Kicking off NBC’s TCA presentation, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt announced the renewal of summer reality series America’s Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior and Last Comic Standing. The pickups join the recent renewal of medical drama Night Shift, which turned from a summer burnoff to a breakout, tying CBS’ Extant as the highest-rated new series debut this off-season.
Greenblatt underscored NBC’s ratings success during the season, reminding everyone that the network finished 2013-14 as No.1, and did so again for the summer. NBC has won every week other than the two that ABC had with the NBA Finals, which Greenblatt in a lapse called “the NBC finals.” Last Comic Standing returned for an eighth cycle this summer after a four-year break, the second time the show has been revived. AGT is in its ninth season, averaging a 3.1/10 in adults 18-49 and 12.4 million viewers. Last Comic Standing is averaging a 1.7/6 in 18-49 and 5.1 million viewers. American Ninja Warrior, which is shared with corporate sibling Esquire, is delivering a 1.8/6 in 18-49 and 5.3 million viewers.
NBC will bring out the next season of American Ninja Warrior on Monday, May 26, 8-10 PM, and America’s Got Talent the next night, Tuesday, May 27, 8-10 PM. Talent is returning with its judging/host cast intact — an increasingly rare occurrence on reality competition series these days, NBC having announced last November that Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel were returning as judges on the summer competition series, though Stern had made sure he was the headline by announcing his return to the show 24 hours ahead of the NBC announcement. Breaking the news on his SiriusXM radio program, Stern was sure to let listeners know he’s the BFD on AGT, saying, in response to radio sidekick Robin Quivers’ question as to whether Klum, B, and Mandel would be back: “Let’s put it this way: When they asked me if [returning] was conditional, I said … let them all come back.”
Meanwhile, NBC to air originals of Ninja and Esquire Network will run repeats, like last summer.
The second week of CBS’ Under The Dome (2.8/8) saw a few cracks in the new drama’s strong ratings shell. Following its big debut last week, the Amblin TV/DreamWorks TV-produced show was down 15% on Monday — not altogether unrespectable retention levels for the series based on Stephen King’s 2009 novel. Under The Dome was easily the top-rated show of the night and by far the most watched with 11.52 million viewers. Otherwise, CBS was all repeats Monday. Like on most almost-holiday summer nights, usage was down 5% among adults 18-49 and dipped 4% from last week. CBS was tops for the night in adults 18-49 and in viewers with 7.08 million.
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G4 may have transformed itself into Esquire Network, but some things are staying the same — like the cable network’s obstacle course competition series American Ninja Warrior airing in a shared window with sibling NBC. The show will air weekly on Esquire and then NBC on consecutive days, with original episodes on each network. Former NFL player and sports analyst Akbar Gbaja Biamila (NFL Network) will join the show as host alongside Matt Iseman, who is returning to the show for its fifth season on Esquire and its second full season on NBC. Jenn Brown (ESPN) will serve as a co-host, providing commentary and competitor interviews. Following a 2011 experiment, when NBC aired ANW‘s two-hour third-season finale to decent ratings, the two networks began sharing the series last summer. American Ninja Warrior began production on its new season on Friday in Los Angeles, features a four-stage course modeled after the Mt. Midoriyama from the original Tokyo Broadcast System series Sasuke and a few format tweaks. Arthur Smith executive produces.
NBC is firming up its summer plans, announcing premiere dates and slots for unscripted series Love In The Wild and G4′s American Ninja Warrior and Canadian drama import Saving Hope. Reality series Love In The Wild will open its second season hosted by Jenny McCarthy with a two-hour premiere from 8-10 PM on June 7, followed by the debut of Saving Hope. American Ninja Warrior, which will launch its season on G4 on Sunday, May 20, will debut on NBC the following night, May 21, from 9-11 PM. It will then begin its regular airing pattern on NBC with hourlong episodes in the Monday 9 PM slot, while also airing originals on G4. G4 will carry qualifying regional rounds that originate from six different areas within the U.S., while NBC will carry regional finals from each of the six regions, plus the finals from Las Vegas. In all, NBC will carry 9 episodes of American Ninja Warrior. Love In The Wild was renewed for a second season after a so-so freshman run, which drew an average of 1.8/5 share in 18-49 and 5.5 million viewers last summer. Saving Hope is a medical drama starring Erica Durance, Michael Shanks and Daniel Gillies. NBC has already announced a premiere date for its summer staple, America’s Got Talent, which debuts on May 14 with new judge Howard Stern. It will air Mondays 8-9 PM, leading into American Ninja Warrior, and Tuesdays … Read More »
With the broadcast networks struggling to successfully launch a reality series in the past couple of summers, NBC is reaching to its new corporate sibling G4 for original summer fare. NBC will share with G4 the upcoming fourth season of G4′s popular obstacle course competition series American Ninja Warrior. Last summer, NBC aired ANW‘s two-hour third season finale, which posted decent ratings. This year, NBC will be taking on a bigger role, with G4 carrying the preliminary rounds and the broadcast network airing the preliminary finals, as well as the grand finale. For the first time, each leg of the competition will be held entirely on U.S. soil after the original Japanese broadcaster, Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, helped bring the course and all different designs to the U.S. The finalists, vying for a $500,000 cash prize in the national finals in Las Vegas, will be selected at six regional qualifying competitions throughout the country. ANW, whose Season 3 debut ranked as G4’s most-watched original season premiere ever, is produced by A. Smith & Co.
A group of musicians protesting the Recording Academy’s move to drop 31 categories from the Grammy Awards is calling for a boycott of CBS, which airs the annual awards event, as well as the sponsors who advertise during the show, the Associated Press reported. The academy in April trimmed the number of categories from 109 to 78, saying the changes would hold for at least next year’s Grammys in February. …
Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert received approval today from the Federal Election Commission to start his own political action committee, which means he can raise money and produce and buy TV time for political ads. If the ads air anywhere but on his Viacom-owned show, they must disclose their funding sources. Colbert started the campaign to mock Citizens United, a PAC that won a Supreme Court case relaxing national campaign finance rules. “I don’t know about you but I do not accept limits on my free speech, I don’t know about you but I do not accept the status quo. But I do accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express,” he told a crowd in Washington DC after the ruling. …
NBC will televise the season finale of fellow Comcast network G4′s original series American Ninja Warrior on Aug. 22 as part of a two-hour primetime special. Read More »