Friday, January 23, 2009
"The Reality of Getting Canceled... TV Shows that Bit the Dust!"
So by now you girls probably know that I'm a TV writer-- day time TV is my bread and butter (yeah, that means soap operas).
Basically, I get an outline of the action and then write the dialog. It's up to me to explain how Brandon is in bed with Tina at the beginning of an episode and by the end she's throwing him off a cliff.
I'm starting to work on prime time shows that you know you watch (I just can't tell you which ones yet). When the ratings start to suck, they hire the big guns (that's me!) to see if we can work magic in the writers' room.
Speaking of writers' rooms, they're pretty much full of old men who make dirty jokes. I guess that makes them dirty old men.
They get paid a lot to edit their raunchiness down to FCC standards, and that boys and girls is how they create your fave TV shows! Reality TV, however, is a different story. Fairly inexpensive to produce, every network thinks it might have a cash cow success like American Idol on its hands.
And, being the TV aficionado that I am, I must admit: I HEART REALITY TV. (Please don't judge me.)
Come on, admit you watch Rock of Love, people.
Anyway, here's a recap of some of the bombs on TV of late. Suddenly Simon is looking good!
Though long-running hits like Fox's "American Idol," which returns for its eighth season, continue to dominate the Nielsen charts, the rest of reality TV has failed to produce a similar-sized success in years (check out the reality TV airing this Winter).
From mom and daughter beauty pageants to celebrities displaying off-the-wall talents some of these reality disasters couldn't capture much of an audience at all.
Here's a look at some recent reality losers:
Network: ABC. Average Audience: 5.9 million viewers.
The Ashton Kutcher-produced game show based on trivia about your family set right in your own backyard. The family-friendly ABC show hosted by J.D. Roth failed to lure big viewership. Knocks was yanked after just three episodes.
"Secret Talents of the Stars"
Network: CBS. Average Audience: 4.6 million.
The short-lived competition show featured an array of stars and their hidden skills. Think Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen performing with a Chinese acrobat troupe. The series achieved a rare feat: It was canceled the day after it premiered.
"High School Musical: Get in the Picture"
Network: ABC. Average Audience: 2.7 million.
Despite a hit film franchise, strong branding and relentless promotion, the televised talent hunt was more Grease than American Idol. It failed to score the buzz of its predecessor. Instead, the Zanessa-free summertime series hosted by Nick Lachey limped along in the ratings.
Network: NBC. Average Audience: 5.5 million
Though the Australian import lasted far longer than rival CBS' Secret Talents of the Stars, which was yanked after just one episode, the critically panned NBC series hosted by former 'NSYNC member Joey Fatone wasn't the breakout the network hoped it would be. No wonder. Among the star talent: The Brady Bunch's Christopher Knight, soap opera star Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Olympic swimmer Janet Evans.
"Greatest American Dog"
Network: CBSAverage. Audience: 6 million
Despite high hopes and heavy promotion, the summertime talent competition--this one was American Idol meets Big Brother, with canines--lacked the bite it needed. In the end, the show's cliché formula--fighting contestants and communal living--proved a turn-off for viewers.
"Crowned: The Mother of all Pageants"
Network: CW. Average Audience: 1.7 million
The mother-daughter beauty pageant competition series was hardly the lift the ratings-challenged network needed. Among other things, the show's three judges--Queer Eye's Carson Kressley, Miss USA 1995 Shanna Moakler and TV personality Cynthia Garrett--lacked the chemistry of Idol's famed trio Randy, Simon and Paula. The result: Unlike the CW's other buzz-worthy shows, Gossip Girl and 90210, Crowned was virtually ignored.
"My Dad is Better than Your Dad"
Network: NBC. Average Audience: 6.1 million
The American Gladiators meets Double Dare strike-time series featured fathers and sons battling out in a series of stunts and trivia. The show, which premiered in February, failed to score big buzz or viewers.
The Rebel Deb moral of the story?
If you have a decent idea for a reality TV show, PITCH IT! It's bound to be better than the crap the networks are producing.
Now's your chance to be a star!!!