The Slap-By The Numbers

Since its premiere, The Slap has enjoyed modest ratings. It dipped a bit when it changed timeslots, but for the most part, it has stayed pretty consistent between 3 and 3.5 million viewers with a 0.7-0.8 rating. However, these are not the only numbers that matter. The show has benefited greatly from L+3 viewings. For 2 weeks in a row, The Slap saw a 51% increase in viewers with L+3 numbers. This meant that it gained 1-1.1 million viewers with this delay. In this era of changing viewing habits, these are not numbers that should be ignored.

The show also has a 116 index of adults living in homes with $100K incomes. This upscale audience is likely to bring in desirable advertisers for NBC, which could be a contributing factor as to why the show hasn’t gotten cancelled. If the network is making money from advertisers, they won’t worry as much about the modest ratings.

American Odyssey: The Beginning

NBC American Odyssey

On Sunday April 5, 2015 NBC will premiere its new intelligence drama series American Odyssey in the 10 pm slot.  American Odyssey is the story of female American Sargent Odelle Ballard (Anna Friel) fighting jihadists in North Africa and her struggle to return home to her family in America. Two other Americans, attorney Peter Decker (Peter Facinelli), and Harrison Walters (Jake Robinson) gets tangled up with the jihadists as well.


The full series, originally named Odyssey, was ordered originally at the NBC Upfronts in May along with Allegiance which has already been cancelled.  The show is a co-production between Universal Television, London based Red Arrow Entertainment and its US partners Fabrik Entertainment.  Red Arrow is part of the larger Red Arrow Entertainment group which is part of the German based ProSiebenSat.1 media group.  The series was created by Peter Horton, Adam Armus and Kay Foster who will serve as the shows executive producers.  Both Armus and Foster were previously executive producers on The Following and Heroes. The show was shot in Morocco and New York.


The main character is played by Anna Friel, a British actress best known for her role in the ABC television series Pushing Daisies.  The other two lead characters are played by Peter Facinelli and Jake Robinson.  Facinelli gained a large following after his role in the Twilight movies as the father vampire Carlisle.  Robinson has appeared in many episodes of the show The Carrie Diaries, the prequel to Sex in the City.  An interesting thing about the show is that it was shot in Morocco and some casting was done there as well.  Omar Ghazaoui who will play Aslam is a Moroccan teenager who was chosen during casting in Morocco.  This will be his first professional acting role.


American Odyssey will be up against Revenge on ABC and Battle Creek on CBS for the Sunday 10pm slot. Last week Revenge received a 1.1 rating/3 share with 4.42 million viewers total in 18-49 which is pretty standard for how it has been performing all season.  Dateline will be the lead-in for American Odyssey which has averaged around 5 million viewers in the past few weeks in 18-49 which is the highest that its been since January, according to TV By the Numbers.

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The Slap-Beyond the Screen

It seems as though The Slap is getting more comfortable in its new 10 pm timeslot on NBC. After taking a hit on 3/12 and dropping to 2.74 million viewers with a 0.6/2 rating, it rose closer to the numbers from previous weeks with 3.18 million viewers and a 0.7/2 rating. With 2 episodes left, I expect the ratings to stay around this zone.

The Slap was recently prominently featured in a New York Times article. A woman who lives in Brooklyn (where the show takes place) was walking down the street and nearly run over by a young boy on a scooter, prompting her to yell an expletive at the child. His mother was appalled but the “victim’s” community (read: Facebook friends) supported her actions, some even feeling she didn’t go far enough. It seems these kinds of discussions on parenting styles are being fueled by the show. Even if they haven’t seen it, the people of Brooklyn have an opinion. One resident said, “These are some of the most hateful people you will find, until, of course you leave your apartment.” So even if The Slap isn’t winning in the ratings, they seem to have struck a cord of realism, at least in their New York setting.

The Slap–New Timeslot

Following the cancellation of another new show, AllegianceThe Slap moved to NBC’s 10 pm timeslot on March 12th. This perhaps would have been the slot to start off the show, not to move it to halfway through the episodes. Due to its slightly risque subject matter and somewhat explicit scenes, the 10 pm slot makes more sense for the miniseries. The change also led to a drop in the already low numbers. The show lost over a million viewers when it aired at 10. Perhaps this is also because NBC didn’t properly advertise the change. I only knew about it because I read the trades and am looking out for news about the show. I never saw any advertisements informing viewers that the show would now be on at 10. These ratings also seem to indicate that there is little to no chance of a second season. Since it has been dubbed a miniseries, NBC will likely air the remaining episodes but that will be all we see of The Slap.

The Slap – Post 4

This week, ratings for The Slap are down yet again. Its rating declined by 0.1, which is not as bad as the week before, but still is not ideal. However, Bob Greenblatt, head of NBC Entertainment, has no regrets about the show. He told Variety earlier this week, “I’m very happy with the critical acclaim and the quality of “The Slap.” I’m not going to regret doing something that is really high quality, but I am disappointed in the rating not being higher.” NBC is standing behind its programming, even if viewers are not flocking to it as they hoped.

One reason for this lack of viewers could be the show’s lackluster social media activity. Their Twitter, at just under 4,500 followers, does not really interact with the viewers. Instead, it live tweets during the show and posts about the upcoming episode. Occasionally, it will retweet a kind word from a viewer, but this does not seem to promote much audience engagement. Perhaps, if it had a larger social media presence, more people would know about the show and get excited about it.

The Slap Premieres

The Slap premiered last Thursday to less than stellar ratings. It earned a 1.1 rating, with a 4 share in the 18-49 group. Its total viewership was 5.1 million overall. It had a decent amount of competition, which is important to consider. It went up against ratings powerhouse The Big Bang Theory, which got higher numbers despite being a repeat. On Fox and ABC, it was up against American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy respectively, two shows with a loyal and established audience. On the bright side, The Slap was NBC’s second best regular programming timeslot result this season. Time will tell if it get gain an audience in the coming weeks.

As far as reviews for the show, it currently holds a 5.4/10 on IMDb. The reviews themselves are mixed, but most find the characters to be terrible people which could prove to be problematic. They also praise NBC for taking a risk and making a show one would expect to see on Showtime or HBO, not broadcast.

The Slap 2/12/15

With a recent trend towards limited series and event television, NBC is premiering The Slap next week. The 8-week series follows a group of family and friends in the aftermath of one fateful party, where one man slaps another couple’s child. Based on the Australian mini-series of the same name, it has a star-studded cast, including Peter Sarsgaard, Zachary Quinto and Uma Thurman. The controversial storyline could be a risk for network television, which rarely delves into this kind of psychological show.  NBC hopes the edgy subject matter will bring viewers in, even if just out of curiosity.

As far as publicity, NBC has a trailer on its site, as well as YouTube, where it has almost 4 million views. The show has a Twitter account (@TheSlap), mostly comprised of character bios and retweets from excited viewers. As the premiere date gets closer, more and more interviews and articles about The Slap are popping up. No reviews are up yet, so there’s no telling if it will be the awards darling the Australian series was. Even if it isn’t, it’s clear that NBC is pushing the boundaries of their usual content.

Allegiance: The Pilot

“Allegiance” Pilot Premiere

     NBC is changing up its usual Thursday night lineup from comedy to drama. “Allegiance” is a cold war era drama about an American family with secret ties to Russia. Before the premiere, the main buzz surrounding the show was about how similar it was going to be to FX’s show “The Americans”—also a cold war era themed spy show about a family living in America.

“Allegiance” premiered last week on February 5 at 10PM following “The Blacklist” to a disappointing audience. The premiere gathered a 1.1 rating for the 18-49 audience and a 4 share, with 4.98 million total viewers. “Allegiance” is up against “How to Get Away With Murder” on ABC which had a 2.7 rating and 8.34 million total viewers. The general consensus of the reviews were that the show is different enough from “The Americans”, but is still boring. I would not be surprised if Allegiance does not stay around for long! You can watch the pilot episode here and check out their official website.


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By: Chelsea DeCesare


The story of NBCUniversal goes back more than a century and involves the dreams of two visionary entrepreneurs, David Sarnoff, who founded NBC, and Carl Laemmle, who created Universal.

Carl Laemmle

NBCUniversal was formed in 2004 when NBC and Universal merged to create a media powerhouse co-owned by General Electric and Vivendi. With the company’s acquisition by Comcast in 2009, a third visionary entrepreneur, Ralph J. Roberts, joined the sides of   Sarnoff and Laemmle as a key figure in the annals of the company. Roberts started Comcast in 1963, after he bought a tiny cable system in Tupelo, Mississippi, setting in motion a remarkable American business success story.

Ralph J Roberts

Ralph J Roberts

All three companies were founded by men of modest backgrounds who were propelled by their visions of a new industry—movies, television, and cable distribution—and enthusiastic about the possibilities they represented for economic growth for the betterment of the community and people around them. Laemmle, Sarnoff, and Roberts dedicated themselves to turning their visions into the reality that represents Comcast and NBCUniversal in the present day.

comcast-logo-blackDavid Sarnoff was a radio visionary who through his work with RCA helped to make NBCUniversal into what it is today. In 1916, Sarnoff was a young Russian immigrant living in New York City. One day, he wrote a memo to his manager at the American Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. in New York City. In his “Radio Music Box” memo, Sarnoff imagined a world connected by wireless communication that would bring information and entertainment into the home. This audacious vision would become reality in 1926 with the first broadcast of the National Broadcasting Company.

David Sarnoff

Through the remainder of the twentieth century, these two companies, Universal Studios and NBC, would create extraordinary legacies of accomplishment in the exciting new worlds of motion picture production and distribution, location-based entertainment, and radio and television production and broadcasting.

On May 12, 2004, the parallel histories of the two companies converged, in the creation of a powerful new media entity, NBCUniversal. [1]

Parent Company

In December of 2009, the largest cable operator in the U.S, Comcast,  announced an agreement to acquire NBCUniversal from General Electric.

The deal valued NBCUniversal at around $30 billion, and has Comcast owning 51 percent and General Electric owning 49 percent of the NBCUniversal corporation. Comcast will contribute its own offering of cable channels, worth about $7.25 billion, and will pay General Electric about $6.5 billion in cash, for a total of $13.75 billion.

imagesOn January 18, 2011, the FCC and the United States Department of Justice officially approved the merger. [2]

Company Leaders

Stephen B. Burke Chief Executive Officer, NBCUniversal

Steve Burke oversees the company’s valuable portfolio of news, sports, and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks.

Burke assumed this role in January 2011, upon the closing of Comcast and General Electric’s joint venture merging the assets of NBC Universal with Comcast’s programming assets.

He previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Comcast Corporation, where he was a driving force in its growth from a cable industry leader to one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services. [3]

Matt_Bond_3x4-162x216Matt Bond, Executive Vice President, Content Distribution, NBCUniversal

Bond is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the company’s content portfolio, and managing the distribution relationships for NBCUniversal cable channels, owned-and-operated televisions stations, and other licensing responsibilities.

Prior to this, Matt held the position of Executive Vice President of Content Acquisition for Comcast, overseeing the company’s content acquisition efforts including the negotiation of programming agreements for cable systems serving more than 24 million customers.  Bond also led content acquisition for new media rights and strategic multiplatform initiatives, including On Demand Online. [4]

CROPPED_PAT1Patricia Fili-Krushel,Chairman, NBCUniversal News Group, NBCUniversal

Patricia Fili-Krushel serves as Chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, the most influential and respected portfolio of on-air and digital news properties in the world, reaching more than 120M viewers each month.  She reports directly to Steve Burke, CEO of NBC Universal.

The News Group includes such assets as NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and the Weather Channel as well as digital platforms including NBC News Digital, and

Previously, Ms. Fili-Krushel was Executive Vice President of NBC Universal with a broad portfolio of functions reporting to her, including Operations and Technical Services, Business Strategy, Human Resources and Legal. [5]

BobGreenblatt1Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment

Robert Greenblatt joined NBC Universal in January 2011 as Chairman, NBC Entertainment and reports to Steve Burke.  In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of prime time and late night programming, business affairs, West Coast research, marketing, public relations and scheduling for NBC and also oversees Universal Media Studios. [6]




Universal Pictures


  • Focus Features
  • Working Title Films
  • Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Universal Animation Studios
  • Illumination Entertainment [7]
NBC Universal Cable


Cable Network  

Approximate U.S.
Subscribers at
December 31, 2011

(in millions) (a)

     Description of Programming
USA Network     99       General entertainment
Syfy     98       Imagination-based entertainment
E!     98       Entertainment and pop culture
CNBC     97       Business and financial news
MSNBC     95       24 hour news
Bravo     95       Entertainment, culture and arts
Golf Channel     85       Golf competition and golf entertainment
Oxygen     78       Women’s interests
NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS)     76       Sports
Style     76       Lifestyle
G4     61       Gamer lifestyle
Chiller     42       Horror and suspense
CNBC World     40       Global financial news
Cloo (formerly Sleuth)     39       Crime, mystery and suspense
Universal HD     25       HD, general entertainment programming


NBC Sports Group



  • Comcast Sports Group
  • Golf Channel
  • NBC Sports
  • NBC Sports Digital Network [10]

Entertainment and Digital Networks and Integrated Media


  • Bravo Media
  • Oxygen Media
  • Style Media
  • Telemundo
  • mun2
  • PBS Kids Sprout
  • TVOne [11]

NBC Universal News Group


  • NBC News
  • CNBC
  • The Weather Channel [12]


Local Television News Stations

DMA Served (a)   Station    General Market  Rank (b)      Percentage of U.S.
Television Households (d)
New York, NY   WNBC      1         7
Los Angeles, CA   KNBC      2         5
Chicago, IL   WMAQ      3         3
Philadelphia, PA   WCAU      4         3
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX   KXAS (c)      5         2
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA   KNTV      6         2
Washington, D.C.   WRC      8         2
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL   WTVJ      16         1
San Diego, CA   KNSD (c)      28         1
Hartford, CT   WVIT      30         1


Parks and Resorts


  • Universal Orlando Resort
  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Universal Studios Japan
  • Universal Studios Singapore [14]

Digital Media



2013 Programming

RFL_KA_hoz_72dpi-570x3202013 Winter/Spring Series Premieres:
— New Drama “Deception” 
January 7
— New Comedy “1600 PennJanuary 10
— New Relationship Series “Ready for Love”  March 31

Anticipated Returns:
–“The Voice”  March 25/26
–“RevolutionMarch 25
–“The Biggest LoserJanuary 6/7
–“SmashFebruary 5
–“CommunityFebruary 7
–“The Celebrity ApprenticeMarch 3
–“Betty White’s Off Their RockersJanuary 8  [16]



1.) NBC Universal History                                                         

2.) Atlantic Magazine, “Comcast Buys GE Stake in NBCUniversal, Completing the ’30 Rock’ Prophecy.”                                                                           

3.) NBC Universal Senior Corporate Executives: Stephen B. Burke

4.) NBC Universal Senior Corporate Executives: Matt Bond        

5.) NBC Universal Senior Corporate Executives: Patricia Fili-Krushel

6.) NBC Universal Senior Corporate Executives: Robert Greenblatt

7.) Columbia Journalism Review: Who Owns What, Comcast Corporation

8.) Columbia Journalism Review: Who Owns What, Comcast Corporation

9.) NBC Universal Annual Shareholder’s Report                                       

10.) Columbia Journalism Review: Who Owns What, Comcast Corporation

11.) Columbia Journalism Review: Who Owns What, Comcast Corporation

12.) Columbia Journalism Review: Who Owns What, Comcast Corporation

13.) NBC Universal Annual Shareholder’s Report             

14.) Columbia Journalism Review: Who Owns What, Comcast          

15.) Columbia Journalism Review: Who Owns What, Comcast        

16.) NBC Reveals Changes for Mid-Season 2013