Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TV: How the network brass fails the shareholders

2017 has not been a good year for Adam Pally.  The HAPPY ENDINGS actor's new series MAKING HISTORY was set to debut on FOX but had already seen its production order of 13 episodes reduced to only 9.

March 5th the show debuted to a respectable (for FOX) 2.17 million viewers. Nothing to brag about, but nothing to be ashamed of.

Shame would be the following weeks.


The ratings dropped and dropped and dropped until hitting a low of 1.32 million viewers.

Viewers were the least of his trouble.

March 16th found him in NYC telling TMZ he'd go back in time and kill either Adolf Hitler or Donald Trump.  As a joke, it flopped.

But worse was to come.

March 29th found VARIETY reported he'd been busted in NYC with pot and cocaine.

Adam Pally's funny and with his COMEDY CENTRAL show on Trump, the year may yet turn around for him.

We hope so.

But we'd argue FOX doomed him when they put him MAKING HISTORY.

It's not a bad show (or wasn't, word's coming that it won't be on the fall schedule, we're told).

It's just not a sitcom that should have ever been made.

30 ROCK.

Remember it?

It had no life in syndication.

So many shows like that don't, single camera sitcoms that mistake snark for wit and whimsy for punchlines.

Why the hell would FOX decide to do yet another sitcom that they won't make much money off of?

Even MODERN FAMILY struggles in syndication.

What works?


What do they share in common?

Multi-cam sitcoms.

How much money are networks losing with long running single-cam sitcoms?

FRIENDS and SEINFELD still do well in syndication.  So does GOLDEN GIRLS.

What does poorly in syndication?

Hour long twist-and-turns shoes and single-cam sitcoms.

In a piece at MARKETWATCH this week, Therese Poletti noted:

But [NETFLIX CEO Reed] Hastings has apparently decided that one area of Netflix’s original-content business needs to start showing better results: In the company’s first-quarter earnings letter to shareholders, Hastings was quite frank about the company’s original films, while noting the recent hire of veteran studio executive Scott Stuber to run its movie business. The letter mentioned that Netflix has found success with Adam Sandler, whose original films have reportedly been streamed for more than 500 million hours, but also made a rare admission of a flop, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny,” and said more bang is needed for Netflix’s bucks.

It's time the networks answered about bang for buck.

They continue to make piddling sitcoms with single cams despite the fact that the only hit sitcoms ratings wise are the multi-cam sitcoms, despite the fact that the only sitcoms to rake in millions in syndication are the multi-cams.

They think they look 'cool' and win the respect of the Water Cooler Set but that group of so-called critics has never reflected or led American tastes.

It's time for the shareholders to demand that money stop being wasted on these situational whimsies and that networks returned to making the comedies that result in actual laughter and actual money.

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