In the days leading to last night’s premiere of NBC‘s new drama Do No Harm, tracking was soft, with awareness weak across the board and intent to see below average, leading to modest ratings expectations. Rival networks were predicting a premiere 18-49 rating a little below the 2.0 that fellow midseason NBC drama Deception recently opened to, with a 1.8 rating considered a reasonable target. But Do No Harm came in at a 0.9, the lowest in-season premiere rating for a series on the Big 4 broadcast networks. Ever. It was even lower than the dismally rated newsmagazine Rock Center With Brian Williams averaged in the Thursday 10 PM hour (1.0) this season. Do No Harm‘s viewership was a paltry 3.1 million viewers. The shocking underperformance was reminiscent of the fall 2010 debut of Fox’s drama Lone Star. Launching behind House with a major marketing campaign behind it, the well-reviewed drama was projected to deliver a premiere 18-49 rating above a 2.5. Instead, it opened to a 1.3, dropping to a 1.0 in the second week before Fox yanked it off the schedule. NBC did not rush to cancel Do No Harm today as executives there were as puzzled by the abysmal ratings as everyone else, but will likely do so next week unless Do No Harm‘s ratings miraculously rebound, something that almost never happens.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Network primetime seems especially determined to make a high-concept dual-personality drama work. The most recent example of a noble failure was NBC’s Awake. But NBC in particular …
NBC Sets ’30 Rock’ Finale, ‘Do No Harm’ Premiere Date; ‘Do No Harm’ Gets Thursday 10 PM Slot; ‘Rock Center’ Moves To Fridays
NBC‘s experiment with a newsmagazine in the iconic Thursday 10 PM time slot is over. The network just announced that midseason drama Do No Harm will move into the time period on January 31, following the hourlong series finale of 30 Rock, which will air the same night from 8-9 PM, The Office and newbie 1600 Penn. The low-rated Rock Center With Brian Williams will move to Fridays beginning February 8 and air in the “newsmagazine” 10 PM slot, bumping Dateline to 9 PM. Dateline will take over Grimm‘s slot while the supernatural drama is on a hiatus. When Grimm returns to its 9 PM berth March 8, I hear Dateline will either get off Fridays (by then the Sunday edition will already have launched post-football), or replace Rock Center if the show does not get any traction on its new night. “January 31 will be a special night as one classic series will mark its finale with a great hour-long sendoff episode while a promising new drama will make its debut on Thursdays,” said NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt.
NEW COMEDIES & DRAMAS FOR 2012-13 NBC PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
Sitcoms expand to four nights this fall including Tuesday and Friday nights. New dramas from Dick Wolf and JJ Abrams. Here’s your first look:
NBC’s Save Me - Comedy
Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Original Film. Novelist John Scott Shepherd is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Scott Winant and executive producers Neal H. Moritz, Vivian Cannon, and Alexa Junge:
NBC’s 1600 Penn - Comedy
Produced by 20th Century Fox. From executive producer/director Jason Winer. The executive producers are Winer (who also directed the pilot), Gad and former White House speechwriter Jon Lovett:
UPDATED: NBC has picked up two more drama pilots to series: David Schulner’s Jekyll & Hyde-esque medical drama Do No Harm and sudser Notorious, which will now be called Infamous. It is an interesting pairing as Do No Harm was picked up with the very first batch of NBC pilots and has been a strong frontrunner from the get-go. Meanwhile, Notorious was the last drama pilot ordered on any network but was a late bloomer, building momentum from the moment it was delivered.
Party Down and Veronica Mars alum Ryan Hansen has landed the lead in the Fox comedy pilot El Jefe. The project, from writers David Guarascio & Moses Port and Sony TV, centers on an affable but lost 30-year-old (Hansen) who, tossed out of his Brentwood home, moves in with his longtime Latin American nanny and goes head to head with her strong-willed son and finds himself in a family and work life very different than the ones he grew up in. Gersh-repped Hansen recently co-starred on NBC’s Friends With Benefits.
UPDATE: After the 2 pilot orders to Universal TV-produced pilots Midnight Sun and Do No Harm, NBC just gave the green light to the Sony TV-produced period Western The Frontier, from writer Shaun Cassidy and Prospect Park. Thomas Schlamme is attached to direct and executive produce the pilot, …