NBC surrenders

NBC’s decision to stop putting quality, scripted shows on in the 8 o’clock hour is the pathetic and cynical act of a loser.

Instead of using that hour to try to find and invent new kinds of TV, they are just giving us what they all but admit is crap. And Biggest Loser is crap. It is the dumbest game show I think I’ve ever seen and it will not last (just as Who Wants to be a Millionnaire did not).

Is it expensive to produce scripted network shows? Yes. Does it need to be? No. LonelyGirl15 is a helluva show and I’ll bet there’s no catering truck and no gaffers and no three trucks filled with lights on their set.

If the networks wants to stay in TV, they’re going to have to get inventive about shows and creative about how to make them. Instead, NBC gave up and said it will give us cheap shit. Oh, they’ll make money doing this … for now. But it’s just like cynical newspaper executives milking their cows. NBC will end up losing more viewers more quickly when it runs out of cheap tricks and we go to the internet to watch our TV instead of to the networks.

: On the news side, NBC is cutting back and consolidating and, one hopes, investing in online. That’s what they have to do. The LA Times — a newspaper that knows whereof it moans, sees the parallels to print.

: Jossip reports from the grapevine that Tucker Carlson and Rita Cosby are axed. Crap in, crap out.

  • Biggest Loser or Deal or No Deal?

  • Paw

    Clearly, this was a Wall Street driven annoucement, since there’s no possible upside potential in telling your advertising partners that you can’t buy a hit and have stopped trying. GE is certainly attempting to demonstrate to its investors that it is trying to control costs in its entertainment businesses. The resulting damage that is done to NBC’s credibility as a primetime hit maker remains to be seen, but it certainly doesn’t help.

    On the other hand, Jeff, I disagree with your knee jerk “this is just another reason to run to your computer to watch TV” reaction. just because NBC stopped trying doesn’t mean any other network has. Still plenty of good stuff on the old boob tube (better than the Youtube, masters of cheap tricks).

    And for the record, Bob Wright, in the linked article, refers to 30 ROCK as “about the funniest show on television right now”. Anyone with half a brain knows ENTOURAGE is the funniest show on television, right now…

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  • From the “quality” we see in much over-the-air television “entertainment” and “news” programs (is there a difference these days?) the networks threw in the towel years ago. The difference is that NBC finally admitted it. Of course, as others have noted, that was for consumption on Wall Street. Perhaps someone in a focus group told the NBC execs that none of their viewers read newspapers any longer so admitting they are bereft of ideas wouldn’t be noticed by anyone in their shrinking audience.

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