Wednesday, April 17, 2024

TV: NBC May Hand Dwayne The Rock Johnson Rare Defeat as “Young Rock” Can’t Find Prime Time Audience


Swayne “The Rock” Johnson is a big movie star, a huge draw in action films and light comedies when there is a box office.

He hasn’t had a failure in some time, but NBC may be handing him his first defeat shortly. “Young Rock,” the prime time series about The Rock growing up, is a bust in the ratings.

Last night, “Young Rock” in its six outing fell by 12.9 percent in total audience and almost 20% in the key demo, 18- 49, the audience it needs to attract.

Indeed, “Young Rock” has dropped 50% since its premiere six weeks ago.

Nothing about The Rock’s movie popularity is translating to the TV show.

And it’s a bigger problem than just The Rock. NBC put “Young Rock” in at 8pm to draw an audience at 8:30 for “SNL” star Kenan Thompson’s “Kenan” sitcom. This show is so awful, and also has no audience. Last night “Young Rock” drew 2.5 million viewers. Then “Kenan” got squashed at 1.9 million.

“Kenan” is the wrong setting for Thompson, despite a strong cast. The writing and premise are terrible. Kenan needs to host a variety show. He is so talented, and deserves to be a star. But this sitcom thing is not for him. He’s bound and constrained. Let him just be Kenan. And whoever thought Don Johnson should be in this needs to reconsider their career. Yikes.

As for The Rock, a cancellation for “Young Rock” will just be brushed off. But if the show drops below 2.5 I don’t see how or why NBC would keep it on. There are five episodes left in the original order of 11.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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