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0.0 Rating

Agent Risktaker

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NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Patience is the watchword at CNBC, despite low ratings for the cable channel's fledgling primetime lineup, especially tennis star-turned-talker John McEnroe, whose show has twice registered a 0.0 rating.

For years, CNBC has been trying to find a primetime identity apart from its markets-and-business focus so familiar to daytime viewers. Beginning with "Dennis Miller" this year and continuing last month with the debut of "McEnroe," CNBC has tried a different tack. "McEnroe" premiered -- amid heavy promotion and plugs by NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker -- on July 7 to a 0.3 household rating and 266,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Since then, the 10 p.m. talk show's ratings haven't been all that much to write home about. It's failed to hold an audience from its lead-in, "Dennis Miller." And in recent weeks "McEnroe" achieved a mark of dubious distinction, once on July 27 during the Democratic National Convention and again Aug. 2, with a 0.0 household rating. The average audience for "McEnroe" hit a low of 39,000 on July 27. Monday's show averaged 66,000 viewers with a 0.1 household rating.

CNBC executives said it's not necessarily about the ratings, particularly with "McEnroe." They're trying to win the whole match, not just an individual game.

"When you're trying to do something as unique as we are during primetime, you have to look at it over time," CNBC senior vp primetime Bob Meyers said. "We want to hold on to our business day audience, and expand upon that."

Brad Adgate, senior vp research at New York-based advertising agency Horizon Media, said the move toward personality-driven programing is a page right out of Fox News Channel's playbook. It's also being done by CNN and MSNBC.

Adgate said that low ratings aren't necessarily the kiss of death if, for instance, if the shows pull in a younger audience.

"Typically these shows have a tendency to skew older," he said. "It's not necessary to draw in a huge household rating as long as the composition holds up."

Both "Dennis Miller" and "McEnroe" are original this week and then will go on hiatus for the next two weeks, with repeats following CNBC's Olympic boxing coverage. But Meyers said that the network will use that opportunity to run heightened promotions for the show and put it into the rotation at 8 p.m. as well as its normal 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. slots.

"We're taking the long view and building this destination in prime," Meyers said.

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0.0? So what, is absolutely no one watching the show at all? That seems kind of sad, but since I never once watched the show, and haven't even heard of the show, I can't really say if the show is really bad or anything. But 0.0 bascially indicates that it is horrible.

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lol, i knew that the show existed, but i figured no one watched it, and i was right. Thats just really pathetic, i kinda feel bad for the guy.........but i sure as hell wont watch the show.

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To be fair, anyone that watches CNBC shouldn't have a television set...

I watch MacEnroe, and Dennis Miller. I respect Miller, I disagree with him because he's a lot farther right then I am, but he doesn't take shit or sugarcoat his opinion, he's very passionate, and I can respect that as even when he's sarcastic, he's intelligent.

MacEnroe isn't so great... it's pretty boring and at times unfunny. MacEnroe should be more self-depricating, liven up the mood a bit.

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