Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Maybe now they'll learn? Nah, probably not.

Today I noticed an article about the actions of Jericho fans trying to save their show. It looks like sending 50,000 pounds of nuts got NBC's attention.
I'm damn tired of these networks canceling shows so rapidly I can't even get a shot at seeing them. That combined with the advent of Netflix is the reason so many people only watch shows when they come out on DVD. Especially more cult-ish shows like Jericho. (Which, incidentally, I never started watching because I figured it would go the way of Surface, Firefly, and Invasion- it's comrade sci-fi shows.)
(Which brings me to another aside: if sci-fi is so historically popular, and popular in video games, books, and film, why is Sci-Fi Channel the only station willing to stick with a show? We are so desperate for good sci-fi that we are watching utter crap. When will Network Television get the message that Cable has understood for ages? And while I'm at it, what is the most enduring black and white television show? You could argue argue The Honeymooners (which at the time was not popular) or I Love Lucy, but I think that more people remember The Twilight Zone. Even kids who've never seen it can recognize references both musical and otherwise to the show. Could they recognise the opening theme from I Love Lucy? I bet you 50,000 pounds of nuts that they couldn't. End of tirade.)
If I think I will get four episodes into a new show and then the whole thing will be trashed, it demolishes any interest I have in watching a new show.
There are a couple of shows that I think I will watch when they start in the coming season, but I promise that if they immediately get yanked off the air so that they can throw in a mid-season replacement (which will in turn get pulled immediately) or reruns of King of Queens or Seinfeld I will flip out.


PalinDrome said...

Talk about a topic right in my wheelhouse.

To start off, the Sci-fi channel is just as guilty of canceling shows before their time, just so they can put cheaper crap in its place. Case in point Farscape (canceled even after they were already awarded a season five) and Dresdin Files (not picked up after 13 episode while Painkiller Jane gets 22 episodes before a single episode airs).

Jericho is kind of a special case in my mind. In the fall/winter Jericho was getting pretty good ratings, then CBS took it off the schedule for 2 months and brought it back against the Juggernaut that is American Idol. So of course ratings went down. That is why people are upset about the loss of Jericho because it failed because of the incompetency of the network not the quality of the show. Which by the way was not that high.

Which brings us to our next point. America as a whole is very stupid. The reason why Sci-fi programs are popular with programmers is not that they are watched by a lot of people they are watched by a very vocal minority that also tends to have a lot of disposable income. The problem is that they only remember this AFTER they cancel a show. Because just like everyone else they don't care about anything except right this second and if the ratings are not high enough they have to give money back to advertisers and they don't like that. Even though the advertisers are quite happy because they are actually being more effective because they are targeting people with money. A few months ago I saw a blog post talking about the ad effectiveness rate of different programs and it turns out that the ad dollars spent on Smallville were three time more effective then ad dollars spent on American Idol.

qtilla said...

Farscape had a million episodes though and frankly it got kind of blah at the end. (see Enterprise)
Additionally, Dresdin Files, not that great. It could have been amazing, but mostly it was just fine. Futurama was a much better show (in terms of cult-hits being ripped out of my life).

PalinDrome said...

Futurama was another show that was screwed by their network home what with the constant reruns and east coast interruptions. The good news is that it is coming back as four direct to DVD movies in 2008.

We will have to agree to disagree on Farscape, but I will agree to agree with you on Enterprise. Mainly because Enterprise was a poorly thought out concept that did more to piss on the franchise then service its fans.

I will also agree with you that the Dresdin Files was not great but its potential is so much more then the lowest-rated-original-series-
full-season-abomination that is Painkiller Jane.

qtilla said...

I would love to rip on Painkiller Jane; I mean LOVE to. However, until I watch it, I will not be able to do so. And because it looks like crap I will not watch it.
On the other hand I nearly died when Battlestar Galactica was being remade- with Starbuck as a chick no less... until I saw it. I think is the best thing on TV today.
That being said, I don't believe this will happen to Painkiller Jane. It looks like crap, cleverly disguised as... crap.
In other Sci-Fi Channel thoughts, can we go back to the 'where the hell is the series of The Lost Room, because the miniseries was really good and I would totally watch it'discussion? Cause it was, and I would.

PalinDrome said...

While I liked the Lost Room a lot, I don't think it would have made a very good ongoing series. I am a strong believer of the BBC model of short standalone series. And The Lost Room was so much better because it had a strong beginning and ending.

So have we scared off the rest of your commenters with this nerd-fest?

qtilla said...

Perhaps they are out playing football or whatever the cool kids do. I certainly wouldn't know.

I can see where you are coming from, and I like your min-series model. However, I have always liked the continuing min-series model as well. There are frequently follow-up series (I see this especially in Asia) and I think that in this case the mysteries of the room (God I am such a geek) have not been fully exploited. (Neither has Perer Krause, about whom, as predicted, I will say: I'd totally hit that.)

PalinDrome said...

Have you been watching the 4400? That is a show that has been taking the series of mini-series path. Each 13 episode season has an arc with a beginning and an ending. And then following season picks up the story threads and weaves a new arc.

My only complaint with the show is that they often do what appear to be standalone 4400-of-the-week episodes. You know what I am talking about where the heroes must rush out and deal with some new power person that they had never heard of before. X-files got slammed often for this with their Freak-of-the-week. But they do a pretty good job of often bringing these one of 4400-of-the-week characters back in future episodes to actually perform actions that move the overall plot along. I just wish the original episode could have moved the overall arc along as well.

Cymberleah said...

I am following the comments avidly, but having no cable and practically no TV reception means that my TV wathcing comes from Netflix.

Thus, I follow the discussion, and mostly think, "Hmmm."

And, occasionally "It's Dresden. Unless they changed it from the books."

But other than that... I got nuthin'.

qtilla said...

I have not seen 4400, but if you think it is worth watching, I will check it out.

If you would like to watch some nerdy crap on cable, I invite you to invite yourself over. (Any night except Grey's night.)
Mi stolen cable, es su stolen cable.

qtilla said...

Oh and on the X-Files freak-of-the-week thing, I LOVED those episodes. I really thought that the whiney 'my sister was kid-napped by aliens (boohoo)/government conspiracy' plotlines became really bogged down. I always enjoyed the break from all the David D. driven plots. Although I guess the housewife demographic was likely the driving force behind that.
Not that I can mock given my previous (typo laden) statement about Peter Krause...