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Summer of fail: Why are new shows bombing?
The live feed ^ | 8/13/2009 | James Hibberd

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).


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: tvratings

1 posted on 08/13/2009 11:42:55 AM PDT by Signalman
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To: Bobkk47

Why are new shows bombing?.......

Because there’s a hell of a lot more important things going on than t.v. programs failing!.....


2 posted on 08/13/2009 11:46:26 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Bobkk47

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.


3 posted on 08/13/2009 11:47:37 AM PDT by Chipper (You can't kill an Obamazombie by destroying the brain...they didn't have one to begin with.)
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To: Bobkk47

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.


4 posted on 08/13/2009 11:48:03 AM PDT by Lucky9teen (I don't care if Obama was blue, it's his AGENDA & PLAN to destroy America & The Constitution I hate)
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

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.


5 posted on 08/13/2009 11:49:39 AM PDT by jadedeagle (From the desk of the Jaded Eagle!)
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To: Lucky9teen

I’ve seen Mental a couple of times. It’s interesting, but I’m still undecided about whether I like it.


6 posted on 08/13/2009 11:49:50 AM PDT by Dianna (Obama Barbie: Governing is hard.)
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To: Bobkk47

FWIW- I nearly fell asleep trying to watch “Defying Gravity.” TV Heroism can be so boring!!


7 posted on 08/13/2009 11:50:10 AM PDT by D_Idaho ("For we wrestle not against flesh and blood...")
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To: Bobkk47

Uhh, because they suck?


8 posted on 08/13/2009 11:50:22 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Bobkk47
...uh, because they s u c k , royally!

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.

9 posted on 08/13/2009 11:50:29 AM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: Bobkk47

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.


10 posted on 08/13/2009 11:50:56 AM PDT by SomeCallMeTim
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To: Bobkk47

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


11 posted on 08/13/2009 11:50:56 AM PDT by davisfh ( Islam is a very serious mental illness)
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To: Bobkk47

There is nothing worth watching on TV and they don’t get it.


12 posted on 08/13/2009 11:55:05 AM PDT by coconut47
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To: Bobkk47

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.


13 posted on 08/13/2009 11:57:03 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: Bobkk47
"Why are new shows bombing?"

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.

14 posted on 08/13/2009 11:57:44 AM PDT by redhead (If it's worth fighting for, it's worth dying for. Check the Halfbaked Sourdough)
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To: coconut47
There is nothing worth watching on TV and they don’t get it.

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?

15 posted on 08/13/2009 12:00:57 PM PDT by sr4402
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To: Chipper

I bumped into “Defying Gravity” last week and I am now hooked. I had no idea that it existed, which did surprise me.


16 posted on 08/13/2009 12:05:03 PM PDT by CSM (Business is too big too fail... Government is too big to succeed... I am too small to matter...)
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To: Lucky9teen

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.


17 posted on 08/13/2009 12:05:25 PM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: Bobkk47

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.


18 posted on 08/13/2009 12:05:31 PM PDT by Disambiguator
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I definitely recommend Shark Tank....it’s the American Idol of venture capital


19 posted on 08/13/2009 12:06:29 PM PDT by TerP26
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To: Bobkk47

Because they cancelled Jericho and I put a curse on them!


20 posted on 08/13/2009 12:07:02 PM PDT by The Toll
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To: Bobkk47
Movies, Netflix, Video Games, The Internet, Chatting, Social Networking, YouTube, TV on the Web (Hulu and what not), It's the summer (And not that hot outside, so lots of people are out having fun.) Live Music, Coffee Shoppes, Restaurants, Church Prayer Meetings, Town Hall Meetings...

Lots of other things to do than TV these days.

21 posted on 08/13/2009 12:08:57 PM PDT by PureSolace (Trust in God)
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To: sr4402
Last night I viewed a netflix copy of Grapes of Wrath with commentary by two Steinbeck scholars.

Very interesting and intellectually stimulating with beautiful black & white photography.

Makes everything else we're talking about on this thread seem like badly produced porn compared to this great doublesided DVD.

Get it on Netflix or like me I'm gonna buy my own copy from amazon, unless someone knows a better place for same.

22 posted on 08/13/2009 12:09:07 PM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: Disambiguator

We killed TV in our house about 4 or 5 months ago. It’s been nice. We still get movies from Netflix and most of the shows we like to watch are on the internet for free anyway.

The only thing I don’t know what to do about is football....


23 posted on 08/13/2009 12:10:33 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater ("Get out of the boat and walk on the water with us!”--Sen. Joe Biden)
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To: Bobkk47

Because they are no good and not worth watching. Never mind stupid.


24 posted on 08/13/2009 12:13:29 PM PDT by Parmy
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To: Future Snake Eater
Well I'm a TVholic. However, now we rarely sit down and see what's on. We TIVO many shows between the two of us. When we have time, we sit down together and then watch somthing we TIVO'd.

I check the booktv schedule every week and wind up TIVOing 4-5 shows over the weekend. I can watch a 1 hour show with commercials in about 30-35 minutes. We used to arrange things around the TV schedule. Now we live our lives as it happens and schedule other activities. TV waits until and unless we decide to watch.

25 posted on 08/13/2009 12:17:25 PM PDT by nufsed (Release the birth certificate, passport, and school records.)
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To: Bobkk47

My TV viewing is basically comprised of The History Channel, The Science Channel, The Food Channel, Fox News, and occasionally a sporting event or a movie.


26 posted on 08/13/2009 12:22:55 PM PDT by Isabel C.
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To: Bobkk47
"Why are new shows bombing?"

Because television as we know it is becoming outdated.

27 posted on 08/13/2009 12:26:05 PM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: Bobkk47

I turned on the TV a couple of weeks ago to see if the set still works. It does. I’ll check again in a few months.


28 posted on 08/13/2009 12:26:25 PM PDT by Grut
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To: Bobkk47
There's no clear trend that the titles have in common -- other than flopping.

And the fact that it sounds like they all suck.

29 posted on 08/13/2009 12:31:42 PM PDT by Sloth (Irony: Freepers who call Ron Paul a "nut" but swallow all the birth certificate conspiracy crap.)
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To: sr4402
Hawaii Five-O I can understand. But Hogan's Heroes?

; )

30 posted on 08/13/2009 12:36:54 PM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: GSWarrior
But Hogan's Heroes?

Ask my ER Nurse wife, she's the one who asked for it. We also have Fantasy Island, and have one and a half Love Boat seasons. We plan to have enough entertainment for six months that we forget what we saw six months ago.

BTW: We go on Love Boat (Princess Cruises). Then have a Love Boat landing sign on their Island in the Caribbean.

31 posted on 08/13/2009 12:46:47 PM PDT by sr4402
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To: GSWarrior

BTW: We go on Love Boat (Princess Cruises). They have a Love Boat landing sign on their Island in the Caribbean.

Best Entertainment and Best food. We do the 11 day cruises.


32 posted on 08/13/2009 12:48:03 PM PDT by sr4402
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To: Grut
I turned on the TV a couple of weeks ago to see if the set still works. It does. I’ll check again in a few months.

I did that just for fun with the TV in my apartment in another city that I get to visit maybe every 2 months. I've had that TV for 20 years, but now it doesn't work any more. Oh, wait...it's the TV stations that don't work on it any more! Neverrrrminnnnnnnd.

33 posted on 08/13/2009 12:52:22 PM PDT by Erasmus (Barack Hussein Obama: America's toast!)
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To: GSWarrior; sr4402
Hawaii Five-O I can understand. But Hogan's Heroes?

It's great fun to watch them on German TV...dubbed in German...and marvel at the goofy voices the German producers chose for the characters.

Of course, several of the original cast members could have dubbed their own voices, but I don't think they did.

34 posted on 08/13/2009 12:56:44 PM PDT by Erasmus (Barack Hussein Obama: America's toast!)
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To: Isabel C.
My TV viewing is basically comprised of The History Channel, The Science Channel, The Food Channel, Fox News, and occasionally a sporting event or a movie.

I'm with you there.. except for the sporting event...

Add in the original shows on USA, FX, TNT and TBS, which are good (The Closer, Royal Pains, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Rescue Me, Monk and Psych).

About the only network shows I watch any more are House, Law and Order, and The Unit, which I think they cancelled.

35 posted on 08/13/2009 1:25:15 PM PDT by CarmichaelPatriot
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To: Bobkk47

Perhaps because it’s junk?


36 posted on 08/13/2009 4:04:55 PM PDT by backhoe (All across America, the Lights are going out...)
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