Thursday, November 03, 2005

The little sweeps period that couldn't

As a special service to those of you with things like Lives and Plans and Places To Be, let me urge you to go ahead and accept all social invitations this month. It's not like you'll miss anything on TV. November may be Sweeps month, but thanks to Local People Meters, there will be no Neilsen Diary-dominating specials, no stunts, nothing. Another hallowed American tradition, mauled by the merciless beast of technology.

Oh well, it's only a ratings fight for CBS and ABC anyway. "A deflated NBC--the network perhaps most notorious for stunting during sweeps--said it too is committed to its regular schedule." Which of course is hilarious when you consider this story from John Cook: "One media buyer...was so flabbergasted when NBC announced its fall schedule in May that she told her clients that it had to be a fake, and that Zucker would announce some sort of bold Thursday-night shake-up closer to launch. No such luck." Zucker was committed even then, "committed" being the new euphemism for "out of ideas."

But with words that might be cubicle wall-worthy, one network executive urges programmers to take more risks: "UPN president Dawn Ostroff said that quality projects usually come from people who are especially passionate about their work and that it's often best to not interfere with them....'You have to be respectful of people's vision,' she said. 'You get something more pure when they have a vision and you get out of their way. Why get in their way when someone has got the road map in their mind?'"

She's either saying something quite inspiring or absolving herself from all future blame when the shit hits the fan, I don't know. But let's hope it means better TV shows. Soon.


Swedish Girl said...

Yes, what's happened to US TV? We used to get loads of good shows over here...

But now there's only "Lost", which I find really boring.

But loads of gorgeous BBC programmes: Bleak House, Rome, Egypt... yay!

Irene Done said...

We're too busy "Americanizing" all your shows. The Office, Coupling, even shows like House Doctor and Cash In The Attic. I prefer the BBC originals. But there are two new shows this year that are quite good -- My Name Is Earl and Everybody Hates Chris Rock. They're really well-written. So I'm taking that as a good sign that the well-done sit-com is not dead. Cross your fingers!