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The primetime news magazine, which premiered in October 2011, has been canceled, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Rock Center launched March 1 of last year, and though it scored several high-profile interviews during the 2012 election cycle, it never managed to take off. June 21 will be the last show.
Rock Center was shuffled from Monday to Wednesday to Thursday and ultimately to Friday earlier this year, where its sophomore ratings averaged just a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 and just north of 4.1 million viewers.
Williams, who has another full-time job in hosting NBC Nightly News, has been vocal in his frustration with the many moves.
“We get to program the last hour of primetime for the broadcast week,” he told THR in April. “You can’t stay in this building any later than 11 o’clock on Friday unless you’re doing local news and then they throw you out. We do television every week until the moment when you can’t do any more.”
But kidding aside, NBCUniversal made a large investment in the show, hiring a staff of 100 and building out a mod new set for Williams. But while the show has had some scoops including Bob Costas‘ riveting phone interview with Jerry Sandusky and Williams considerable time with President Obama, it failed to establish a ratings foothold that would keep it on the schedule.
And while, NBC had publicly denied that Williams was angry with NBC for a perceived lack of support, well placed sources tell THR there was indeed frustration over the numerous schedule moves and lack of promotion for Rock Center.
News of the cancellation comes just hours after word that ITV’s Deborah Turness is set to succeed NBC News president Steve Capus.
Marisa Guthrie contributed to this report.
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Robert De Niro