The Fallout……The Idiocy….. The Banal
So NBC now becomes the ‘bitch’ that many said they’d become . From a once lofty perch where they reigned supreme in terms of primetime tv programming. The network now looks up from the bottom rung of an all shaky ladder. Broadcast network programming is now so lame and banal that it doesn’t bear thinking about. What real quality and innovative programming that there is, now is being seen on cable television. And we are now witnessing an ever increasing glut of reality television that’s so insipid and tawdry. Primary reason behind it ? It’s cheap and easy to produce and it doesn’t take a great deal of input and thought.
The most watched scripted program on television just happens to be a crime procedural drama on CBS. ‘NCIS’ and its spin-off ‘NCIS Los Angeles’ are ‘big money makers’ for the network. And as the nation’s most watched network, CBS, this merely vindication for what they’ve long felt in appealing to their core group of fans. Albeit, that they still have their fair share of reality shows but that in part doesn’t anywhere paint a clear picture of the network. They’ve pursued a broad base of programming that in essence is built around a broad based demographic. The same cannot be said of Fox, ‘whose only top 10 show’ is ‘American Idol’ . But yet that’s but ‘a one trick pony’ which is now at its zenith , soon to be marked by a steady decline viewership.And with the onset in the departure of Simon Cowell from the show. It can’t be all that long before Fox’s President of network programming , Peter Rice will be looking to see how much more juice they can still squeeze out of the program.
In reality the show itself, has only created three major household stars. Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Oscar winning actress and singer, Jennifer Hudson. Now some might say that Clay Aiken and the androgynous persona of Adam Lambert are stars in the making. But that would surmise that Sarah Palin in her new found position as commentator on Fox News, would make for a credible political analyst and pundit. But to each his own as they say.
NBC as a network has proven to me that it became too comfortable and complacent as a program content provider. Never mind the fact that the network hasn’t produced a top ten program in almost a decade. They relied on staples such as ‘Friends’ , ‘Law & Order’ and its spin-offs for far too long. And when it comes to comedy programming it’s so far behind the 8 ball that it doesn’t bear mentioning. OK so they’re now ever more reliant on Tina Fey’s well received show ’30 Rock’ to provide them with credibility. Though it is critically acclaimed , it’s not widely watched and its viewership isn’t enough to guarantee that it even cracks the top in the Nielsens’ ratings.
Leno takes shots at his late night NBC counterpart. As to what this all suggests as to the idiocy of both. In essence it shows how completely out of touch they both are as to the gravity of the situation !
It has to be said that the late night talk show landscape long reigned over by Johnny Carson , until his retirement from show (‘The Tonight Show’) that bore his name , has now become a barren landscape. Please don’t tell me that the likes of Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien are immensely funny. Granted, both appeal to a differing fan base but in reality they are about as funny as having a heart attack. The stupid notion that in moving Leno from his late night slot of 11.30 pm to a primetime evening slot at 10.00 pm, was about to change the face of programming . Well by my way of thinking NBC’s thought that this was meant to be simply innovative. I can only think that NBC was in fact taking lessons from the idiots who ran or should I say almost ruined Chrysler and GM with their lack of forward thinking and innovative creativity ? .
The failed experiment has cost NBC tens of millions of dollars and the network has ran the wrath of its affiliates from the fallout. O’Brien’s initial ratings were something of a success but it had begun to decline. Leno, if anything suffered a far worse fate, as there was scathing criticism from the television critics but even more startling was the decline in viewers for the show. Jay Leno as a host, was never someone who had a knack for interviewing a guest. If anything, Leno’s appeal were his introductory monologues. Beyond that , it is like watching a comatose child succumbing to the inevitability of death.
As reported by an ABC affiliate .
Now NBC has decided that they will pay O’Brien to leave the network and vacate his late night 11.30 pm slot. The rumored $45 million payout ($33 million to the host and $12 million in severance to his staff) to Conan O’Brien is more than an indication of failure on NBC’s part. But it clearly shows how out of touch the network is, when it comes to knowing what the market place desires and wants. And with the network now in the hands of a new parent company. NBC was is now in the midst of being sold by its parent company GE to cable provider, Comcast. The synergy between the two ought to be beneficial for both parties. GE will still retain a minority stake in network but given that profits from the network has been steadily on the decline for the last few years. It could well be that GE will completely divest itself of any remnants in terms of its investment.
Jeff Zucker who oversees NBC/Universal, the film and tv production arm for parent company GE. It was Zucker’s original decision to change the template of the network’s primetime programming . A task which he felt was needed and placed in the hands of network programming executive Jeff Gaspin , Head of NBC Universal Television Entertainment. Two ‘clueless brain dead’ individuals as you’re ever likely to come across !
As to who comes out this all looking bad ? Well let’s just say that Conan O’Brien is all smiles as he is now $33 million richer after his brief soiree as a late night talk show host in the once venerable slot. Leno now marches back to the time slot with his tails between his legs. Now as to what this tells us about the network , it’s clear that one more miscalculation on their part . And it could portend to a calamitous situation for the network. As I’ve stated already the network hasn’t produced a viable or credible top ten program in almost a decade. It’s been a long time coming but the network has now in essence become a stable for the banal, the idiotic , the idiotic and in terms of a fallout it has been nowhere the seismic shift that NBC claimed it would be. Simply put the absurdity that the network has shown is a clear indication how far the network has fallen. It’s now number four in the pecking order behind CBS , ABC and Fox. And if you’re wondering how grave the situation has become for NBC ? Consider this, on a bad day its viewership even becomes lower , that it isn’t even enough to garner it amongst the top ten most watched shows on cable. Never mind, the network is now hoping that we’re all prepared to watch the Winter Olympics, with its live broadcast of the spectacle from Vancouver , Canada. What will you be watching ?
If there’s anything more indicative as to NBC’s present plight then it may well Birdman’s self style ode ‘Money To Blow’ feat’g Drake and ‘Lil’ Wayne.