(Check out my website, www.seriesmonitor.com)
Like it or not, as a television viewer, you are the product being sold to advertisers. Your viewer eye is valuable to a network solely because you are worth something.
Unfortunately this commercialism hinders TV viewers at times, and NBC are famed for such antics. In the exact same timeslot last season, NBC halved, added a 17 week gap, and cut short the first season of Revolution, which was largely the cause of the ratings slump and the subsequent shift to Wednesdays 8|7c where it continues to flop to this day.
Blacklisters will be aware that there was no new show on Monday because NBC thought The Voice was more important and preempted it until next week. Instead, at 8|7c, NBC aired a one hour recap of The Voice, which earned a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating and 7.74 million viewers. That's pretty good for NBC considering ratings for most of the other shows on its airwaves.
The main event ran from 9|8c to 11|10c, which shifted its audience outside of direct competition with ABC's Dancing With The Stars for one of its 2 hours, and inline with ABC's Castle and CBS's Hostages. The one hour recap took on CBS's half hour comedies How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls - both of which rated better and had larger audiences than it, and didn't lose or gain viewers or ratings to any significant degree as a result. FOX's second episode of freshman Almost Human spanned the full 8|7c hour and matched the clip show in ratings, but fell behind in total viewers. Almost Human, of course, replaces Bones on Mondays 8|7c for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, The Voice's main event earned a 3.5 rating and 10.54 million viewers. That's a season low in ratings and audience, but that rating is higher than what The Blacklist would have managed for the 10|9c timeslot. However when you add the clip show into the equation, a 2.3 rating and 7.74 million viewers is well short of what an all-new episode of The Blacklist would have garnered later on at night.
It's hard to say if The Voice interfered with Castle and Hostages at 10|9c. After all, both shows had lead-ins which were unaffected by NBC's antics. Dancing With The Stars actually scored its highest audience of the season off the back of last week's season low, and though Castle was down in ratings, it garnered its third highest audience of the season. Hostages equaled the 1.0 rating mark for the first time in its history, a tenth down from last week, though that came with a loss of just 10,000 viewers.
As for Blacklisters, it looks to me as if NBC had a standard 2 week break in the forecast for around this point in the season anyway, perhaps a couple weeks later that has since been moved forward, so they got creative and used a clip show of The Voice instead of a repeat episode of The Blacklist, and screened it early in the evening to prevent viewers switching networks or turning in for the night. The fact that they announced they had preempted The Blacklist in favor of the recap show is what aggravated viewers. Statistically it worked for NBC, because the much lower ratings of a repeat at 10|9c won't have been gained back by The Voice airing in its normal timeslot. I'd bet on them playing the same games next year too. It is clever scheduling.
Off the back of the 2 week break is the first of a 2 part episode of The Blacklist, the second part of which will take us through to December 2. Whether NBC will give us another episode before years end looks rather unlikely, because unless they boosted the length of the season from 22 episodes to 24, only 11 episodes would be left to last the 18 weeks from the new year to May, and including February sweeps. In saying that, if any show deserves more scripts right now, it's The Blacklist.
Thanks for reading! Share your thoughts on NBC's little games in the comments below
You can see this season's ratings for The Blacklist, along with those of The Voice, on my website, www.seriesmonitor.com/theblacklist and you can also follow me on Twitter!
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