Bringing over from the thread for episode 10-13: "Welcome to the Club," where Vermicious Knid
- 4.116 million viewers
- 2.5/4 HH
- 1.6/5 A18-49
In any other show that would be the nail in the coffin, but CA is already on tap for March. I do think with the new regime coming to NBC and the lousy ratings the regular Apprentice is done for.
I believe it's already been noted that this will likely be the last regular version of the show, however, given how ratings-challenged NBC is, I would not say never:
In fact, if Trump and Mark Burnett agreed to it, I could see where a new season of regular candidates could air first on CNBC with Saturday night "repurposing" on NBC. If CNBC can do even half the numbers of the finale on a regular basis with new episodes (that most likely on CNBC could air Fridays at 7:00 PM and Midnight ET), it would likely be a huge ratings success for CNBC given their main demo is high-income male viewers who ad buyers will pay a premium to reach.
Anyway, as to the likely reason the finale wasn't live this time, aside from NBC assuming low ratings to begin with:
NBC had to make the decision in late May or June concerning a live finale (the finale was actually filmed in late June from my understanding). At the time that decision had to be made, it was looking like the Indianapolis Colts-Tennessee Titans game (which in most of the country aired on NFL Network directly opposite the finale), based on how the Titans finished last year (8-8 after an 0-6 start and after being 13-3 a year earlier) and the Colts being unbeaten before tanking their last two games (and being the Super Bowl loser) last year looked like it could be between teams that were both either 10-2 or 11-1 and for both the AFC South title and home field throughout the playoffs. NBC was likely very concerned had the Colts and Titans actually been 11-1 or 10-2 going into that game, no matter whether the finale was live or not, that game would have taken away many more viewers than it actually did from all network programming that night than it actually did, and the buzz from a live finale would have been completely muted by the Colts-Titans game (which likely would have under those circumstances gotten a rating very similar to ESPN's Monday night games that consistently have been breaking all records for cable viewership and often make ESPN a fifth network on Mondays in the fall).
I'm sure NBC took into account the potential ratings eater the NFL game could have been. Even with it only being between a 6-6 Colts and 5-7 Titans team, it still likely took away many viewers from network programming, plus NBC likely knew by the time the decision had to be made that they were looking at pre-emptions of the finale in Indianapolis and Nashville (where the game had to be shown over-the-air per NFL broadcast rules), similar to what likely happened a week ago in Houston (when the Texans played the Eagles in Philly, as I believe the NBC affiliate there is the Texans pre-season TV home, making them first in line to show any games on ESPN or NFL Network nationally) when I believe Part 1 may have been delayed to Saturday.
NBC probably took all of this into account when deciding not to do the finale live.