While its ratings paled in comparison to the 2012 London Olympics, this year’s Rio Olympics were a silver (if not gold) win for NBC. On average, there were 27.5 million watching during primetime via NBC’s broadcast network, the Internet and NBC’s cable channels.
Among the other winners this year: Retro-style game shows like ABC’s Match Game and $10,000 Pyramid — as always, audiences like to fill their summer nights watching game shows — as well as big cable shows like HBO’s The Night Of, which is becoming something of a phenomenon. There’s also Netflix’s Stranger Things, AMC’s Preacher and OWN’s Greenleaf (starring Ms. Oprah Winfrey herself).
U.S. broadcast TV’s scripted series have been faring less well. Shows like CBS’s Braindead (a new series) and NBC’s Aquarius (a returning series) have gotten less-than-terrific ratings and failed to create real buzz.
It also seems that in TV land, second time’s not a charm. This year’s sophomore seasons of shows like UNreal and Mr. Robot have seen falls in their ratings. Season two of FOX’s Wayward Pines was seen as basically a flop.
But it’s always important to look forward rather than back: The first of the new broadcast TV series to hit the air will be The Good Place, a comedy about a horrible woman who ends up in the afterlife for good people. NBC is hoping that the show, which will premiere September 19, will keep it in its own good place.
CBS will roll out Kevin Can Wait, a comedy starting King of Queens star Kevin James on the 19th as well, and FOX’s first scripted series of the new season will be Lethal Weapon. ABC’s first of the new season: Designated Survivor, which stars Kiefer Sutherland as commander in chief. CW will wait until October 4 to roll out its first new show of the season: No Tomorrow.