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'30 Rock' scores zero rating in Germany

UPDATED: OK, isn't this cherry picking a routine overseas debut of a U.S. series for sensational effect? You betcha!

By Scott Roxborough

COLOGNE, Germany -- If "TGS" got ratings like this, Jack Donaghywould have killed it years ago.

In its debut on German television Sunday night, Emmy-winning comedy"30 Rock" scored a 0.0 rating, meaning fewer than 5,000 viewerstuned in.

Making Germans laugh is never easy, but the debut was below eventhe lowest forecasts of broadcaster ZDFNeo. The digital nichechannel, which is run by pubweb ZDF, had made "30 Rock" theflagship in its new relaunch, promising more cutting-edgeprogramming for a younger demographic.

But no one, young or old, tuned in Sunday. The BBC comedy "Takingthe Flak" also failed to register on the ratings scale and evenaction drama "The Sentinel" (2006) barely made a dent, reaching30,000 viewers, for a 0.2% share.

In its old incarnation -- as documentary niche network ZDFDoku --the channel averaged a 0.3% market share. ZDF's ratings goal is a0.6% share by the end of next year. The public broadcaster has setaside a budget of €30 million ($44 million) for the relaunch.

UPDATE: NBC is disputing this item to outlets saying the low rating is because "30 Rock" already premiered in Germany on a network called TNT. Thing is, TNT is a pay cable network with 2.5 million households, ZDFNeo is a free network with 24 million households. So you be the judge...