Office audience slumps

Half of US viewers turn off

American viewers have deserted their version of The Office in droves.

The series, which has been remade for NBC with new scripts but sticking to the underplayed style of the Ricky Gervais original, has shed almost half its viewers since the opening installment.

It got off to a cracking start on Thursday night, with 11.2 million viewers tuning in, against weak line-ups on opposing channels.

But when it moved to its regular Tuesday night slot, it attracted just 5.9 million.

Competition was much stronger, with more than 18 million watching rival Fox drama House, starring Hugh Laurie, which had a lead-in of 26 million from American Idol.

In contrast, The Office was preceded on NBC by medical comedy Scrubs, which attracted its lowest ever audience - 6.4 million.

There are five more episodes left to run before the network makes a decision on recommissioning a longer series, which would typically be typically 22 shows.


Published: 1 Mar 2005

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