Sunday, March 09, 2008

For executives, they don't seem to get it very well

I went looking for information regarding The Sarah Connor Chronicles, to see if there was any hope of a season two. Results were inconclusive at best. There's no new info regarding Jericho yet, either. There's, what, four more episodes in the "seasonette"? It would appear that Jericho is in a bad place, seeing as the Writer's Guild decided to give up a bunch of income and not do their damn jobs. That put Jericho in a relatively good place since there were no other shows coming on, but without the writers, there could be no new episodes to follow the current seven, at least not right away. So, due to the writer's strike and the lack of understanding by the executives, we're going to be forced into more "reality" shows, because they're cheap to produce. Additionally, it seems there's no shortage of people who'll make fools of themselves for money.

Before the Intardweb, Nielson boxes were probably a good enough indicator of how a show was doing. Now, in the Information Age, the Nielsons just aren't cutting it anymore. Jericho is a perfect example: the ratings boxes showed that it wasn't doing well and got it cancelled. Fans brought it back (as they did with Star Trek back in the day, and we know how that worked out) with the epic "Nuts" campaign. Many Sci Fi afficionados are huge fans of "Firefly". They managed to get a movie made, even though the show was cancelled.

All that is to say that the networks have to figure out a new way of tracking audience numbers. People are Tivo-ing, watching online, and catching the show in other ways. Timelsots are no longer the hardpoint anchor that they used to be. However, tracking still appears to be done with the Nielson raters. I don't think I know anybody who's ever seen a Nielson box, much less had one. That puts an outsized amount of power in the hands of a relatively small number of people, who may not be in touch with most of the country's wishes.

I just don't wanna see another Big Brother, Survivor, Flava of Love, or some other piece of crap that's cheap to make and is of intolerable badness. Next time the writers go on strike, let 'em go and hire new writers. Unions will be the death of TV just as they are other fields of endeavor. Its not worth it to risk having another "Cavemen."

1 comment:

DirtCrashr said...

I think there's a war going on over the rights to Nielson, tracking methods, and rating things in general. Throw into the mix a small industry of independent "media companies" who conduct rating research and sell their findings, and a bunch of corporate bean-counters underneath the constantly roiling, infighting, backstabbing and eye-gouging Executive Layer - a Network honcho has to know somebody within one of those companies to try and hire, and he's probably competing with another cutthroat in his own company or outside it. And they are all professional liars.
It's almost not worth-it for the Network Big Dickheads to be "smart" about what they do and stick instead to the traditional and time-honored routes: the dart-board and the lowest-common-moron.