NBC’s highly anticipated primetime special with George W. Bush finished at the bottom of the network ratings heap on Monday night, faring worse in the 18-49 demographic than every episode of “Chuck” this season.
According to TV By the Numbers, NBC’s 1-hour “Matt Lauer Reports” averaged roughly 7 million viewers during in its 8:00 (EST) time slot. Final Nielsen ratings will be available later today but it appears certain that NBC will finish in last place for the time slot.
The special’s poor performance is probably due more to a lack of public interest in the former president than to the unpopularity of nighttime news specials. As TVNewser points out, the recent “60 Minutes” interview with Barack Obama drew 15.2 million viewers.
Ultimately it shows that even the popularity of NBC’s news programming–with “Today” and “Nightly News” regularly tops in their time slots–can’t help boost its ailing primetime schedule.