News spread fast that USA’s BURN NOTICE pulled in 7.6M viewers for its Season Finale. I keep hearing or reading about some people thinking this is something that NBC would be jealous of. Is it?
Not really. However USA has to be extremely happy with the numbers. BURN NOTICE continues to just grow and grow for them. It was considered big when they topped 6M, and here they are at 7.6M and the show currently has no signs that it will quit growing. USA and cable in general continue to show market growth. USA in particular seems to be doing extremely well with their new show ROYAL PAINS.
BURN NOTICE premiered in 2007 for USA with only 4 Million viewers. It wasn’t exactly considered a huge hit, because just one year earlier PSYCH had premiered to 6.1 Million viewers. It did finish strong with 4.8M viewers but remained behind MONK and PSYCH in popularity on USA.
What a difference 2 years makes. MONK remains a solid performer (averages around 5.3M viewers) along with PSYCH pulling in decent numbers (generally averaging around 4.6M viewers) but BURN NOTICE kept growing. Season 2 premiered with the largest audience to date at the time with 5.3M viewers and it finished the season with 6.1M viewers. Then came season 3 which premiered to 6M and ended its summer run with 7.6M. The 6.2M it has averaged for the 3rd season make it the most watched show on USA.
NBC on the other hand has to wonder what BURN NOTICE would have done on the Peacock. I’ve personally thought it had a much better chance than MONK (the previous “hit,” show on USA) at getting viewers on “regular,” TV. MONK and PSYCH have both been tested on NBC (and MONK started on ABC if my memory isn’t too foggy) unsuccessfully. BURN NOTICE however is a much easier sell. I’ve often joked that if it was on CBS it would have 15M viewers.
However the sad fact remains that the 7.6M total viewers who tuned in to BURN NOTICE on Thursday provided numbers that were higher than the series averages of a vast majority of NBC shows from last season. In fact it nearly matched 30 ROCK’s average for last season. The numbers in the 18-49 range however are not anything NBC would like to duplicate. The show pulled a 2.1 which is something NBC wouldn’t really be jealous of.
All this talk proves is just how bad NBC has fallen. It also helps show why the recent decision of Jeff Gaspin as the new head of NBC was made. Gaspin oversaw the rise of USA and in particular helped BURN NOTICE blossom. It should be interesting to see if NBC can find any a way to stimulate growth the way USA has.