30 Rock bows out as House of Cards debuts
Only two shows that premiered on NBC in 2006 are still on the air today: NBC Sunday Night Football, which, according to 2012 Nielsen ratings is the most-watched television show currently aired, and 30 Rock, which ends its run tonight without ever really moving out of the ratings basement.
How low did its ratings go? According to media reports, they mostly stayed below 4 million viewers. Meanwhile, across the dial at CBS, Nielsen says the Jan. 10 episode of Big Bang Theory engrossed more than 20 million viewers for the first time since it gained the time slot opposite 30 Rock.
The people at 30 Rock get the consolation of knowing that the show was a champion at winning Emmys and other awards. The irony of that position was well-stated in this Tweet by Alec Baldwin during last year’s awards season: “SAG Awards on Sunday. Maybe I’ll win Best Actor in a Comedy in a s****y time slot.”
So it’s no wonder that Tina Fey, known to 30 Rock fans as Liz Lemon, is pulling the plug on the show that was her brainchild.
Life will go on, with seven seasons of syndicated episodes to cushion the blow.
And, as it does, instant streaming and other means of distributing TV shows may soon make Nielsen ratings obsolete anyway.
Instant streaming, after all, has been gaining ground for a long time. For example, Aquaman — a cartoon that wasn’t picked up for broadcast a few months before the first 30 Rock aired in 2006 – immediately became available for download on iTunes.
And more news about non-network television broke only today, with the Netflix announcement that all 13 episodes of House of Cards, a political thriller starring Kevin Spacy, would be available to Netflix subscribers on Friday, the morning after 30 Rock bids adieu.
What’s next? Stay tuned!