TV Networks Playing a Dangerous Games with the Viewers - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

TV Networks Playing a Dangerous Games with the Viewers

August 14, 2007 by  

Earlier this year ABC canceled THE NINE and KNIGHTS OF PROSPERITY due to poor ratings.  A few weeks ago ABC announced that it was bringing both shows back to play out their remaining unaired episodes so fans could have a sense of closure.  Nice, right?  Yeah, not so much.  ABC has (quietly)  pulled THE NINE and KNIGHTS from the schedule yet again, announcing the changes via a scheduling update from the network.

I’m not going to get on my soapbox and rant and rave because in the end it’s going to do no good (and I feel that we’ve had this discussion before, no?).  This is about money.  It always has been and it always will be.  The networks don’t care about the fans of the shows, they care about the advertising dollars.  Don’t be fooled.  And I’m not knocking ABC because this is the case for all the major networks.  If the viewers aren’t there they can’t keep the show on the air. It is what it is and as disappointing as it is, that’s just the way it works.

What I hope all the networks fully realize is that they are playing a dangerous game of chicken with the viewers.  TV watchers  are starting to get weary of committing to shows that they fear will be unceremoniously pulled from the air.  Why bother dedicating hours on end to watching a show only to find out that your time has been wasted because the networks want to try to optimize their advertising dollars? People may just stop tuning in.

Critics and fans have been burned one too many times in recent years to the point that they have lost trust in the networks.  Case in point: ABC’s new fall show PUSHING DAISIES.  PUSHING DAISIES definitely has the most positive buzz of any new show premiering this Fall.  Critics and viewers who have seen the pilot are completely enamored by the writing, the acting and the visual effects of this unique forensic fairy tale.  But try to find one review of PUSHING DAISIES where the author doesn’t worry that the show will be pulled from the air before it gets a chance to really find its audience.  PUSHING DAISIES is different from other shows on TV, not only visually but in its approach to storytelling.  This is a show that might need just a bit more time to take hold with the viewing audience. But will it have its chance or will it, like so many others before it, be given just a handful of episodes to make a mark before it’s pulled from the schedule only to be viewed again online? This is what the TV viewers have to consider when deciding on which shows to give their time to this season.

There are only so many times the networks can pull this stunt and still expect their audience to be loyal. Last time I checked they weren’t doing this on HBO or Showtime.  Should I just stick to shows on cable? I hope not.

Filed under TV News


14 Responses to “TV Networks Playing a Dangerous Games with the Viewers”

  1. Mannie on August 14th, 2007 11:53 am

    You know, that just totally ticked me off. I was enjoying watching the rest of the episodes of The Nine. I was a little weary of even bothering to watch them because I knew the end was left as a cliffhanger, but I figured I’d watch. It’s been even better than before. So they aren’t showing the remaining episodes??? Those dumb people. I could understand if this was the fall and TV viewership was high for everything, but this is the SUMMER people. Please get your perspective right. I don’t even think I want to watch TV anymore, and that’s saying something for me. I am mad they took Greek off ABC, because I don’t have cable, but I am thankful they have the episodes online. GMMR, you should really watch the episodes online. They are great, which means they will probably be pulled after this next episode if they haven’t been already.

  2. Mannie on August 14th, 2007 11:57 am

    This is their way of making money off the DVD sales. Everyone will have to buy it now to see the end.

  3. Lisa (aka lmr722) on August 14th, 2007 12:03 pm

    The networks need to wake up to the fact that the choices are nearly endless right now for entertainment and the landscape is changing. I was just remarking yesterday that this summer has been amazing for TV viewing. There’s SYTYCD for one,,
    The Closer for another, and new shows like Damages which are debuting to critical acclaim. The September to May season is passe or becoming so and they no longer own the viewer. They need to wake up and smell the coffee – commit to a show through more than a few episodes or don’t put it on at all.

  4. TV Networks Playing a Dangerous Games with the Viewers — All This Nonsense on August 14th, 2007 12:05 pm

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  5. Lisa on August 14th, 2007 12:36 pm

    I am so behind you on this one. I hate to say it, but I do not watch new serial dramas for precisely this reason. I didn’t watch Lost until season 2 (caught up via iTunes…) One would think that with technology at the height it is, the networks would be able to ditch the Neilsen ratings (WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE ANYWAY???) The Neilsen families certainly don’t represent me, an educated, well-off female.

    Despite my swearing off new serial dramas, I got caught last year watching THREE cancelled shows- The Nine, Daybreak, and Studio 60. Never again. Take that network Honchos.

  6. August on August 14th, 2007 1:16 pm

    I was really afraid this was going to happen to The Nine again. How annoying!!! I was excited they were reairing the rest of the eps and had gotten into it again just to have ABC pull it AGAIN. I hope they will air the rest of the episodes online.

  7. Jennifer on August 14th, 2007 2:11 pm

    I bet a show like Pushing Daisies would be a hit on cable tv. It’s sad that networks take a chance on so few shows preferring to invest so little money into more reality/game shows. Like Lisa above, I don’t watch new shows in the fall anymore. I usually wait to see what’s got “buzz” then catch up online. I do this for 2 reasons: 1) there is such crap being produced that I’m not going to waste my time on it, 2) I don’t want to get invested in something that will be cancelled midseason. It’s one thing to cancel a show after a season has aired in full, it’s another to leave the storyline hanging.

  8. Amy on August 14th, 2007 2:13 pm

    Son of a @#$#$&*%$#$!!! That pisses me off that they cancelled The Nine AGAIN.

    I am in 100% agreement with you. Last year, I wasted God only knows how many hours of my life watching not one, not two, but FOUR shows, just to have them get cancelled. I will NOT waste my time with another new show this year. I decided last year after all those shows were cancelled that I would wait until the second season to see if they were picked up.

    I’m tired of the networks wasting my time.

  9. ColoradoKila on August 14th, 2007 2:54 pm

    This is exactly why summer shows on alternate networks are starting to take off. Expect this trend to grow.

    Watch out “big 5” – we (the viewers) won’t put up with this for long.

    If they think they are losing ad dollars now – wait until F/X, TBS and A&E start stepping up their game – big trouble awaits.

    Love your thoughts GMMR!

  10. Kristi on August 14th, 2007 3:55 pm

    Woah, what!??! The Nine only got to air two new episodes!! Why bring it back and get us interested again just to take it away… that’s such BS. Gah, I’m mad!

  11. Scooter McGavin on August 14th, 2007 7:43 pm

    So by my count this is the third time they “quietly” pulled Knight of Prosperity, not to mention the other time they “quietly” switched its timeslot a day before it aired. And then ABC wonders why nobody watched it.

    And really they can’t just show the two remaining episodes because of money? All of these executives have gold plated trash cans so would it really hurt them to buy $900 trash cans instead of $1000 ones so they can eat the losses for one more hour of the show?

    ABC is getting really close to my banned list with Fox. An early cancelation of Pushing Daisies may just get them a pernament spot on the list.

  12. jenrn on August 15th, 2007 1:39 am

    I’m so peaved!! I loved The Nine and was really enjoying these episodes. Unfortunately it doesn’t surprise me they did this again. I thought it was just humourous how ABC was showing promos for their new fall shows during these episodes. I thought of all the people watching that were angry about how they cancelled The Nine. How could they not think “why should I watch that when I got burned the last time.” Really why should we make the effort. Why would anyone start reading a book when there’s a high likelyhood of there being no ending?

    It seems what the cable networks are doing is following the British example of having short seasons. They put on engaging shows that run a few months or so and promote the hell out of them. I enjoy this formula. I’ve been enjoying The Closer and Saving Grace, 4400, Burn notice, and now also Mad Men. I’ve just totally lost my trust in the big networks. I’m not sure what I’ll commit to this Fall.

  13. Geoff on August 15th, 2007 3:26 pm

    I’m still waiting to see what happens on “Threshold”. 🙁

  14. Tara on August 15th, 2007 7:34 pm

    You spoke too soon…Now HBO is doing it too! John from Cincinnatti was a great show, but HBO didn’t give the viewers enough time to really understand what was going on!