News Briefs: NBC Wins November Sweeps for the First Time in Almost a Decade

By Tim Surette

Nov 21, 2012


... NBC's strong 2012 season continues with today's news that the network, which has been a laughing stock for much of the last decade as it's fallen from its perch, won November sweeps for the first time since 2003. Led by the ratings success of top reality show The Voice, top new show Revolution, and top overall program Sunday Night Football, the network beat out overall audience winner CBS with an average 2.8 rating in the adult demo. NBC will probably sink like a rock beginning next month, when it (temporarily) says goodbye to the three shows mentioned above while they go on hiatus (Revolution and The Voice are scheduled to return in March). Almost all of the networks are having trouble this season, at least by traditional ratings measurements, as DVR and online viewing increase and cable offerings make broadcast television look pretty silly. [Deadline Hollywood]


... Fox is developing a comedy called The Happy Tree, about a young lawyer who becomes the leading advocate for legalizing marijuana. The producers of Entourage are behind the project. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Saturday Night Live's Kenan Thompson is teaming with producer Lorne Michaels for a primetime project. The comedy would star Thompson as a man who moves in with his in-laws, proving that Hollywood is never out of fresh, hip ideas. Thompson has been on the NBC sketch show for 10 years. [TV Guide]

... You've wanted to see Gary Sinise and Ted Danson share the screen ever since you flipped between channels and saw Cheers and Forrest Gump on the same day while you were sick with the mumps, and now you'll get your wish. CBS will air a pair of crossover episodes between Danson's CSI and Sinise's CSI: NY in early February. The impetus to blend the two cousin-shows will come from Sinise's Detective Mac Taylor as he searches for his missing girlfriend in Vegas, where Danson's D.B. Russell will help him out. Look for the crossovers on the February 6 episode of CSI and February 8 episode of CSI: NY. [EW]

... The Elmo underage sex scandal continues, as Kevin Clash, the voice of the popular Sesame Street puppet, has resigned from his job. The decision comes in the wake of a second young man accusing Clash of a sexual relationship, in this case when the accuser was 15 years old. Last week, the first accuser recanted his statement after an out-of-court settlement for $125,000, but the man has since regretted his decision and wishes to take back the recanted claim. There is absolutely nothing fun about this story. [TMZ]


... Former House star Hugh Laurie is in discussions to join NBC's pirate drama Crossbones. The series, from Luther creator Neil Cross, has received a 10-episode order and follows a cabal of guys who like to say "Arrrr" and wear parrots on their shoulders while gallivanting around the Caribbean. Laurie would play famous pirate Blackbeard and most importantly be able to use his native British accent. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Brian Dennehy is joining Showtime's The Big C for its final season. He'll be featured in one of the four episodes—yep, there are only four—as the father of lead character Cathy. [Showtime via press release]

... The Walking Dead has cast one of its more popular comic-book characters, and it's a good one. Chad Coleman, who played Cutty on The Wire (and who also had a part in Fox's I Hate My Teenage Daughter if you want to be a dick), will play Tyreese, who was introduced fairly early in the comics. There's a chance we'll see him before the show's midseason break. [TV Overmind]

... Veep's Anna Chlumsky will guest-star on NBC's Hannibal, which is slated to debut in the midseason. She'll play a young FBI agent in training. [TV Line]

... Fox's The Mindy Project is getting a makeover and will scuttle a few characters to try and inject some freshness to the series. Amanda Setton, who plays Shauna, is being let go altogether, and Anna Camp, who plays Mindy bestie Gwen, is being demoted to recurring status. [TV Line]

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  • ludoTV Nov 21, 2012

    WOW - NBC with its terrible shows (except Community, a show they of course f*** around with) wins the sweeps... No wonder network tv is in trouble...

    Hugh Laurie a pirate? Most definitely possible...

  • remediosbuendia Nov 21, 2012

    Hugh Laurie as Blackbeard sounds awesome. Also, it's by the same guy who created Luther, so there's that as well.

  • rishabhpb Nov 21, 2012

    Come on Hugh Laurie! Go back to doing sketch comedy, or any comedy! You're too good for a pirate show on NBC!

  • dragon22a Nov 21, 2012

    Anna Clumsky is playing a "FBI agent in training." I wonder if this is a young Clarice Starling.

  • quasar9 Nov 21, 2012

    I will watch anything with Hugh Laurie in it.

  • torque_smacky Nov 21, 2012

    Everybody else on The Mindy Project is just there to react to Mindy so.....they could replace Gwen with a large dog in a wig and get out of some SAG regulations.

  • FringeFanatic Nov 21, 2012

    NBC won November sweeps? That's about as likely as Hugh Laurie playing Blackbeard ... Wait, what?

  • Taccado Nov 21, 2012

    NBC won November sweeps? Does that mean that the NBC's janitors spent the least amount of time cleaning out of all networks' sanitary personnel?

    Amanda Setton leaving The Mindy Project was apparently due to "creative differences". I wish they would give a proper reason instead of that one. Creative differences is essentially like "irreconcilable differences" in a divorce, it doesn't say anything. What possible creative differences could there have been?

  • docspector Nov 21, 2012

    I think it's obvious... Comcast uses remote control on the cable boxes of it's subscribers to switch channels to NBC stations in the Nielsen metered homes. Obviously, the ability to use this technology is why they bought NBC instead of a successful network.

  • SokkaAppa Nov 21, 2012

    I've tried my best but I still don't understand what the sweep are.. Any help?

  • Chrispin1 Nov 21, 2012

    From wikipedia:

    "Seven-day diaries (or eight-day diaries in homes with DVRs) are mailed to homes to keep a tally of what is watched on each television set and by whom. Over the course of a sweeps period, diaries are mailed to a new panel of homes each week. At the end of the month, all of the viewing data from the individual weeks is aggregated."

  • SokkaAppa Nov 21, 2012


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