The Buzz

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The Buzz beamed when CNBC's "sleeper hit" of the summer, "The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch," was moved to a prime-time Wednesday spot starting Sept. 8. After all, reps for the show said it increased ratings in the adult (25 to 54) demo by 325% in the first six weeks of its summer run, and it might stop the ad biz from pining for higher-visibility characters.

But audiences don't seem to have followed the show. A Nielsen Media Research executive tells the Buzz that for two of the past five weeks, "The Big Idea" has "scratched"-a term for shows that don't command enough viewership to gain a Nielsen rating. For the past five weeks, beginning Sept. 8, the show earned a 0.1 rating three times. For the weeks of Sept. 15, and Sept. 29 it didn't warrant a rating.

The combination of the election and ABC's "Lost" could well explain the problem. And CNBC is bullish on Donny, saying he is a big part of its plans for prime time. A spokeswoman said that over the past 10 weeks, the show has increased by 18% in its key demo (25-54), hitting 58,000 homes on average.

Longer-term ratings have been slightly better than those in the last few weeks. The show has reached 71,000 households and garnering a 0.1 rating-better than "McEnroe," seen in 57,000 households over the same period.

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