'Heroes' Can't Save NBC From Ad Refunds

Dismal fall ratings, writers' strike prompt unusual move
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 12, 2007 12:49 PM CST
Gretchen Egolf, left, Kevin McKidd, center, and Moon Bloodgood, stars of "Journeyman" pose for photographers. It hasn't drawn expected ratings this year.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – With a lack of fall blockbusters keeping its ratings down and the writers' strike jeopardizing current and future offerings, NBC is giving money back to advertisers for prime time underperformers, the Wall Street Journal reports. Typically, networks give advertisers additional spots—“make goods"—when shows fail to draw. Analysts say NBC is wise to act now rather than risk falling into a bigger hole.

The refunds cover shows from September 2006 to May 2007. NBC, which sold much of this fall’s advertising slots in spring and early summer, hasn’t had good returns on new series like  "Chuck," "Life," and "Bionic Woman," making it tough to offer make goods. It remains unclear whether other networks are in similar predicaments.