Now that the Olympic torch has been temporarily extinguished, NBC hopes that the viewership will carry over into the new fall lineup of dramas and comedies. According to the New York Times, the 2012 London Games averaged more than 30 million viewers each night, and over 200 million individual viewers total.
Most Americans who watched the Olympics are likely aware of the upcoming shows, as there was a barrage of ads for "The New Normal," "Chicago Fire" and "Revolution." In addition, two comedies – "Go On" and "Animal Practice" – were given commercial-free previews. "Go On" brought in 16 million viewers.
Alan Wurtzel, the top research executive for NBC, told the news source that using the Olympics as a promotional platform is valid, as it's very beneficial to have so many viewers for a select period of time. Carefully placing ads for new shows will get the word out there, he said.
Statistics show though, that the success rate of new programs debuting after the Olympics, often have a very small chance of getting signed for a second season.
For example, of the shows highlighted during the Beijing Games in 2008 – "Kath and Kim," "My Own Worst Enemy" and "Crusoe" – none of them made it past 17 episodes.
Regardless of low success rates in the past, Beckman said that when a program has a broad appeal, it will have a greater likelihood of working. When it has a narrow focus, then placing ads in front of 30 million viewers will only allow them to reject it faster.
While NBC has enough initial success to easily bounce back from shows failing at their debuts, not all companies will be so lucky. Working with a business continuity consultant can help ensure that regardless of any setbacks, the organization can find a way to continue forward and try for future successes.