Friday, October 20, 2006

NBC -- The Fourth Placed Network -- Panics

NBC announces at least 700 layoffs, says it's mostly abandoning sitcoms and dramas during the 8 p.m. hour and instead of just admitting they're fighting to regain their mojo, NBC desperately dubs their panic "NBCU 2.0" Oh, okay, so they're not in fourth place and floundering; they're launching a new and improved software. What's next? Theme music while fired employees are kicked out the door?

The most head-scratching announcement is that NBC will use mostly game shows and reality shows for the 8 p.m. hour. (Though they do say that "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office" are staying put.) What kind of idiotic programming move is that? Do people really turn on the TV at 8 p.m. and say, gee, I'm really in the mood for a low-cost reality/game show? Is NBC saying the last thing they want is a blockbuster 8 p.m. smash like "The Cosby Show" (which saved the network and the sitcom) and "Friends" and "Mad About You" and "Golden Girls" and "ALF" and "The A Team" (which turned on the lights at NBC until "Cosby" exploded) and "CHiPS" and "Little House On The Prairie" and "Laugh In" and I could go on but you get the idea? Those are all 8 p.m. shows that were huge hits for NBC. Inexplicably deciding that scripted shows won't air at 8 p.m. is about as bone-headed an idea as I've heard. It's completely random, stupid and pointless.

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