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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Analysis: ER, NBC Thursdays: In Critical Condition

NBC executives have to be asking themselves if they made a mistake renewing the decrepit ER for three more seasons.

Sure, it still has a sizable audience, but the show doesn't even win its timeslot in NBC's coveted key demo anymore. And the show's constant infusion of new blood isn't helping, nor (we guess) did the departure of seemingly 61-year old Noah Wyle.

Sure, it's easy to pile on now. NBC is down, big-time. But this show has been manipulative crap for years- maybe even since day one, and it was shortsighted for the network to dump three years worth of money into a show in such precipitous decline.

Now, NBC may finally be looking to get the paddles out and give a jolt to its flatlining patient: today's N.Y. Times suggests NBC may finally be ready to blow up the night, maybe moving the successful My Name Is Earl to establish a new comedy beach head. But that could be risky too- if the ratings fall, NBC may be killing its only new comedy hit. Earl helped lead NBC to another Tuesday win this week.

What happens to the unwatchable Joey, Trump's delapidated Apprentice and even ER is anyone's guess. And this is the last season for the overrared Will & Grace, which still performs respectably. Meaning there are no quick fixes for the 'cockers this time.

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