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Hitting Where it Hurts — “The Book of Daniel” No Hit With Advertisers

My commentary today is about the NBC drama, “The Book of Daniel.” Here is a news story from MediaWeek that gets to the bottom line of what the network is discovering after the show’s opening episode — advertisers aren’t buying it.

From MediaWeek: NBC aired just 23 commercials spanning 12.5 minutes over the two-hour premiere of its controversial new series Book of Daniel on Friday (Jan. 6) night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. That’s just over six minutes of commercials per hour or about half the usual load of commercials for network prime time, according to network and agency sources.

More: The network filled the rest of the time that would normally go to commercials with promotional spots for it own shows, including several promo blocks that ran two minutes or longer promoting multiple shows.

Finally: An NBC spokeswoman said network had anticipated some shortfall in ads given the controversial nature of the program. “Advertisers tend to take a wait and see attitude” with such shows, she said. What they tend to wait for is how well the show does in the ratings. If the numbers are good, sponsors tend to climb on board despite the controversy, the spokeswoman said. Daniel’s premiere was less than spectacular however, placing a close third in the ratings among adults 18 to 49 behind both CBS and ABC.

These figures speak a language the networks can understand.