McEnroe Double Faults

On TV, John McEnroe isn’t even up to test pattern standards…

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) – Patience is the watchword at CNBC, despite low ratings for the cable channel’s fledgling primetime lineup, especially tennis star-turned-talker John McEnroe, whose show has twice registered a 0.0 rating.

For years, CNBC has been trying to find a primetime identity apart from its markets-and-business focus so familiar to daytime viewers. Beginning with “Dennis Miller” this year and continuing last month with the debut of “McEnroe,” CNBC has tried a different tack. “McEnroe” premiered — amid heavy promotion and plugs by NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker — on July 7 to a 0.3 household rating and 266,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Since then, the 10 p.m. talk show’s ratings haven’t been all that much to write home about. It’s failed to hold an audience from its lead-in, “Dennis Miller.” And in recent weeks “McEnroe” achieved a mark of dubious distinction, once on July 27 during the Democratic National Convention and again Aug. 2, with a 0.0 household rating. The average audience for “McEnroe” hit a low of 39,000 on July 27. Monday’s show averaged 66,000 viewers with a 0.1 household rating.

“When you’re trying to do something as unique as we are during primetime, you have to look at it over time,” CNBC senior vp primetime Bob Meyers said. “We want to hold on to our business day audience, and expand upon that.”
The numbers say they’re failing.

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