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SPAGo 98
10-10-2002, 03:46 AM
(insp by s.spiff)

do you think ABC is doing badly because:

1) it's abc, the way it's seen, the way they promote, etc.

2) the shows suck.

in other words, is the problem with ABC itself, or with its shows?

WDSearcher
10-10-2002, 08:37 AM
I think it's a problem with the shows. ABC has a good tradition of being on top in the ratings -- they used to be the network to beat, even before Millionaire. But then NBC ended up with a lot of great shows -- "Friends," "West Wing," "Fraiser," etc. -- and it got harder and harder to compete. They relied too heavily on Millionaire, and never did any backfill to be ready with new shows when Millionaire's novelty wore off.

Of course ... one opinion perpetuates another. A few seasons of bad shows, and ABC becomes a "bad network" by association. And that's when people stop even testing out the shows.

ABC will come back -- eventually. Just as NBC will once again be in the dumps. Once "Friends" and "Fraiser" drop out (which will probably be soon, based on their current lack of decent scripts), they'll be scrambling too. The "Law & Order" franchise is also getting stretched pretty thin these days. CBS, which was down for a long time, is finally back up there, based on the strength of "CSI", "Raymond" and "Survivor."

It's all cyclical.

:earsboy:

Another Voice
10-10-2002, 01:23 PM
Network ratings are not like tides that move up and down because of natural forces. Nothing is inevitable.

It has all to do with the people who make the decisions about programming. ABC’s problems aren’t caused because it’s their turn to be #4 – it’s because they offer programs few people want to watch. It really is that simple. To climb back up again, they need to offer more appealing shows.

To make a show appealing you have to let people know about it – and that’s where being #1 helps. Running a promo on a top rated show will expose it to millions and millions people – count the number of times NBC pushes another series during ‘Friends’. But advertising isn’t the only thing you need; even then you have to have a good program. Again, look at how many series have died in the timeslot immediately after ‘Friends’ as well. Promotion will get people to watch a show once, but the show itself is what gets them to tune in again the following week.

And that was ABC’s biggest blunder with ‘Millionaire’. They had a perfect place to promote new and quality shows. Instead, they simply choose to strip mine money from the network and run ‘Who’s Line’ a hundred times instead. By being cheap and stupid they ignored the lessons that NBC and CBS and doomed themselves once again.

There’s nothing cyclical about it at all.

WDSearcher
10-10-2002, 02:46 PM
I don't agree. People's tastes change, and as those tastes change, viewers tend to channel flip a little more, looking for something new.

Take "Friends" -- great show, loved it for a couple of years and watched every week. In fact, the whole Thursday line-up was definitely my "must see TV." Then I got tired of it. Grew out of it, if you will. The stories didn't appeal to me, I missed the original cast (ER), and I wanted something new. So now I watch "CSI." Which I found out about by word of mouth because I never watched CBS, so I wasn't going to hear about it from an ad during a hit show.

Every show has a life cycle. And no network can consistently, season after season, turn out great shows. Every few seasons they stumble. They either get stupid (like ABC did with Millionaire) or they get complacent or they lose their programming staff because that staff has a great track record and is lured off to work elsewhere.

It's certainly not all based on a cycle of events, but I still think every network has its day and then it crashes for a while.

:earsboy:

EUROPA
10-10-2002, 03:05 PM
Every show has a life cycle. And no network can consistently, season after season, turn out great shows.


NBC...Thursdays nights...go back and look. NBC has put on great shows year after year on Thursdays nights. Hill Street Blues, Cheers, Night Court,....Friends, Seinfeld, ER...... Sure there have been bad ones in there but NBC owns Thursday night for a reason. CSI is just another blip on the screen until NBC comes up with something else.

Another Voice
10-10-2002, 04:49 PM
"...but I still think every network has its day and then it crashes for a while."

But you see that makes it sound like all you have to do is to show the same old stuff year after year and simply wait until its your turn to be #1 again. Things simply don't work that way. NBC has been on top for a long time because it has good & talented people who work long and hard at making the right decisions. THAT'S how they stay at the top. Occansionally they'll make bad moves and they'll loose, but then it their own fault and some mystical cycle.

The problem with ABC is that's its filled with people making poor decisions and people unwilling to work hard and produce good programming. They've taken the cheap way out and are waiting around simply hoping will catch on with the public again (like 'Millionare').

Disney isn't going to make money again simply by waiting around for it to fall into its lap.

WDSearcher
10-10-2002, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by EUROPA
NBC...Thursdays nights...go back and look. NBC has put on great shows year after year on Thursdays nights. Hill Street Blues, Cheers, Night Court,....Friends, Seinfeld, ER...... Sure there have been bad ones in there but NBC owns Thursday night for a reason. CSI is just another blip on the screen until NBC comes up with something else.
True. But there have been years where Thursday was all NBC had. They've had their share of early-season cancellations and 2nd and 3rd place finishes. And don't you think CSI is far more than a blip? Based on its success and on that of its spin-off (which is doing really well against both Monday Night Football and Crossing Jordan), I think it's going to take a little work for NBC to grab that hour once ER dies the death it so richly deserves.

raidermatt
10-10-2002, 05:13 PM
Searcher, YOU may have grown tired of Friends, but the public in general still watches.

Really, one hugely popular night can carry a network a long way. NBC has had that at varying levels for close to 20 years now on Thursday. I could be wrong, but I don't think that at any point they have been in danger of falling to number 4 overall, unlike ABC.

You're right that the public's tastes do change, but its the job of the network to stay on top of those changing tastes, without getting sucked in by trends.

The public doesn't stop watching a network because it gets tired of the network. It only stops watching if it grows tired of the SHOWS. Its not inevitable that a network will not be able to keep its audience interested. If they do their job, they will have new shows to keep its audience as its older shows die off.

Lewisc
10-10-2002, 05:14 PM
Didn't ABC turn down CSI and Monk? Shows like NYPD Blue are at the end of their cycle and their new shows aren't popular.

Banzai
10-10-2002, 06:04 PM
Some of the new shows haven't shown up yet, or am I missing Dinotopia?

Lewisc
10-10-2002, 06:42 PM
Dinotopia was delayed. Monk is being shown instead. USA is showing the new episodes first. Not sure if the delay is because of production delays in adding special effects (stated reason) or just that the show is expected to bomb.

RyMickey
10-10-2002, 06:42 PM
I hardly ever post, but here's my two cents:

ABC is definitely resurging. ABC has been #1 in the all-important 18-49 year old group on Tuesdays so far this season, and if it weren't for the with the lackluster MDs, they'd be winning Wednesday night in that bracket as well. Same goes for Sunday...although The Practice may be sagging and Alias isn't the hit that it should be (this is a great show, folks!), with the help of The Wonderful World of Disney, ABC is either 1st or 2nd in the coveted age group on that night, too.

Sure, they may be losing in total viewers to CBS, but they're leading in what the advertisers really covet on two/three nights a week. Compared to last season where they were dreadfully behind in everything, I would say that this year is a vast improvement.

Now, that's not to say that ABC doesn't have its share of blunders. That Was Then and Push, Nevada (which I actually like...although I can see why others would despise it) are being cancelled as I write this. However, to overlook ABC's moderate successes in 8 Simple Rules, Life with Bonnie (which is terribly funny), and Less Than Perfect is unfair. All three of these shows have been picked up for the entire season and they all lead their timeslot in that coveted age group. Add that to the sucess of My Wife and Kids, According to Jim, The Bachelor, and NYPD Blue (which is still doing fairly well) and you have a network that is coming out of a slump.

Granted, ABC doesn't have any break-out shows at this point (although 8 Simple Rules is getting there in the ratings) and despite the fact that their Thursday and Friday night ratings are abysmal, I believe they are on the right track. I agree with AV in that tv is cyclical. In time, NBC will drop to third and ABC might climb back up to first. ABC is gradually pulling the crowd in.

RyMickey

EUROPA
10-11-2002, 09:15 AM
Originally posted by WDSearcher
True. But there have been years where Thursday was all NBC had. They've had their share of early-season cancellations and 2nd and 3rd place finishes. And don't you think CSI is far more than a blip? Based on its success and on that of its spin-off (which is doing really well against both Monday Night Football and Crossing Jordan), I think it's going to take a little work for NBC to grab that hour once ER dies the death it so richly deserves.

To late you said it was not possible for a Network to keep putting out the good show. Well NBC has done it. Sorry I don't watch Monday Night Football , Crossing Jordan or CSI or any spin off of it...I have no doubt that its doing really well against them. I've never even heard of the shows that people are saying are doing well on ABC.

Got something against ER do you? " So richly deserves" :rolleyes:

Jeff in BigD
10-12-2002, 07:18 AM
Here's the way I feel about it. I'll use a hockey analogy...

Let's say you have a team & you have to build your lines (or line-ups/nights). The line has to know each other & feel comfortable. You have one great player (Monday Night Football) that is an All-star. The smart play is to strengthen that line so that regardless of what ever line you come up against, you're in the advantage. You do so with 2 proven players (Drew Carey, Whose Line).

But one line does not a team make. You have to have other solid lines. You can't fool the fans by touting a tired player as a great find because the fans can see for themselves & will call a spade a spade. And sometimes the line needs a little time to develop. If you're a team that is known to scratch players or release players off the cuff, players are going to be a lot less inclined to want to play for the team. If you're a team that has been having a losing trend (with no noticable commitment to improve the team), players also aren't inclined to want to play for the team.

As an owner you also have to realize that there are more teams (networks) in the league now, so the talent isn't as readily available & more teams for the fans to root for. There's also more sports (entertainment venues), so there'll be even less fans.

And finally if you own more than one team it tends to be a conflict of interest & you'll not find many owners who can own more than one team for a long period of time.

snowwhitemom
10-13-2002, 08:13 AM
uhh....#2.:(

Captain Crook
10-13-2002, 09:22 AM
Voice alludes to ABC's handling of "Millionairre" as a mistake and perhaps I'm the only one who has this view but I totally disagree. ABC milked "MIllionaire" for all it was worth and made a lot of money with it.

I don't believe a relatively lame game show (certainly easy) with a borderline irritating/sometimes funny host was ever destined to keep the numbers it magically pulled in for those two seasons. In fact, I believe that if ABC had kept the show just one night a week with an occasional special (celebrity game, etc) that the show still would have faltered quickly in the third year (meaning their business philosophy was actually perfect). After all it is just a game show. No new plot lines like a series, no new locations or tribes like 'Survivor'...Just a game show. I think ABC was very smart to milk it while they could...

Current ABC: I too liked 'Push' (and can also understand why others didn't). 'Now and Then'' is another of those great ideas that didn't get the right format (too unweildly). 'Eight Simple Rules' is going to be a hit. So is 'Life With Bonnie' (yes, Bonnie Hunt IS genuinely funny). 'Alias' SHOULD be a bigger show (but I think the writing needs to be a little less predictable). 'My Wife and Kids' is the only show our whole family has to sit and watch. This should be 'Cosby' huge!

I don't understand pulling the plug after two or three episodes though. Didn't somebody believe in these shows? Isn't there any convition at ABC? Earlier posters who mentioned the big sleeper hits like 'Seinfeld' & 'Cheers' are correct. Sometimes a show just needs to be left to find its niche, IMO...
:smooth: :smooth: :bounce: :smooth: :smooth:

Another Voice
10-13-2002, 03:07 PM
The problem with ‘Millionaire’ was what they did to the show – showing it four times a week. The problem is what they did with the show – used it as a substitute instead of creating other programs shows. Disney took the easy way out. ‘Millionaire’ was hit and they milked it for all it was worth. I agree with the Captain; ‘Millionaire’ was a fad that would have quickly faded anyway. But instead of using the show to launch other shows and build up the network – Disney simply sat back on the couch and collected the dough. They churned out easy-to-make, forgettable and cheap programming to maximize profits. No one cared if the other shows weren’t popular, ‘Millionaire’ was big enough to make up the difference. When the show’s popularity failed Disney was caught without any other popular programming and now have to scramble to make up for lost time.

There is a real sense of desperation at ABC these days. The Big Guy knows his job sinks further and further with each weekly ratings releases and The Igor knows his execution is only a matter of timing (to achieve the desired impact on the board – just ask Mr. Pressler about that). More so than at the rest of Disney, the pressure is not fail more than it is to succeed.

WDSearcher
10-16-2002, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by EUROPA
Got something against ER do you? " So richly deserves" :rolleyes:

I loved ER when it first aired, and through its first few seasons. But after that ... I mean, really ... how many explosions honestly occur at ERs in Chicago? The show went from cutting-edge stories about this great ensemble of doctors to soap opera style plot lines. Things just got harder and harder to believe. It wasn't about the characters any more, it was about the explosion or the fire or the car crashing through the emergency doors or the quarantine. I don't know of a single county government that would continue to re-build that ER after the number of times it's been nearly destroyed.

In my opinion, what started out as a great show about caring doctors up against the odds in a county ER has turned into a tangle of plot lines, each with "a twist at the end that you MUST see!", according to the promos. I just don't think they've ever recovered from that first departure of regulars.

But, again ... just my opinion. Nor more or less valid than anyone else's.

:earsboy: