NBC’s Williams Angry Over ‘Rock Center’ Moves?
If Brian Williams is as angry as rumors suggest about NBC moving his prime time news program Rock Center around, he may be enjoying a chuckle for now.
Since its premiere in November, 2011, the program had four different time slots. On its premiere, ABC’s Castle and CBS’s Hawaii Five-0 beat it. Since then, it moved from its original Monday night slot, to Wednesday nights, to Thursday nights and now Friday nights.
Its most recent move paved the way for Jekyll/Hyde drama Do No Harm, which the Peacock network decided to cancel after just two episodes. Actually, I don’t know that there was a great deal of contemplation required on that move: its premiere set a dubious record as the lowest-rated in-season scripted series debut ever among major broadcast networks. On its second airing, it managed to fall another 22% among Adults 18-49, the target of the network’s advertising sales.
Can’t you imagine Williams sniggering a bit about that?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Television executives know that Friday nights can be the place even good shows go to die, so a move to a Friday night slot can easily spell doom.
But wait, it gets better!
Maybe the fourth time’s a charm at Rock Center: its Friday night premiere earned it the best ratings it’s seen in months. If Williams is “angry,” he found a clever way to express his anger, which you’ll see at that link: a little video at the end of the program that depicted the show as a frontiersman that set out onto the TV landscape in a covered wagon, moving “where [it] was not wanted.” He even worked in a clever little dig at its most recent, replacement that didn’t even see a third episode:
“Tonight I write this from our latest resting place — where we wish to be — where we welcome visitors and mean harm to no one.”
The program’s executive producer responded to rumors of Williams’ anger with this statement:
“Brian’s take on our new time slot was truly funny and the furthest thing from ‘angry.’ He made light of our travels through the schedule — and we are all thrilled by Rock Center’s strong ratings after our Friday night debut. We look forward to settling down in our new home.”
At least…until NBC decides to move it again.
Do you watch Rock Center? Are you a Brian Williams fan?