Joe Flint">

NBC cancels news magazine 'Rock Center'

NBC cancels news magazine 'Rock Center'
Brian Williams will have more time on his hands. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

NBC has pulled the plug on "Rock Center," the prime-time news magazine hosted by "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams, after just two seasons, the network said late Friday.

The cancellation of "Rock Center" is a blow to Williams and NBC's news unit, which spent a lot of money on the show. NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke was also a champion of "Rock Center."

Besides Williams, "Rock Center" was filled with several big-name producers and correspondents including former "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel and Harry Smith, a CBS News veteran. Even Chelsea Clinton had a stint as a reporter.

NBC had so much invested in "Rock Center" that last fall it made the unusual decision to schedule it at 10 p.m. Thursdays, despite the fact that it had low ratings on Wednesday nights in its first season. Thursday night is when networks typically try to schedule their most popular shows because advertisers -- particularly car companies and movie studios -- spend a lot of money to reach viewers just before the weekend.

The Thursday move quickly backfired and NBC ended up putting "Rock Center" on Friday night, one of the least-watched nights of television.

The last episode of "Rock Center" is scheduled for June 21.


Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.