Once a breeding ground for quality series ( The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Frasier, ER, Law & Order), NBC has been on a downward spiral for nearly a decade. Once Friends ended in 2004, the network’s Thursday night “Must-See TV” schedule withered away without any ratings powerhouses to replace it. In October 2006, after witnessing the success and relative little cost of Fear Factor, NBC decided to replace all 8 p.m. scripted series with reality shows. No other networks followed suit.
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Guiding NBC through this drop from first to fourth in the ratings was Jeff Zucker, who may, after the late-night rumble, now be the most hated man in television. He joined NBC in 2000 running the primetime line-up, and as he climbed the corporate ladder (from NBC Entertainment president to CEO of NBC and finally, president of NBC Universal) the network made increasingly baffling decisions, often preferring plotless star vehicles and cost-cutting measures over quality shows. Now that the debacle with Jay and Conan has blown up very publicly, and The Jay Leno Show deemed an unequivocal failure, it’s time to look back at a few of the peacock network’s most memorable duds.