Despite a Demo Rating That Seems to Have Suddenly Fallen Into a Sinkhole, NBC Renews 'La Brea' for Season 3

NBC series 'La Brea'
(Image credit: NBCUniversal)

Dr. Seuss' 1954 children's book Horton Hears a Who! introduced many of us as youngsters to the concept that infinite complexity and nuance can be found even in the tiniest of things. 

Perhaps that's what NBC had in mind Tuesday when the broadcaster announced that fantasy drama La Brea will be renewed for a third season ... with a tiny demo rating that once constituted a rounding error in what was a more halcyon age for linear TV. 

The hourlong show, resuming its second season Tuesday night with back-to-back episodes, and about a Mid-City Los Angeles sinkhole that takes those who fall into it back to the prehistoric past, was linear broadcast TV's top new drama in the all-important 18-49 audience demographic in its freshman 2021-22 campaign, averaging a 0.58 rating in Nielsen live+ same day metrics. 

Next TV casually followed along with next-day airings on Peacock last season ... but dropped off after the second episode this year, unable to follow a convoluted plot that belied the outskirts of belief suspension. We fell into a hole ... of sleep. 

It appears other viewers felt the same way, with La Brea's demo average er, cratering, 36% to a 0.38 through the first seven episodes of season 2. The average total audience hasn't dropped as steeply -- 3.6 million in season 2 vs. 3.9 million last year. 

Produced by by Universal Television and Australia’s Matchbox Pictures in association with Keshet Studios, NBCUniversal hasn't revealed La Brea's Peacock performance metrics. 

But since it is an in-house production, and we'd hate to see those quarterly billion-dollar losses on Peacock amount to nothing, maybe NBC is being wise to see where this all goes before making a fateful roster decision. 

After all, in 2021, the network cancelled another time-bending fantasy drama, Manifest, which was averaging only a 0.4 demo rating at the time, only to watch Netflix pick it up and draw huge numbers from it. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!