Much Ado About Nothing: Low Ratings for NBC’s Controversial “The Wanted”

By Andrew Gauthier 

It appears that the critical analysis of the integrity of NBCs new terrorism-chasing show, “The Wanted,” may in the end be much ado about nothing as the documentary program struggled mightily in its debut.

The show has been compared to the NBC series, “To Catch a Predator,” which also attempts to entrap criminals who have managed to avoid actual law-enforcement officials. Many critics found the show to be of dubious intent, and questioned its journalistic integrity, especially since it comes out of NBC’s news division.

Perhaps the problem isnt in the ethics, but in the execution. According to the New York Times Alessandra Stanley, “the only journalistic rule that NBC News violates in Mondays premiere is the most basic one: Dont bury the lead Reporting on ‘The Wanted’ keeps being pushed aside by the demands of show business.”


NBC may want to consider the demands of its viewers above all. The show premiered to dismal ratings. TV By the Numbers reports only 2.99 million tuned in, and in the 18-49 demographic, it received a .8 rating. With numbers like these, NBC may have to cancel the show before it even tests the lawsuit waters.