Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Risks and trends

Yep, Lonestar is officially cancelled. It's not a shock, but it does disappoint me a little, since Fox had taken a chance on something different. Creator Kyle Killen told New York Magazine, "Fox was looking for a cable show to try on network television, I had a cable pitch that felt like it could work, and I think everyone was very excited."

Lonestar was a risk that didn't work out. But wasn't mega-hit Glee also a risk? And look at the low numbers for more traditional procedurals Outlaw and The Whole Truth. Playing it safe doesn't always work either. As for remakes, Hawaii Five-0 is a big hit, while last year's Melrose Place reboot tanked. I'm not sure there's really any lesson to be taken here, except maybe that networks should stop trying to cram a million premieres into the same week, especially since they're competing against an increasing number of cable programs, video games, internet downloads, etc.

On the positive side, has anybody been watching Fox's Raising Hope? It's a fun blend of wackiness and heart.

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Scott said...

Raising Hope is by far the best new comedy.

Community is back and is just as good as it was last year. I think it might even top 30 Rock and It's Always Sunny as the funniest comedy cuurently on TV.

Bryan said...

Shame about Lone Star. I like Raising Hope and Running Wilde, but I've had a hard time clicking with any of the new network comedies. Drama-wise, my budding obsession with Boardwalk Empire is pretty unhealthy. (But when the pilot costs a small country's GDP, I guess it's guaranteed to be good...)

Emily Blake said...

Actually I thought Lone Star looked terribly uninteresting in the previews, but I watched the pilot anyway because I try to watch all the pilots. I was surprised that it was any good.

I think in this case, the marketing was a big problem. I'll never understand why networks cancel something so soon without waiting to see if it picks up steam once word of mouth gets out.

ScriptTherapist said...

Networks sell advertising space promising ratings within a certain spectrum. If ratings come in well below that they have to make it up to their sponsors, lest they lose them forever, by giving away free ad space on that show or other more successful programs to make up the difference.

To top it off, shows aren't really all that profitable until they're second airing and the real money is made way down the road with syndication, foreign, and ancillary markets.

Thus, you can imagine how costly of a hole a network can get into with a show very quickly if 1) it's performing way below the spectrum 2) the cost of producing eps vs. the odds of the show lasting five seasons in order to make syndication are virtually impossible.

Given the quality of the programming I think the network would have stuck it out a little longer if the numbers were even ok. But that low with House as your lead in? Unfortunately, it's never realistically going to get any better.

Jenny said...

I liked Raising Hope. I only caught the end of the premiere because I wanted watch Running Wilde, which I have to say is one of the best new comedies this season. And surprisingly, I really enjoy Outsourced which has a lot of likable characters and interesting premise.

adam ___________________ said...

Lone Star is disappointing. It's the way the business works. I think Emily is right about the marketing. But I also think this sets up Fox as one of the riskiest studios on the playing field. Their track record of taking risky, high quality shows and mucking it up to the point where they have to preemptively dump them is shocking.

Running Wilde and Outsourced? Really? I loved Arrested Development, but Wilde couldn't be more awkward or stilted. And Outsourced is the Cavemen of this season -- only more surprisingly racist than one could ever have guessed.

Jenny said...

Well just have to wait and see. I think there's a reason why Fox put Running Wilde in their Tuesday line up and why NBC put Outsourced in their Thursday line up w/ 30 rock and Community. I don't think Outsourced is racist since not every Indian is portrayed as the stereotypical Indian, but that's just me.

Scott said...

My Generation... the next show to bite the dust. They're dropping like flies.