Inpatient Networks

december 5, 2006

Broadcast TV networks are getting too impatient. If a show is not a hit within the first few weeks of release, the show is cut immediately. This is quite annoying for viewers like me. This season there have already been a string of disappointments. The two big ones for me are "Vanished" (FOX) and "Six Degrees" (ABC). "The Nine" (ABC) is another that has disappoint many TV watchers. Now there is news that "Day Break" (ABC) is on the chopping block after three episodes! The show is not spectacular by any means, but it is still mildly entertaining and very watchable. The number of viewers started at 15 million. It has since dropped to 5 million viewers for the last episode. That is still 5 million pissed off people if the show gets dropped. The show is only supposed to run for 13 episodes as a filler for the "Lost" break. Thirteen episodes! It will be disappointing if ABC cannot let it have its short, but full run. Last year it was the show "Reunion" (FOX) that disappointed. At least last year ABC found it in themselves to let "Invasion" finish its season before axing the show. And who can forget what FOX did to a great show named "Firefly"? The problem I see here is that if the networks continue this sort of behavior, they may start seeing some serious backlash from viewers. At this point any new show on FOX is suspect to me. After they canceled "Reunion" and "Vanished" (two serial shows) without letting the shows finish up their story lines, that left a really bad taste in my mouth. And now, it looks like ABC is up to the same kind of behavior -- and I am becoming wary of watching anything new that comes on ABC for fear that they will start a story and never finish it. I hope for "Day Break", ABC lets the producers wrap things up before completely axing the show. The show's format allows for them to shorten up the season by a bunch of episodes (since each episode is nearly the same). So, give "Day Break" two or three episodes to wrap things up at least. Networks need to learn to be more patient with their shows, at least let the shows air out their first season. If not, I am sure that TV viewers, who are already being distracted by the internet, will start to leave in droves. New shows will never flourish if people will not come to watch them in the first place -- for fear that the show will be canceled midseason. The short term gains of advertising revenue from canceling a show are not worth it if in the long term you start to lose viewers (and viewer trust).

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