Yesterday MSNBC invested considerable time plugging the return of parent network NBC's prime time program 'The Event.' After a three month hiatus, the political/sci-fi series that debuted last September and delivered less than exciting ratings, was back.
The relaunch of 'The Event' was heavily promoted all weekend on the NBC, but also embedded into the MSNBC schedule yesterday and included an appearance on Chris Jansing's mid-morning program:
'It's finally back!' Oof.
It could be said that fill-in host Richard Lui did his cross-platform promotional job well, and the big bosses upstairs should be pleased.
But wait, there's more!
At 5pm, in the middle of a show called 'Hardball,' Mr. Hardball himself, Chris Matthews had his own little 'Event' moment:
Alas, even the acting of Chris Matthews could not save this show. Preliminary overnight ratings for 'The Event' are not good. One network exec looked at the numbers and just said, 'Dead in the water.'
Here is a quick snapshot of the overnight ratings from 56 markets, the number on the far right is the rating. For comparison, 'House' was delivering a 7.4 rating in the 8pm hour.
The two-hour block of programming (the first hour was for catching up, the second hour - an all new episode) finished dead last among the top four networks, behind ABC's 'The Bachelor' - a new episode of "House on Fox and even losing to reruns on CBS. A concern to any TV exec would be the steady drop from the first half-hour to the end. Perhaps the only bright spot of the night for NBC was the fact that viewers who left the channel between 8-10pm managed to come back in greater numbers, giving a rare 10pm win to the peacock network and Kathy Bates' new show, 'Harry's Law.'
Obvious to most viewers are the editorial leanings of a news organization. It is a part of the new reality of cable news. What irritates this gadfly is when networks impose vertical integration agendas on an audience. Fox News Channel would prompt cringes each time they kicked in to American Idol promotion mode. Thankfully, and for whatever reason, FNC has significantly slowed down the 'Idol chatter." Here's hoping the brains at MSNBC point to this failed experiment as reason to avoid wasting valuable air time in the future.