NBC wins another ratings battle: Why the network might be back for good

Yahoo Contributor Network

For years, NBC seemed to be the laughingstock of the major networks. However, the fall of 2012 has marked a resurgence of sorts for a channel that reigned supreme in the 1990s. For the fifth time in six weeks, NBC has won the battle for the coveted 18-49 demographic. It's the first time in a decade that NBC has found that kind of success, and there is reason to think that it can sustain it.

With the help of new leadership and a better focus, things look pretty bright for the remainder of NBC's season. NBC has seen significant boosts in nearly every category. Does this mean that the network is officially back? Here are a few reasons why NBC can sustain its most recent success.

The programming is strong

After staring up at CBS, Fox, and ABC for years, NBC finally has some bragging rights. According to the ratings, four of the top seven prime-time programs currently run on the network. That includes "Sunday Night Football," the season's top-rated program. NBC is also riding the popularity of "The Voice," which occupies two of those spots. In addition, "Revolution" is the top-rated drama, and "Go On" is the year's top new comedy. The network is even getting ratings on Fridays, when "Grimm" continues to perform well against all competition. Now that the TV season is six weeks old, it's safe to say that those numbers can't be considered flukes. Odds are that viewers will stick with those shows, which should allow NBC to thrive despite losing football in early 2013.

It still has "The Voice"

As mentioned above, "The Voice" currently ranks among the most watched shows on TV. As a result, it has become the cornerstone of the network. Thanks to the singing competition, shows like "Revolution" and "Go On" have seen solid ratings. They are taking advantage of the shared night with "The Voice," much like shows did years ago with "Seinfeld." As long as the network runs "The Voice" for two or three nights per week, they should see the benefits spread to the other shows. In fact, "The Voice" might even get a bigger boost next spring. The already loyal viewing base might grow with two new judges joining the fold, and that is only good news for NBC.

It's breeding new shows

As previously mentioned, new shows like "Go On" and "Revolution" have performed well, but they aren't alone. The drama "Chicago Fire" has steadily climbed in the ratings, giving NBC a solid show on Wednesday nights. Meanwhile, the new comedy "Guys With Kids" has been successful, and continues to build on its audience. With strong comedies on different nights, NBC has a little more flexibility on Thursdays. The once-promising night has continually struggled in the ratings, and NBC will lose "30 Rock" and "The Office" after this season. However, if its new shows continue to grow at the same rate, there is no reason to believe that Thursday nights won't return to prominence.

Essentially, NBC is riding a wave of momentum right now. It will be up to the network to keep it going. The fall couldn't have gotten off to a better start, but TV ratings are fluid. As long as the people behind NBC maintain their smart scheduling strategy, the glory days could return for good. So far, NBC hasn't wasted the advantages that come with football and "The Voice." That, along with a slew of promising new shows, is the reason why the network could continue to dominate the 18-49 demographic for months to come.

View Comments