Saturday, October 21, 2006

More On NBC's Drastic Cuts And Primetime Switch

Again, NBC is cutting 700 employees and panicking over primetime because they've been in fourth place, not because they've seen the future of TV and want to prepare. (If they could see the future of TV as clearly as they claim, they wouldn't be in fourth place.) And many of their cuts are coming in news: while MSNBC is moribund, all the other news divisions are winners, from the CNBC channel to that geyser of profitability "The Today Show." So THAT'S where they're making cuts? And insisting that they won't put sitcoms or dramas in the 8 p.m. hour is just idiotic. Sure, some nights that might be appropriate. But every night? They're already double-pumping the hell out of "Deal Or No Deal." And now they're gonna fill every 8 p.m. hour with game shows and reality. Done well, a reality show is just as valid as any other show. But they tend to be lower-rent in nature and lower the value of a network. Plus, since NBC is already ignoring Saturday night and now refuses to put sitcoms or dramas in the 8 p.m. hour, that's 9 hours out of a weekly 21 they're throwing away. That's ALMOST half of the primetime hours they control. Imagine refusing to build nice homes on more than a third of your property. No developer doing that would last for long. Neither should NBC. And while a reality show can power a network just like any other hit, they have ZERO value in reruns or on DVD. One "Friends" can keep a network afloat in money for a decade.


Anonymous said...

If they would just dump Jeff Zucker, whose name should really begin with an "F," they could save the 700 jobs AND the network. I don't understand why NBCU is sticking with this man. Under his reign NBC has been like the Titanic AFTER it hit the iceberg.

Michael in New York said...

Well, it was gonna be hurting no matter what when Friends called it a day -- the network was definitely on a downward slope. His main accomplishment has been to keep The Today Show on an even keel while switching anchors. (That show prints money.) But of course he could have done that without leaving today. I'm trying to think of a successful move of his in primetime and I'm having trouble. Maybe they'll just come out with a Zucker 2.0