Friday, December 12, 2008

100th post woohoo/NBC installing Leno at 10pm

First, this is my 100th post, so woohoo! Get the party poppers, hats, and cake and do a little dance.

Okay, now that's out of the way, I want to discuss NBC cutting original scripted programming at 10pm and replacing it with 5 days of JAY LENO! This has caused an uproar within the creative community because it means 5 less hours of programming for writers, directors, and producers. Instead, the less expensive tonight show will take it's place, much like the news on the CW and FOX.

I for one, agree with Steven Bochco's assessment of the situation. He believes that network drama is awful for the most part. As my mother would say, if you can't play nice, you don't deserve the toys. What I mean is, if showrunners can't put good shows on television, why should a network put on their half-assed dramas? They have a perfectly marketable commodity in Jay Leno, who is being pushed out of his slot, and would likely find a home at a rival network. So, instead of giving a golden goose to the competition, they keep it in house, cut down their programming, and bring in a rather inexpensive show to take it's place. After all, NBC is used to pull an 8 share, is down to a 3 share this season and needs to make drastic changes. 10 hours of programming is still a lot of hours to fill. Just ask CW and FOX.

I really do prefer the cable model. Most networks only program original programming 1-3 days a week, showing re-runs the rest of the week. The shows are good, fresh, and draw 5 shares, higher than gossip girl, for a new show like Leverage. While it's not as high as an NBC show, everyone needs to realize how television now works, and adapt to it. I would never consciously produce a show for networks. I would be more than happy to land on the Sundance channel with a quirky Slings and Arrows type show.

Now, as a wannabe tv producer, it kind of screws me over, but that is what adaptation is all about. We as producers now need to look towards foreign markets, online, direct to video distribution, and other outlets. Does it suck for jobs? Yes. Is it at an awful time in our economy? Yes. As Bochco said, good shows will always find an audience. Of course, Cupid, Arrested Development, Pushing Daisies, Freaks and Geeks, and so on down the line, would take exception to that. And yes, some of this is on the networks for putting on Cashmere Mafia, Lipstick Jungle, Valentine, and Easy Money, but if you are an aspiring producer, you should blame the executive producers who are putting on such awful shows in the first place. If they don't find an audience, what do you expect a network to do? Jay is a proven commodity...Hell, I'll gladly watch. In fact, I'm looking forward to it. Survival of the fittest, what are you willing to do to survive?

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