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(The Hollywood Reporter)   NBC might scale back programming hours, tries to blame the industry instead of "Knight Rider" and "Crusoe"   (thrfeed.com) divider line 124
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7443 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Dec 2008 at 3:49 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-12-08 02:41:04 PM  
FTA: The NBC Uni CEO also said that digital ad sales momentum has hit a sudden wall this quarter and will not grow as much as people had predicted, not even in the area of high-end video (such as NBC.com, Hulu). "It has really, really slowed dramatically," Zucker said, and "dried up in the scatter market."

That's interesting, and contrary to what I've heard. For example, this recent fark article (new window)
 
2008-12-08 02:49:03 PM  
I am very surprised some of the networks haven't given Saturday night "prime time" back to the local stations.

Other than sports programming like Saturday night college football, the networks (other than FOX with Cops/AMW) basically have resorted to old reruns of L&O and CSI now. Seems like they'd just want to wash their hands of it. When things arise like the college football, it would just trump the local programming, just like it does now on weekend afternoons.

After that, the only other network "cutbacks" in prime time programming I think we'd see are:

* Maybe cutting the 7pm ET hour on Sundays
* Cutting the 10pm hour on Fridays

I don't think for the other nights we'd see 10pm cut off by the networks like FOX does. If anything, I think they'd maybe cut 8pm. They'd rather have more adult oriented programming anyway, so, I think they'd want to cut an earlier hour more than a later hour.

Of course, this is all just a prelude to the fact that in around 20-30 years, most people (80%+, as opposed to I think probably 50-60% now) will be comfortable enough with TV technology like On Demand/Time Shift that "scheduled" programming will be a thing of the past anyway. It is basically that way now, just that the network "debuts" a program at a certain point, but, then it is now almost always availible online or on demand after the fact. At some point though, we'll probably get rid of the "debut" formality as well, and it will just be "made availible" on a certain date & time.
 
2008-12-08 03:07:36 PM  
Sharch: That's interesting, and contrary to what I've heard.

They're talking ad sales through the medium, not the medium itself. Advertising budgets have taken a proper battering over the past few years, and the changing landscape isn't helping.
 
2008-12-08 03:44:09 PM  
FTFA: NBC, CBS and ABC, the legacy networks, program in primetime seven days a week for at least three hours a night. Fox programs two hours a night, seven days a week. The CW and MyNetwork TV do less.

But at the same time, the ratings are down across the board for the broadcast nets. Only CBS has had relatively modest declines; the rest have seen steeper drops.



NBC's crappy shows aside, how do you explain a ratings drop at every broadcast network, subby?

That said, I've stopped getting attached to shows. The odds of a particular show lasting even a season or two anymore is pretty slim. No sense in wasting my time until it catches on, then I can get caught up on DVD. Which is a catch 22, I know.
 
2008-12-08 03:51:57 PM  
They could probably start by cutting back on their executives' salaries and actually hiring some marketing people who actually know how to sell advertising.
 
2008-12-08 03:54:57 PM  
whidbey: They could probably start by cutting back on their executives' salaries and actually hiring some marketing people who actually know how to sell advertising.

What is this "advertising" of which you speak?

/thank God for Tivo
 
2008-12-08 03:55:13 PM  
They need to show lots more episodes of Life.

Detective Resse asks, "Did you just call me a girl cop?"
 
2008-12-08 03:55:14 PM  
I think some people realized how shiatty TV actually is during the strike. They found better things to do and don't want to go back to tv now. How many CSIs do we really need?

/Once again the greed of an industry is costing them money. fark them all. I love it.
 
2008-12-08 03:55:46 PM  
Crusoe's not great, but it's not nearly as bad as Knight Rider.
 
2008-12-08 03:56:22 PM  
They should just acknowledge and embrace the truth about their viewers.

"Who Wants New Tits?" and "Ow My Balls" would have the hugest ratings bonanza ever.
 
2008-12-08 03:56:31 PM  
TraeHova That said, I've stopped getting attached to shows. The odds of a particular show lasting even a season or two anymore is pretty slim. No sense in wasting my time until it catches on, then I can get caught up on DVD. Which is a catch 22, I know.

Yep, same here. I've nearly given up on network TV. I find that the shows I do regularly watch these days are almost entirely on BBC America - Top Gear, the repeats of Doctor Who, Life on Mars. Other than Heroes and the US version of Life on Mars, I have no interest in anything out there.
 
2008-12-08 03:57:15 PM  
TraeHova: NBC's crappy shows aside, how do you explain a ratings drop at every broadcast network?

Please, oh please, let it have something to do with books!
 
2008-12-08 04:00:09 PM  
Leave Heroes alone.

/preemptive.
 
2008-12-08 04:00:54 PM  
Merlin Macuser: They need to show lots more episodes of Life.

Detective Resse asks, "Did you just call me a girl cop?"


If every show on NBC was at the level of Life or Friday Night Lights the network would be just fine. Even though, aparently, nobody watches either of those shows since they both are always about the cancelled.
 
2008-12-08 04:01:26 PM  
FVendetta: Leave Heroes alone.

/preemptive.


Save the cheerleader, save the network?
 
2008-12-08 04:02:22 PM  
People are watching less TV and using the internet more. Ever since i started using HULU i watch more shows when they come on regularly on-line.
TV has always been trying to force programs upon the viewer, sandwiching a bad show between two decent ones, having more and more time for ads and less time for the shows themselves. This feels oddly reminiscent of the RIAA's tactics and then blaming innovation when they start taking a steep drop in sales because they no longer have the complete control of the market they are used to.

They cut-up Doctor Who in the US to make more time for ads. I end up going online, non-directly, for my fix of David Tennent.
you do not cut Doctor Who\\\
why is voting Enabled?\\\\
 
2008-12-08 04:03:07 PM  
TraeHova: That said, I've stopped getting attached to shows. The odds of a particular show lasting even a season or two anymore is pretty slim. No sense in wasting my time until it catches on, then I can get caught up on DVD. Which is a catch 22, I know.

And it's exactly what brought down comic books in the '90s: "I'll wait for the trade." Followed by "We are discontinuing this comic due to low sales; there will be no trade."

/Voting enabled unnecessarily = FAIL.
 
2008-12-08 04:03:47 PM  
whidbey: They could probably start by cutting back on their executives' salaries and actually hiring some marketing people who actually know how to sell advertising.

Or they could start investing more than 3 episodes in their shows.

Think of sleeper shows like

- House
- Dark Angel
- Malcom in the Middle

that started off with no one watching and went on to become cash cows for the network?

The industry just seems too happy to cancel a show if it doesn't build a huge fan base in just a few episodes.
 
2008-12-08 04:04:57 PM  
The network model is knocking on death's door. Within a few years, on-demand is going to allow the end user to pick and choose what shows they want to watch and when they want to watch them. Production companies will adopt an iTunes-style model to deliver content for a nominal price, or advertisers will find creative new ways to subsidize production.

The real loser in the growth of the digital age is the middleman.
 
2008-12-08 04:05:20 PM  
farm4.static.flickr.com

This just in: People don't like advertisements plastered all over everything.
 
2008-12-08 04:05:23 PM  
I say start giving up and coming talent smaller budgets (maybe $1 million overall) to make a 4-6 episode series, and see what sticks.
 
2008-12-08 04:05:47 PM  
Look, I thought Journeyman sucked, but how the hell did they cancel that and put Night Rider on instead? I mean, seriously. Night Rider is way worse.

Chuck is good (although a little shark jumpy this season). Heroes is total fail, but still brings in viewers. Other than that, I don't give an ass about NBC. Saturday night live stopped being funny about 15 years ago.

Maybe they should buy up the rights to Jericho and bring it back? Only reason that show did poorly was that they kept messing with its timeslot.
 
2008-12-08 04:06:51 PM  
There's a Crusoe?
 
2008-12-08 04:06:58 PM  
I LIKE CRUSOE
 
2008-12-08 04:07:20 PM  
dletter: Of course, this is all just a prelude to the fact that in around 20-30 years, most people (80%+, as opposed to I think probably 50-60% now) will be comfortable enough with TV technology like On Demand/Time Shift that "scheduled" programming will be a thing of the past anyway. It is basically that way now, just that the network "debuts" a program at a certain point, but, then it is now almost always availible online or on demand after the fact. At some point though, we'll probably get rid of the "debut" formality as well, and it will just be "made availible" on a certain date & time.

I rarely watch anything when it airs. When I have free time, I look at my DVR box and say, "Oh good, a new 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'" and watch it. I can barely remember the time I'd actually have to remember to watch something.

I think that's what they're seeing more than anything, though you'd think DVR technology would ostensibly give them more accurate ratings ideas considering it holds the recordings. At the same time, it hurts ad revenue -- I fast forward ads on everything I watch.
 
2008-12-08 04:07:26 PM  
LandOfChocolate: whidbey: They could probably start by cutting back on their executives' salaries and actually hiring some marketing people who actually know how to sell advertising.

Or they could start investing more than 3 episodes in their shows.

Think of sleeper shows like

- House
- Dark Angel
- Malcom in the Middle

that started off with no one watching and went on to become cash cows for the network?

The industry just seems too happy to cancel a show if it doesn't build a huge fan base in just a few episodes.


I was under the impression House was a hit right from the jump. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me.
 
2008-12-08 04:08:17 PM  
SanchoKobe: This just in: People don't like advertisements plastered all over everything.

Oh, really?
videodetective.com
 
2008-12-08 04:10:08 PM  
serial_crusher: Chuck is good (although a little shark jumpy this season). Heroes is total fail, but still brings in viewers. Other than that, I don't give an ass about NBC. Saturday night live stopped being funny about 15 years ago.

I find your lack of "The Office" disturbing.
 
2008-12-08 04:10:36 PM  
Yay, more time for infomercials.
 
2008-12-08 04:10:36 PM  
I watch Crusoe...
 
2008-12-08 04:10:37 PM  
LandOfChocolate: The industry just seems too happy to cancel a show if it doesn't build a huge fan base in just a few episodes.

Firefly is a good example. I thought it was just because Fox sucked...;)
 
2008-12-08 04:11:19 PM  
I_Approve_Of_This_Message: Production companies will adopt an iTunes-style model to deliver content for a nominal price, or advertisers will find creative new ways to subsidize production.

The real loser in the growth of the digital age is the middleman.

Will not pay for TV. I find myself doing more rewarding things like reading, learning the guitar, talking with wife, friends and family. No point other than I feel good about not needing to watch TV.
Vote For Me
 
2008-12-08 04:11:30 PM  
aresef: Save the cheerleader, save the network?

Or something. Personally I think NBC needs to get weird. Take the Lynchian/Abramsian/Cronenborgian ball and just go to town. I'm finding myself enjoying Fringe in spite of initial reservations, and hell, if they're gonna spend the Fx budget on Heroes, they might as well make it really farked up.
 
2008-12-08 04:11:48 PM  
TraeHova: NBC's crappy shows aside, how do you explain a ratings drop at every broadcast network?

DVD's

Cable/Satellite

Internet/Youtube/Hulu, etc.


whidbey [TotalFark] Quote 2008-12-08 03:51:57 PM
They could probably start by cutting back on their executives' salaries and actually hiring some marketing people who actually know how to sell advertising.



This seems to be the knee jerk reaction to every problem regardless of the industry. Granted, the buck stops at the top but not all exec's are a bunch of useless suits collecting huge salaries for doing nothing.

Oh, and just so you know, most exec's in TV were at one time in marketing and sales and generally get promoted to the higher positions because they were good at those other things. Maybe that's the problem, too many sales people determining what makes good programming instead of using more creative people.
 
2008-12-08 04:12:10 PM  
Merlin Macuser: They need to show lots more episodes of Life.

Detective Resse asks, "Did you just call me a girl cop?"


www.meandisis.com
 
2008-12-08 04:12:37 PM  
The Office and CSI: NY are the only regular shows I watch. I watch South Park on demand, but never catch it live.
 
2008-12-08 04:13:54 PM  
Wizzin: whidbey: They could probably start by cutting back on their executives' salaries and actually hiring some marketing people who actually know how to sell advertising.

What is this "advertising" of which you speak?

/thank God for Tivo


That brings up the point:

How long before the mega-corps lobby to eliminate this feature?

That said, I'd love to see a demand for advertising reform. A brief mention at the beginning (or the end) of the program SHOULD really be all they need.

Annoying interruptions are well, annoying...
 
2008-12-08 04:14:52 PM  
DiscoInferiorityComplex: I say start giving up and coming talent smaller budgets (maybe $1 million overall) to make a 4-6 episode series, and see what sticks.

That's exactly what happened to Seinfeld. They aired the pilot in July 1989, gave them a four episode season in the summer of 1990, and then gave them a 13 episode season in early 1991.
 
2008-12-08 04:16:00 PM  
I_Approve_Of_This_Message:
The real loser in the growth of the digital age is the middleman.


And it's a damn shame, too.

www.pinkraygun.com

This show is completely awesome, but the buzz is it's likely on the chopping block.

// hotlinked, of course
/// I stream it over XBox Live.
 
2008-12-08 04:16:31 PM  
dletter: Other than sports programming like Saturday night college football, the networks (other than FOX with Cops/AMW) basically have resorted to old reruns of L&O and CSI now. Seems like they'd just want to wash their hands of it. When things arise like the college football, it would just trump the local programming, just like it does now on weekend afternoons.

Networks cant cut back programming too much. Fox cant cut back at all - if I'm remembering correctly to be considered a full fledged network, you have to have 15 hours of weekly PT programming. For CBS/NBC/ABC they have plenty of room to cut back since they offer 3 hrs/night - they could go 3 hours per night, Sunday through Thursday and leave Friday and Saturday nights open. Fox is at that 15 hr min. now (2x6, plus 3 hrs on Sunday).
 
2008-12-08 04:16:32 PM  
If they cancel 30 Rock, I'm showing up with pitchforks and torches.

/Maybe they can bring in more revenue with SeinfeldVision...
 
2008-12-08 04:16:34 PM  
I'm still trying to figure out why the networks are still wondering if they should "broadcast in Primetime". With DVR, Tivo, and full episodes available online, what primetime even really exists anymore? I DVR all of my shows & watch them when I have a chance. I have no clue when Life on Mars, House, or The Office are actually on--I'm simply pleasantly surprised when there are new episodes on my DVR list.
 
2008-12-08 04:16:39 PM  
Fox said it was cutting advertising to 5 Minutes on two shows (Fringe and another one). Boosting ad costs to cover and that is their pilot program for next year. If its a success, Fox will only have 5 minutes of ads per show half of what is now). Most hour shows average 11-14 minutes of ads.

Go Fox!

Love Fringe
 
2008-12-08 04:16:46 PM  
theevilmrrogers: People are watching less TV and using the internet more. Ever since i started using HULU i watch more shows when they come on regularly on-line.
TV has always been trying to force programs upon the viewer, sandwiching a bad show between two decent ones, having more and more time for ads and less time for the shows themselves. This feels oddly reminiscent of the RIAA's tactics and then blaming innovation when they start taking a steep drop in sales because they no longer have the complete control of the market they are used to.

They cut-up Doctor Who in the US to make more time for ads. I end up going online, non-directly, for my fix of David Tennent.
you do not cut Doctor Who\\\
why is voting Enabled?\\\\


Hulu's probably going to save a few shows now that they're actually taking it seriously. Like I heard heroes was great a few episodes into season 1, but my only options to get caught up were:
1) BitTorrent
2) Wait for DVD

Glad now there's a third option. Go back and watch the episodes legally on Hulu. They just need to convince advertisers that it's worth it.

Most of this lag is probably an after effect of the "I'll wait until it's on DVD" trend. Once more people learn about hulu the networks will see the rapid results they normally want.
 
2008-12-08 04:17:02 PM  
Knight Rider isn't that bad. I mean it's got Val freaking Kilmer in it.

/ducks
 
2008-12-08 04:18:38 PM  
SanchoKobe Quote 2008-12-08 04:05:20 PM
farm4.static.flickr.com

This just in: People don't like advertisements plastered all over everything.


UPDATE: When forced to make difficult financial decisions, people have no problems with advertisements all over everything if the trade off is free entertainment.
 
2008-12-08 04:19:06 PM  
Law & Order, The Office, 30 Rock, My Name is Earl, and Chuck are really all I watch on TV save the CBS Monday night comedy slate.

If I want to watch good TV, I've got to put in DVDs; Arrested Development, Newsradio, The Wire, Homicide...
 
2008-12-08 04:19:32 PM  
agos1247: I_Approve_Of_This_Message: Production companies will adopt an iTunes-style model to deliver content for a nominal price, or advertisers will find creative new ways to subsidize production.

The real loser in the growth of the digital age is the middleman.
Will not pay for TV. I find myself doing more rewarding things like reading, learning the guitar, talking with wife, friends and family. No point other than I feel good about not needing to watch TV.
Vote For Me


Cue up that Onion article...
 
2008-12-08 04:20:22 PM  
DiscoInferiorityComplex: I say start giving up and coming talent smaller budgets (maybe $1 million overall) to make a 4-6 episode series, and see what sticks.

Good idea, but I think it would end up annoying me. Two possible outcomes:
1) Show starts as a 4-6 episode miniseries, has a conclusion at the end. Then they stretch it to a TV show, and I feel like they're stepping on something that already wrapped itself up.
2) Show expects to stay on after 4-6 eps, does a cliffhanger ending. Gets canceled. I miss it.
 
2008-12-08 04:22:53 PM  
Ok - I'll be the one to ask - what is HULU?

And Life is the best show on TV.
 
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