Ratings: Olympics Hit (a High) Low, Plus the Latest on Newsroom, Breaking Bad and Animals

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NBC’s (admittedly critiqued) coverage of the Olympics in London — which to date has been regularly trumping the Beijing 2008 numbers and hitting highs for a non-U.S. summer games — delivered an inevitable low on Monday night.

Drawing 26 million total viewers and an 8.1 demo rating, NBC’s coverage was down 18 and 24 percent week-to-week and off 4 percent from the comparable night in Beijing (which is not a Murray Head song).

That said, I reiterate: NBC averaged 33.6 million viewers through the Games’ first 10 nights (through Sunday), so to quote Vivian Ward: Big. Huge.

RELATED | Olympics Watch: What Was Your Favorite Moment From London 2012, Day 10?

Elsewhere on Monday, ABC’s Bachelor Pad hit series lows of 3.38 mil/1.0, while The Glass House tied its own lows, with 1.64 mil and a 0.6.

RECAP | Bachelor Pad: Sex, Fug and Rocky Road

Lastly, bring you up to speed on some Sunday cable fare, per the good fellas at TVByTheNumbers.com: Army Wives‘ 100th episode was flat at 2.82 mil/0.9, The Newsroom‘s arguably best episode to date (1.76 mil/0.8) ticked up a tenth in the demo, Breaking Bad (2.3 mil/1.2) gained a tenth and Political Animals (1.8 mil/0.4) grabbed a few extra eyeballs.

RELATED | Political Animals: Could Buzz Offset Soft Ratings and Beget a Season 2? And With the Same Cast?



Comments (29)

  • Suffering from a bit of Olympic fatigue, especially when they seem to always show gymnastics in the last hour of coverage…watched the replay of the USWNT’s win over Canada instead. Amazing match!

    Comment by KBC – August 7, 2012 01:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Olympics seem to be front-loaded with many of the big events already finished. Last night was the first night I didn’t tune in.

    Comment by LOL – August 7, 2012 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The swimming ended on Saturday and there was only one women’s gymnastics event on Monday, so it’s not surprising the ratings fell. Those are probably the most popular Olympic sports in terms of tv viewing

    Comment by anon – August 7, 2012 01:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Think 100m final might be a tiny little bit more popular………….by like a billion more viewers.

      Comment by David – August 7, 2012 06:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s ’cause you live in the US. Here in Brazil, the Olympics are just beginning as we go through quarters, semis and finals of court and beach volleyball and soccer :))))

      Comment by Barbie Furtado – August 8, 2012 12:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Which reminds me, GO WATCH VOLLEYBALL! Both the men’s and women’s court volleball teams are AMAZING! Seriously, they’re favorites for the finals! :)

      Comment by Barbie Furtado – August 8, 2012 12:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to admit that I’m confused about how they are covering the evenings. Has the individual events for gymnastics always been strung out this long over this many nights? I’m old enough that I’ve seen a LOT of Olympics, but this seems to be more difficult than normal. With 4 hours of coverage and only 1 event, it’s easy to get distracted or give up because you have to work in the morning.

    I know NBC has to make their money and all, but getting the midnight thing seems like overkill, especially when everything is on delay anyway.

    It seems a shame that with all these channels and hours, we’ve still managed to miss things and aren’t sure if it’s us or that they just aren’t showing them. My spouse loves the field events in Track & Field but damn if we can find them. (We don’t watch online).

    I had to delete the NBC Apps I had because they ended up spoiling an event for us.

    I wish there was a clearly labeled SPOILER FREE app or website. Heck, I got spoiled by the 60 Minutes website on Sunday night?!

    Comment by E – August 7, 2012 01:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They should have rebroadcast USA v Canda women’s soccer match.

    Comment by hannibal – August 7, 2012 01:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Two of the biggest Olympic sports, Swimming and Gymnastics have ended. Not surprising that the ratings are down. I don’t really see much of a draw for a lot of the other sports. Closing ceremonies will probably draw a big number.

    Comment by Poppy – August 7, 2012 01:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • In my case, it’s true. Those two sports are the reasons why I watch the Olympics. Now that Phelps and the Fab Five have ended their runs, everything else is just a casual tuning in for me

      Comment by Sha – August 7, 2012 06:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The last 2 episodes of the Newsroom have been pretty awesome. HBO and Sorkin are giving us great TV.

    Comment by Tony S – August 7, 2012 01:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Totally agree!!

      Comment by Melanie – August 7, 2012 03:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to agree with some of the posters. My favorite events have pretty much ended and I’m exhausted from staying up til midnight every night…and that’s to see events that we all know the results. It’s ridiculous but I remember that they did it when our own Olympics on US soil were tape delayed. Really???? With gymnastics over tonight, I’m about to get my life back and start watching stuff off of my DVR!

    Comment by Lisa – August 7, 2012 02:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hate watching tape delayed sports. Chances are high the results will be spoiler and once they are I have no desire to watch it. I also don’t want to tie up my prime time Tv viewing every night for two weeks watching my sports. If NBC has to delay showing events the least they can do is tell us what time events will start and what channel. I won’t watch online and I’ve missed a lot of events after getting frustrated and just giving up.

    Comment by The Mf'n Batman – August 7, 2012 02:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ve taken to watching the Olympics events I enjoy the day after. NBC has no clear and sensible schedule and it’s been exhausting trying to keep up when everything I love about the Olympics gets packed into the final hour. Some of us have early mornings.

    That said, glad to see Breaking Bad & Political Animals gain some viewers.

    Comment by Mína – August 7, 2012 02:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Political Animals was heartbreaking this week and it was so beautifully done. Sebastian Stan did some remarkable work.
    .
    Here’s hoping for a renewal!!

    Comment by mia – August 7, 2012 02:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • All the Canadians threw their tv’s out in a rage at the ridiculous reffing at the ladies soccer game.
    .
    Simply fantastic game played by both sides (and I hope it brings more fans to women’s professional sports in the future), but the ref made some horrific calls that Canada won’t soon forget.

    Comment by mia – August 7, 2012 02:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That ref was completely throwing the game in favour of the US. Christine Sinclair single-handedly made 3 brilliant goals, us team won by penalty kicks.

      Comment by Sha – August 7, 2012 06:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I keep watching less and less Olympics as we get closer to the end. Not because events I want to see are done, but because the freaking spoilers from media outlets that just manage to find me whether I’m looking for them or not (most blame here goes to MSN whenever I need to log on to use Messenger with their stupid popup news window) kills all desire to see the event. The only suspense I have at this point is, to quote Stephen Colbert, “Did the cameras catch all the action? Will my cable go out?” In fairness, my cable did go out one night and that was pretty suspenseful! Is this seriously how the Olympics are going to be from here on out til the end of time? With it being an international event and with time zone changes, I can’t imagine there will be too many opportunities for networks to air events live in the future. I think there’s always going to be some kind of tape delay going on.

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – August 7, 2012 03:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well at least 2020. That’s how long NBC has the contract. Maybe in Rio we can get live coverage.

      Comment by JB Smooove – August 7, 2012 03:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have watched more of the olympics this year but as far as I am concerned NBC just doesn’t do a good job. Most people work and staying up til midnight is not happening for me or for a lot of people. I have been very discouraged. I did try to stay up for the award ceremony for Phelps last medal but gave up and recorded it. I am glad I did because I didn’t see they showed it on TV. I was also watching USA mens beach volleyball last night. I saw the first game and it went to commercial. Then when they came back from commercial they didn’t go right back to the game. I switched the channel and never went back. NBC is basically killing their own ratings. I also saw that an exec at NBC had said that since people were watching, then they must be happy with NBC. But its not like we can change the channel to CBS or ABC to watch, is it?

    Comment by Vi – August 7, 2012 04:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Any news on a Political Animals renewal as of yet? The limited run is almost ending? hoping for another season

    Comment by kiks – August 7, 2012 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love the Vivian Ward shout out!!! Ha!

    Comment by Jacob – August 7, 2012 05:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Did you really just reference Pretty Woman?! LoL
    Love it!
    …I’ve gotta go shopping now.

    Comment by Norman – August 7, 2012 06:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So sick of volleyball …..

    Comment by forwarddad – August 7, 2012 06:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NBC handling of the Olympics has been terrible… Thank God I found a great channel on Direct TV and I can enjoy suspenseful basketball both women and mens USA teams, and also enjoy soccer as well.
    Evetytime I have tuned into NBC its the same.. swimming, gymnastics,, more swimming and nothing else. Give the games back to ABC…

    Comment by Frederic – August 8, 2012 12:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sunday’s episode of Political Animals was by far the best one yet, but I do think it is a case of too little too late. Probably a first for USA Network, the scheduling could have been better on a weekday instead on Sunday with no lead whatsoever.

    Comment by Harry – August 8, 2012 01:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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