NBC's 'The Apprentice: Los Angeles' debuts to lackluster ratings
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 01/09/2007
Depending on how you want to look at it, there was good news and bad news in the ratings numbers for NBC's premiere of Donald Trump's The Apprentice: Los Angeles.
Airing against significantly tougher Desperate Housewives and Without a Trace competition than last spring's The Apprentice 5 faced on Monday nights, Sunday night's special 90-minute premiere of The Apprentice's sixth season averaged 9.1 million overall viewers and an 4.1/10 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic, according to "live plus same day" in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.
While the Adults 18-49 figure represented a 5% increase over last February's premiere of The Apprentice's fifth edition, the total viewers figure was roughly 600,000 viewers fewer than the show's fifth season debut -- a number that, despite the increased ABC and CBS competition, probably wasn't exactly the ratings rebound that NBC was hoping for after deciding to put the show on a seven-month hiatus.
Although The Apprentice: Los Angeles' premiere ratings also dropped significantly from its Grease: You're the One That I Want lead-in, there was some additional good news for the show.
The special 90-minute premiere (the show will air regularly from 9-10PM beginning next week) did grow its numbers throughout its broadcast -- particularly at 10PM once ABC's Housewives ended. From its first half-hour to its third, the episode built by 25% in the Adults 18-49 demographic, from a 3.6/8 rating/share to a 4.5/11 rating/share, and by 10% in overall viewers, from 8.6 million to 9.5 million.
While The Apprentice: Los Angeles came in a distant third in the Adults 18-49 demographic during its first half-hour (behind Housewives and Fox's Family Guy), it recovered during its second half-hour (despite an unplanned late afternoon NFL football broadcast overrun that kept Fox's primetime schedule on past 10PM ET/PT in many markets) and finished a close second behind only ABC's Brothers & Sisters
Although The Apprentice's final half-hour still finished third among total viewers, it won the 10:30-11PM ET/PT time period in several key demographics, including Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34, Men 18-49, Men 18-34, Men 25-54, and Men 12-17. Overall, The Apprentice generated NBC's highest non-sports rating in the time period since November 6, 2005.
Last season's The Apprentice 5 averaged 9.9 million viewers during its twelve episode Monday night run.
DISCUSS AND COMMENT ON THIS STORY Reality TV World now offers Facebook Comments on our stories. To post a comment, log into Facebook and then 'Add' your comment. To report spam or abuse, click the 'X' in the upper right corner of the comment box. Get more Reality TV World! Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or add our RSS feed.