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NBC's 'Grimm' Promotion: We're #1 -- Sort Of...
November 11, 2011  | By David Bianculli

NBC hasn't been able to celebrate much this season, but it's trying its best to make the most of a grim fall 2011 development season -- the highlight of which, ironically, appears to be Grimm. The network is touting the new drama series, which premiered two weeks ago, as "Friday's #1 New Show." Well, maybe. Sort of...

First of all, that's a fairly meager achievement anyway. On Fridays this fall, almost all the series on the network schedules are returning shows. The only other "New" show, in fact, is A Gifted Man on CBS, which airs at 8 p.m. ET. Grimm, on NBC, is televised at 9 ET.

So merely by showing up, Grimm is destined to win either the gold or the silver. It reminds me a bit of those late-night TV ads, a few decades ago, that touted Zamfir as "the world's #1 pan flutist." I wondered then, and still wonder now: Who's #2?

But in the case of A Gifted Man vs. Grimm, the championship belt is far from uncontested.


Last week, in its second telecast, Grimm drew an estimated 5.9 million viewers (down from its premiere tally, the week before, of 6.5 million). The same night, on CBS, A Gifted Man drew 8.39 million -- almost 2.5 million more viewers than Grimm.

So how, other than in a land of make believe, can NBC claim that Grimm is "Friday's No. 1 Show"? Because in the 18-49 demo, Grimm claims 1.8 million viewers. A Gifted Man, over on the more advanced-age CBS network, claims only 1.2 million.

So Grimm, in two outings, has beaten the only other new series in the field on Friday night -- according to one specific measure, at least.

But wait, as they say on TV -- that's not all!

Grimm also has the critics behind it. Well, kinda. Once again, victory can be claimed only when looking at things with a very narrow focus.

The current on-air NBC promo for Grimm, after celebrating its #1 status, quote from some of its "rave" reviews. The first few come from actual print and online publications, whose praise is, as quoted, highly qualified. The Hollywood Reporter, for example, is quoted, in full, as describing Grimm as "scares and thrills."

That's it. In context, the review credited the show as having "a lot of scares and thrills," so the pull-out quote isn't misleading. But it's not as exuberant, say, as the other quotes in the NBC promo -- but look who, and where, they comes from.


Twitter feeds.

"Perfect blend of suspense, comedy & horror," says @!Lovelacewigs -- which is nice. It's also nonexistent, according to Twitter. The closest to that account is @lovelacewig, a business that makes wigs in Houston, TX.

Not exactly what I'd consider the Pauline Kael of TV advice. But if you need more rave reviews, NBC supplies them: other Twitter posts, from @ayden2408 and @Horngate -- the latter of whom sums up Grimm in "One word Fantastic!"

Thanks, Horngate. I'll take that under advisement.

I can sum up NBC's promo campaign for Grimm in one word, also.


And I mean that literally...




Mara said:

I am sorry to comment on Best Bets here, but Eileen has done it so here goes...

I have just been so bothered by the characterization by the media of the events at Penn State as a "sex scandal" that to see it find its way here was especially upsetting. It was the perpetration and the subsequent cover-up of child rape, plain and simple, and to use the same words as one would for Herman Cain or Anthony Weiner does an injustice to all involved. And yet the fact remains that whatever we choose to call it, I am sure it will result in record viewership numbers.

[I appreciate your sensitivity to the issue, Mara, and your point is well taken. But in the brevity required in a BEST BETS paragraph, I felt it defensible: Sex WAS involved, and it certainly IS a scandal. The point, in this case, was not to point out the game as entertainment, but as an opportunity to see how the players, coaches, fans and especially the sportscasters would respond to the national spotlight. As for a place to comment on BEST BETS, that's coming. Honest. It's one of my New Year's resolutions. And for 2012, in case you're skeptical! - DB]

Comment posted on November 12, 2011 2:45 PM

Mara said:

Thanks for acknowledging my comment. I think I am just so fed up with the media's coverage of just about everything right now that when I came here for my daily dose of sanity and found what seemed to be the same language, I felt the need to comment. I have always appreciated the thoughtfulness of your words and your selections, and I look forward to the forthcoming (I believe you!) Best Bets comment section to open up the discussion even more. (Although I hope SNL is wrong about Satan being responsible for the comments feature on the internet!)

[Satan is too busy with other stuff. The shrink wrap on CDs, for example. - DB]

Comment posted on November 13, 2011 1:47 PM

Rich said:

awwwwe- this cracks me up! I could get behind this campaign if they were doing it "tongue & cheek" but it sounds like they're actually crowing about it.

They could take it a step further and be like, "There's gonna be a lot of elves & imitation mystical creatures hanging around your TV this holiday season but our show takes them seriously and we're #1 in more gingerbread houses & castles so don't be fooled by the imitators!!" or "Hey, we don't whore our creatures & cast out to sell toys, candy, and chocolates: 'Grimm' keeping it real every Friday on NBC". My fav is "Hey remember when you loved watching "Cheers", "Seinfeld", and "Friends" on NBC? Well, now things are pretty 'Grimm'.

I think the rejected ad-slogans were: "Relax!, No Eliza Dushku here!" and "Stuck at home on a Friday night is pretty 'Grimm,'" and "We're like a twisted step-cousin of 'CSI' honest!" - I actually liked "Hey Watch this show before we dump it on the SyFy Channel!" which was to be followed by "If you watch long enough, Summer Glau will appear eventually! Promise!".

[Rich, I'm beginning to think you may have a bit too much free time on your hands. But your cynicism, if used for good and not evil, clearly could be a good thing. - DB]

Comment posted on November 14, 2011 1:19 AM
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