Fun With Pop Culture

spunky Forum: How to Fix NBC


NBC’s problem is that they don’t have a network identity anymore.  Each block of shows is its own little universe.  NBC has been at its most successful when they convince the viewers that if they like Cheers, they’ll probably like this other stuff as well.  They do a good job of cross-promoting within an audience (Hey, Office viewer – I bet you would also enjoy Parks and Recreation as well!)  They can’t sell Thursday viewers on the idea of watching Chuck, for example.  As it is, they’ve got Sci-fi night on Monday, Reality Night on Tuesday, Drama Night on Wednesday, Comedy Night on Thursday, and then the weekend morass.  Why not come up with a sitcom that can be viewed more casually, and pair it with Biggest Loser, which people do watch.  (Modern Family is a great example – it’s really well done, but there’s no continuity so you don’t feel lost if you miss an episode.  Not everybody watches TV the way we do.)  Then afterwards, a Law and Order.  Again, no continuity, but generally high quality.  Their current model segments their viewership too much.  You’re a person who watches NBC comedies, rather than a person who watches NBC.
You know how to get people watching Chuck?  Air it on Thursday, after the comedy block.  Let’s be honest, it’s impossible to like both 30 Rock and Leno.  Nobody keeps it on NBC at that point.  But if you give us Chuck, people might stick around.  And heck, I don’t want to see crossovers like they used to do, since I’m very concerned with which shows co-exist in the same universe, but why not get Rainn Wilson to play an angry Buy More customer, or have Jack Coleman play a patient on Mercy?  And for Saturdays, they should be showing repeats of their best shows, not movies or replays of Biggest Loser. And they shouldn’t be recent episodes, since that encourages people to skip the first airing.  But there are six seasons of The Office, four of 30 Rock, etc.  Parks and Recreation is fantastic this season, and they should be airing episodes from, say, two months ago and try to catch those homebound Saturday viewers.  The other networks do a much better job of presenting a unified programming slate.  (You know those ABC ads where the stars of all the shows live in a big house together?  That’s genius!)
I really do need a job in TV.  There is, it turns out, literally nothing else that I’m any good at.

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