The Problem with Network Executives…
It seems that Network executives have become spineless and clueless over the years. I don’t think they always were but they certainly seem so today. I recall a time back in the 80’s and 90’s when these executives would stand up for good shows, even when their rating weren’t that good and sometimes when the ratings were pretty bad. They would even stand behind a show when the insane religious right would complain about a show. Even when some sponsors pulled their advertising. These executives still stood behind their shows.
I am reminded of a few examples. Going back to the early eighties shows like Night Court and Cheers suffered from poor ratings but they were good shows and given a chance for a second season. These shows became part of the backbone behind NBC’s in the eighties and in part became part of NBC’s domination of Thursday night. That domination later turned into it their “Must see TV!” campaign. NBC ruled supreme for well over a decade and it owes a lot of that domination to these series that suffered from poor ratings in their first season.
There were campaigns by Christian groups to get Married with cancelled.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s on FOX, shows like The Simpson’s and Married with Children dominated! Conservative religious groups hated these shows. There were campaigns by these groups to get Married with Children cancelled. Sponsors pulled advertising but the the executives at FOX had some backbone and didn’t kowtow to these idiot groups. Today, these shows would be cancelled the moment anyone claimed to be offended.
Now, any show that offends the Christian right is cancelled the moment there’s a complaint. Yet, if the show is followed and generally supported by the Christian right it can get away with promoting a life style that is anti-gay, bigoted and racist as long as it does so by hiding behind the Bible. Hell, people in the show can be child molesters who admit to committing incest and the cast can support them and the network behind the show will adopt a let’s wait and see mentality. This happening right now with the show 19 Kids and Counting. Sure it has pulled the current run of the show but hasn’t cancelled it. This is an obvious attempt to literally just wait and see how bad the media attention gets before it finally does the right thing and cancels the bigoted show.
19 Kids and Counting is a cast full of admitted bigots and anti-gay people. The network doesn’t even flinch at the criticism.
Seriously, think about it. Duck Dynasty‘s cast supports underage teen sex and bigotry with just a touch of racism thrown in for taste. The show is still on the air. 19 Kids and Counting is a cast full of admitted bigots and anti-gay people. The network doesn’t even flinch at the criticism. It has taken the admission of multiple disgusting acts of sexual perversion of the worst kind to get episodes of the show pulled from the line up. But, even that hasn’t been enough to get the show cancelled, yet. However, in all fairness, I am pretty sure the show is going to get cancelled as the events surrounding Josh Duggars crimes are brought to light. My point however, is that it hasn’t been cancelled yet. The network has been aware of the admitted sex crimes for a full week.
So, here were are in May when the Networks normally start to announce the current seasons cancellations. Two cancellations really stand out to me this season. The new show Backstrom on FOX and ABC’s show Forever have both been cancelled. Both of these shows contain unique main characters, interesting stories and really good writing. Why were they cancelled? Lackluster ratings. Doesn’t matter that they are good shows with loyal fan bases. It seems these idiotic network executives simply have no back bone to stand behind them. Think about it, insanely stupid, shallow and ridiculous shows like the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are still on the air and they cancel Forever? Are you kidding me?
In this day and age when the average TV watching person has access to hundreds of channels and thousands of shows that can be watched online, as well as all the podcasts and internet programming, it’s insane that there isn’t more advertising for these shows. It’s so easy for good shows to fall through the cracks.
Where are the days when networks stood behind shows like this. They knew the shows were good and they gave them every chance to succeed. Now, they get nothing. Almost no promotion at all. They throw up a Facebook and Twitter account and do almost nothing with them magically expecting ratings miracles. In this day and age when the average TV watching person has access to hundreds of channels and thousands of shows that can be watched online, as well as all the podcasts and internet programming, it’s insane that there isn’t more advertising for these shows. It’s so easy for good shows to fall through the cracks.
I will admit that NBC put forth a valiant effort to save The Slap. A show that from the first preview I saw as not only boring but about a decade or two too late. It might have made for an interesting mini-series but as a TV series? It reeked of of Epic Failure. I don’t care if it had a star studded cast. Who wants to sit down on a weekly basis and be forced to contemplate child abuse. Yes it’s an important issue but it makes for horrible TV and it was bad idea from the get go. I don’t know anyone that watched this show. Yet, NBC promoted the hell out of this show. Even after the ratings sucked. They didn’t give up on it. I respect that. Someone believed in the show and they fought for it. It wasn’t until after all that support and the ratings still sucked that they finally pulled the plug on it. That’s how you do it!
On the other hand, taking good shows like Forever and Backstom off the air after only putting in a half-assed promotional campaign is ridiculous. It shows that not only are these network executives clueless as to what is good TV but they seem to have absolutely no idea what good TV is. It seems they wouldn’t know a good show if it “fell out of the sky, landed on their face and started to wiggle.”