Tuesday, September 15, 2009

same old, same old

Putting Jay Leno on at 10:00 p.m. solved two problems for NBC. They avoided having Leno go to ABC as Jimmy Kimmel's lead-in and they avoided paying big money for an hour-long drama each weeknight. My wife heard a radio report that almost made it sound like script writers are a thing of the past. A related story said the network was taking a big gamble on Leno.

Leno's new show started slow and then stayed that way. I liked seeing Jerry Seinfeld talk about his upcoming appearances on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" but those same comments could have been and probably will be heard on "Live with Regis & Kelly." The conversation with Kanye West was awkward at best. It's too bad that Kanye's first post-VMA-debacle appearance wasn't with a talented interviewer. Jay will have to book guests I really like to compete with whatever happens to be on my DVR.

I think the Leno show is part of the devolution of network television. The broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) will become more and more like the cable networks such as Bravo, USA and ABC Family. There will be more unscripted shows on the big networks but that doesn't necessarily mean the death knell for drama.

My prediction is that the broadcast networks will regularly use their cable channels as a farm system for the big leagues. A show like "Royal Pains" would get a chance to succeed or fail on the USA Network. If it's a hit, it might get promoted to NBC. I remember the half-hearted attempts to show "Monk" on ABC and "Dexter" on CBS. Those were only limited runs. For a popular cable show to survive the transition, it will have to cut ties with its old home.

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Anonymous Taylor C. said...

My Tivo competitions have been heating up as well. Especially with The Biggest Loser and Survivor coming back on...

Blogger Meaghan said...

Taylor C's comment is case in point, Dad. Case. in. point.

Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

I read somewhere that either CBS or NBC turned down Monday Night Football when it first came out, because no one would want to watch Football over [show with a famous entertainer at the time - I forgot], but ABC was willing to "take a risk"

I think your right about cable channels being a Sandbox for networks to run shows, or as a home for syndication reruns. I see it similar to a Pixar/Disney type relationship of yore. The cable channels can do what they want, but if something does get popular then it is moved to the Network, but there might be some loss during the translation.

There's also a lack of content as well, isn't there a better name for the new Melrose Place, then "Melrose Place", or maybe move over to 90215 or something... I think now might be a better time to try to introduce "That 80s Show"


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