NBC announced on Friday that it was pulling its primetime newsmagazine show Rock Center with Brian Williams for the rest of the month and left its future up in the air. The show will be replaced by reruns of Law and Order: SVU.
Rock Center has been struggling in the ratings since it debuted last year and continually trails ABC’s 20/20 program by more than two million viewers each week.
By replacing the show with Law and Order episodes, NBC is unlikely to do any better in the ratings during the important May sweeps, but it gives them an excuse for poor ratings and buys the network some time to consider retooling the show.
NBC is holding out the possibility that the show will return in the fall, but more as a fill-in show for programs that flop with viewers.
The network seems determined to do what it can to save the show in some capacity, despite the ratings, and achieve the goal of creating a franchise that will last 20 years, which is what David Corvo, Senior Executive Producer of Primetime News, said back in March that he wanted Rock Center to become.
At this rate, though, Rock Center will be lucky to get much past one year, much less 20.
UPDATE: NBC has decided to put Rock Center in the fall lineup after all. It will air on Thursday night’s at 10 p.m. facing off against procedural dramas from CBS and ABC which will make it even harder to achieve ratings success.