Skip to comments.Summer of fail: Why are new shows bombing?
Posted on 08/13/2009 11:42:53 AM PDT by Signalman
This summer is one for the record books: more than a dozen new programs launched on broadcast television and not one breakout hit, with returning shows down and ratings at an all-time low.
After a tough season for broadcasters, summer has been a huge disappointment.
"The sheer amount of waste is staggering," one broadcast executive said. "They say reality is low cost, but there are still costs."
Accumulated near the bottom of the ratings list are new programs like ABC's wonky "Grey's Anatomy"-in-space drama "Defying Gravity" (3.3 million viewers, 1.0 adults 18-49 rating); ABC's ironically titled "The Superstars" (3.8 million, 1.3); NBC's crime drama "The Listener" (4.7 million, 1.3); Fox's scripted psychological procedural "Mental" (4.6 million, 1.4 adults 18-49 rating); NBC's once-promising drama "The Philanthropist" (5.6 million, 1.4); the CW's relationship reality show "Hitched or Ditched" (1.4 million, 0.6); NBC's imported miniseries "Merlin" (4.8 million, 1.3); and NBC's "Great American Road Trip" (3.9 million, 1.1), or, as one publicist called it, "Great American Roadkill."
Note the wide range of genres. There are programs from every broadcaster, with imported dramas like "Mental" and domestically grown titles such as "Philanthropist." There's no clear trend that the titles have in common -- other than flopping.
"Sometimes we make general pronouncements about trends; this summer we just collectively missed the mark," another network exec said. "There's too many shows with 1s in front of their demo rating. We just did a bad job."
The one potential systemic reason was that a few of the projects were picked up during the writers strike. "It felt like a leftover summer -- whatever was sitting on the shelves, a fire sale," one network exec said.
Still, that only explains some of the titles.
Among the better performers was Fox's fat bachelor dating show "More to Love" (3.9 million, 1.8), NBC's Heidi and Spencer-filled "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" (5.0 million, 1.9) and ABC's literal blind dating series "Dating in the Dark" (5.1 million, 2.1).
"Dark" performed well when it had a "Bachelorette" lead-in and carries the highest average rating of the new shows. Yet none of them has drawn large enough of an audience to be considered highly likely to return.
Other new titles this summer include CBS' urban "Survivor" reality show "There Goes the Neighborhood" (4.8 million, 1.6) and ABC's investment reality series "Shark Tank" (4.2 million, 1.3), both of which debuted to disappointing numbers Sunday yet could improve.
At the bottom of the ratings list were a couple of shows that were new to summer but launched in-season -- like ABC's "Surviving Suburbia" (3.2 million, 0.9).
Appropriate for a summer of fail, the very last show was one of the most expensive and with the most regal title -- "Kings," which was run off on Saturdays.
At the top of the list are returning hits "America's "Got Talent" (12.4 million, 3.4) from NBC and Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" (9 million, 3.5), with "Talent" leading in viewers and "Dance" edging out a victory for the adult demo. Fox's "Hell's Kitchen" (7.4 million, 3.4) and ABC's "Wipeout" (8.8 million, 3.1) round out the top shelf. Yet all took knocks from last summer.
The erosions are not happening in a vacuum. The ratings playing field between broadcast and cable ratings continues to collectively flatten, with several shows on cable posting gains (such as USA's "Royal Pains" and "Burn Notice" and HBO's "True Blood").
For the summer, Fox (averaging 5.2 million, 1.9) leads in the demo, with largely repeat-driven CBS (6.8 million, 1.5) tops among total viewers. Then there's ABC (4.8 million, 1.6), NBC (5.3 million, 1.5) and the CW (1 million, 0.4).
Why are new shows bombing?.......
Because there’s a hell of a lot more important things going on than t.v. programs failing!.....
Occam’s Razor - it’s all crap.
So You Think You Can Dance is the only “Must See” TV for me this summer. I might try to catch back up on Burn Notice, but nothing new that came out is in the least bit interesting. Royal Pains, never kept me after it was obvious where they were headed.
2 of my new show favorites are:
Warehouse 13 on Syfy and;
Ghost Adventures (I think) on Travel Channel
But I agree, those other shows that are tanking, SUCK. More and more I see the reason our country is in the decline it is. There aren’t many shows anymore that teach good values and morals. Everyone is sleeping with everyone else and stealing, cheating, gossiping, lying, etc.
People are watching the 7 deadly sins, nightly on TV, so it must be ok.
Leftist leaning shows that openly come out and bash Republicans and Conservatives are all over TV. Not mine, however. It gets old. Has been for years now. I can tune them out faster than I can turn them on.
I’ve seen Mental a couple of times. It’s interesting, but I’m still undecided about whether I like it.
FWIW- I nearly fell asleep trying to watch “Defying Gravity.” TV Heroism can be so boring!!
Uhh, because they suck?
Every once in awhile I cruise through the icky selection of crap proffered, eeeeewww, click , ewwwwww, click , etc., is my usual response and it's back to freeperville, netflix, youtube , my own dvds, etc.
It’s been a bad bad summer, no doubt.
I’m sorry to say, I’ve watched the Dating in the Dark twice... it’s oddly interesting?? I guess.. but, I haven’t set me Tivo to catch it.
I don’t pretend to have the intellect or insight required to analyze people’s viewing habits. I can only say that those viewing habits might arise from a recent movie theater experience. I took myself and my wife to see “StarTrek 2009” and left the movie halfway through. It came across as a childrens movie and that made halfway through a good enough reason for us. Perhaps people who view the shows you’ve mentioned are having similar experiences
There is nothing worth watching on TV and they don’t get it.
In June, Mañana Es para Siempre on Univision was beating every other program on TV except for So you think you can dance, Two-and-a-half men, Wipeout, Big Bang, Family Guy and the Bachelorette, according to Nielsen.
Ever try to run in a dream? The entertainment industry is so bogged down in political correctness it's a wonder they can even get a show to the screen, let alone find a hit.
Yep, they are so preachy and un-entertaining. The lines are disjointed, hard to follow, and have morals I wouldn't show my kids.
We buy DVDs that we like and can believe in. Hogan's Hero's is a big hit and also Hawaii Five-O.
Even if the kids were grown, I wouldn't want them watching CSI - everything perverted is OK there.
Where can one find Family Entertainment that is not Environmentally or Morally whacked out and makes us feel good?
I bumped into “Defying Gravity” last week and I am now hooked. I had no idea that it existed, which did surprise me.
We enjoy Warehouse13 in our multigenerational family, from 15 to 70. The scripts are just a little weak, but visually the show is stunning. Production design and art direction Emmy nominations should be forthcoming.
So You Think YOu Can Dance is wonderful. I can’t stand American Idol, because half the contestants suck, but all of the dancers are topnotch. Highly entertaining.
TV is a wasteland and a waste of time. We didn’t get a converter, since we don’t need one. Ours has been disconnected from the airwaves for over a year and a half.
I’m finding I have plenty of things to keep busy with besides exsanguinating my intellectual capacity.
I definitely recommend Shark Tank....it’s the American Idol of venture capital
Because they cancelled Jericho and I put a curse on them!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.