy tales – has gained a large cult following which secured it for a second season. Full disclosure: Grimm is filmed entirely here in Portland, Oregon, which means I want to see it succeed since they spend a lot of money locally. In fact, many aspects of the show – including the graphics and clothing- are from Portland-based companies and boutiques. I hope it continues to gain momentum.
Could Grimm signal the slow and steady return of the once untouchable network behemoth? I certainly hope so, for their sake. They certainly have an uphill battle, as CBS and ABC continue to impress with their unique and consistent lineups.
And just when I start to think NBC has it right, they make rookie mistakes like changing one of my original favorites – Harry’s Law – so drastically that it’s completely unrecognizable. But someone seems to like the changes, so I guess they see something I don’t.
NBC is positioning itself to stage a major comeback, but it will take lots of hard work, well-executed strategies and elbow grease. But it’s entirely possible.