NBC’s Obsession With Predators Beginning To Resemble Predators’ Obsession With Children

predator_hansen_nbc.jpgNBC seems to have a thing for “predators.”

Despite recent questions raised by Radar regarding its business relationship with “Xavier Von Erck,” the founder of Perverted Justice and the catalyst for To Catch a Predator series on Dateline, it appears the lure of Predator‘s ratings are just too great. Next week, NBC Universal will air “The Predator Next Door” — a “provocative look into the lives and into the minds of sex offenders” — on MSNBC. The one-hour documentary, hosted by Lester Holt, is scheduled for Sept. 26 at 10PM EST.

A spokesperson for MSNBC says that despite the name and subject matter, The Predator Next Door is not related to the Dateline series: “This is an MSNBC production and done in a very different fashion — it does not set up potential offenders.”

So just how obsessed is NBC with predators?

The Catch a Predator series has now included seven sting operations. The network recently created a dedicated minisite for the series, including a blog for the show’s predator-nabbing host, Chris Hanson. (The site has tabbed more than 7 million page views and received 20,000 e-mails, according to NBC.) Predator has averaged 9.2 million viewers, more than Will & Grace (8.6 million) and The Office (7.9 million) — a ratings lure that has reportedly driven NBC to agree to pay “Von Erck” close to $100,000 per episode.

A Dateline spokesperson declined to comment on the findings in the Radar article.