Jay Leno is killing NBC

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Turtleboy, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Oct 12, 2009 #81 of 2005
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    Agreed. Just 10 years ago, NBC was the king of the networks. With the demise of its dominant Thursday night comedy block, the departure (finally!) of ER, the reliance on multiple versions of L&O, high profile failures like Studio 60, the dramatic dropoff of previously good shows like Heroes, the overuse of reality shows (2-hour editions of Biggest Loser and The Apprentice) and now finally the Leno decision, NBC has simply gone in the tank. Most of it can be attributed to the network's execs, some must be blamed on the writers of the individual shows, and some of it is just bad luck or bad timing. But very little of it has to do with putting Jay Leno on at 10 pm this season.
     
  2. Oct 12, 2009 #82 of 2005
    jerrye25

    jerrye25 unsocial idiot

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    I don't blame Leno for the crappy ratings of other shows. I just think that it shows how little they are even trying to develop new shows. I also think they have a quick trigger finger on cancelling shows. If you spend the money filming 12 episodes of something, why cancel it after 4? Who knows, maybe it will get a following.

    For these execs nowadays, it's all about what will cost the least amount of money.
     
  3. Oct 12, 2009 #83 of 2005
    smak

    smak TV MA SLV

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    One thing that also is getting hurt is the prestige of NBC.

    What happens when the next football contract comes up, or the next Olympics. Maybe the NFL thinks twice about Sunday Night Football if they get an equal bid by somebody else, because NBC's ratings are in the toilet. Even if them being in the toilet doesn't mean they're losing tons of money, because of the cheapness of Leno's show.

    What about the top producing talent, will they want to do pilot's for NBC seeing as how 1/3 of the schedule does not have a good demographic, and probably doesn't help promote other shows, not to mention there's no 10pm times available.

    -smak-
     
  4. Oct 12, 2009 #84 of 2005
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    I would pay to see the NFL move to cable 100%. I'd jump for joy that finally one could actually count on real programs starting on time.

    :p
     
  5. Oct 13, 2009 #85 of 2005
    Fish Man

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    This.

    And this.

    As I indicated in an earlier post, all of this, the decision to put a prime-time Leno show on 5 times a week, as well as many other stupid programming decisions are symptoms, not the cause.

    It's become abundantly obvious that NBC is flailing.

    The cause is that the execs that program that network have lost any vision they may have once had and are flailing around cluelessly.

    I lump the cancellation of "My Name is Earl" into the long list of stupid decisions on their part, but that's just me.
     
  6. Oct 13, 2009 #86 of 2005
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Holy cow! The myopic viewer hyperbole is running really thick. Why is it so difficult to accept that networks simply have different mission from the one we viewers would want them to pursue? I've never perceived a constructive purpose served by ignoring the realities of the difference between the objectives of a business and the objectives of a television viewer.

    Also worthy of keeping in mind: This is the company that has given us a load of great shows on cable in recent years -- essentially, has represented the greatest improvement in cable offerings of any single source.
     
  7. Oct 13, 2009 #87 of 2005
    lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    NBC is prepared to accept lower ratings in exchange for lower costs and original programming 40 weeks a year.

    The question is if the affiliates are willing to accept the resulting hit on their local news ratings. I don't know under what circumstances an affiliate is allowed to omit airing a network show.

    A related question is if NBC anticipated the drop in ratings when shows like L&O got moved to an earlier time slot. My understanding is networks are given a little extra latitude regarding adult themes when a show airs at 10p. There was an issue as to how Southland would do if it was toned down for airing prior to 10p. Also some shows do better when they're aired at 10p. Parents watch it after their kids go to bed. Not everyone has DVRs.

    I doubt NBC anticipated the Tonight Show ratings go down after Conan replaced Leno.

    I agree the network doesn't share our objectives but that doesn't mean Leno is a success. Pressure from the affiliates will carry a lot more weight then pressure from viewers.
     
  8. Oct 13, 2009 #88 of 2005
    IndyJones1023

    IndyJones1023 Auteur

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    Doesn't it behoove a television network to attract viewers?
     
  9. Oct 13, 2009 #89 of 2005
    Jesda

    Jesda CAPTAIN AWESOME

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    The goal is to make a profit for its shareholders and owners.
     
  10. Oct 13, 2009 #90 of 2005
    IndyJones1023

    IndyJones1023 Auteur

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    And how would they do that with no viewers?
     
  11. Oct 13, 2009 #91 of 2005
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    And then they cancel one of the better shows they have, Southland, before it even airs this season. Leaving NBC on the hook for the $9 million, the six epsiodes not aired will cost.

    They might as well have at least aired the episodes to see how it does. It can't do much worse than some of the other shows NBC has this season.
     
  12. Oct 13, 2009 #92 of 2005
    Fish Man

    Fish Man Phish Food

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    I think NBC's objective is obvious. The question is whether they were successful in meeting their objective.

    As others have pointed out, their goal is to maximize profitability and value to their shareholders.

    It seems fairly obvious that they reasoned that putting on a very inexpensive show 5 nights per week, while it might not have as high a ratings as an expensive drama would have in the same time slot, would be a "net positive" thing. Specifically, the reduced advertising revenue would be offset by the lower cost in producing the show.

    That reasoning is all well and good as long as they are able to estimate accurately what the ratings for that show would be, and do not overlook any undesired "ripple effects" of that decision.

    I think what we're seeing here is that NBC failed to anticipate the following (at least, they failed to anticipate the magnitude of the following effects):

    • The adverse affect on the ratings of comparatively expensive dramas and sitcoms when they were moved around in the schedule to accommodate the 10:00 Leno show 5 nights per week.
    • That Conan O'Brien, at 11:35 (Leno's old slot) would be beaten so badly by Letterman in the same slot on CBS. (NBC probably figured on O'Brien retaining ratings similar to Leno's in that slot. He hasn't, by a long shot.)
    • That Leno at 10:00 would have as poor ratings as it does.
    • The effect of such a weak lead-in on the local news of the affiliates.

    So, based on the evidence right out there to be clearly seen, I don't think the opinion that NBC screwed up rather spectacularly on this decision is a "myopic" view at all.
     
  13. Oct 13, 2009 #93 of 2005
    That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

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    18 years ago, IIRC -NBC let the then-San Francisco affiliate KRON run the NBC primetime lineup an hour early in order to have its 10 PM news compete with the Fox affiliate's long-running and ratings-leading 10 PM news (because a significant number of people have to get to bed early because they have to be at work early the next morning, especially with jobs where you have to be there when the NYSE opens at 6:30 AM local time). However, after one year, NBC realized (a) nobody who wanted to watch news at 10:00 was going to switch, and (b) too many people were forgetting that their favorite shows were on an hour earlier. (Then again, over NBC's objections, the station ran news from 10 to 10:30 and then another show - first Wheel of Fortune, then Entertainment Tonight - from 10:30 to 11, which, among other things, resulted in Carson "celebrating" the New Year at 11:25.)

    -- Don
     
  14. Oct 13, 2009 #94 of 2005
    MickeS

    MickeS Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I agree. It's obvious that NBCs strategy is to be the lowest-rated network and incur loss after loss on scripted programming, while trying to stay afloat by airing cheap non-scripted shows that have no prestige and buzz.

    They have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, I believe. :D
     
  15. Oct 13, 2009 #95 of 2005
    That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

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    The NFL doesn't particularly care about a network's ratings when deciding on broadcast contracts - otherwise, explain how Fox got the NFC from CBS in 1994. However, if CBS beats out NBC for the 2014/2016 Olympics, I would not be surprised if NBC takes the money it saved and outbids CBS for the Sunday afternoon AFC rights - which would result in NBC losing the Sunday night game (there's no way the NFL lets them have both).

    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the NFL moves the Sunday night games to NFL Network in the not particularly distant future. This could seriously hurt NBC, not only because they would not have a regular season presence, but almost certainly NBC would be pulled out of the Super Bowl rotation.

    (There is one wild card: what if Simon Cowell puts The X-Factor on NBC?)

    -- Don
     
  16. Oct 13, 2009 #96 of 2005
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    True, but think about the marketplace for network affiliation. There are X local stations vying for Y network affiliations. As with other markets, the value of the offerings and the prices can vary based on supply and demand. Now, in some cases, demand is limited (few local stations, because it is a low population area), but in most cases, and generally in the most lucrative cases, supply is more limited than demand. So market forces help mitigate the risk to a network from the possibility you raise, i.e., of not having an affiliate in a lucrative market, or having to give up a lot to have a local affiliate in a lucrative market.

    As with everything in business, it is a matter of weighing costs and benefits, risks and rewards.

    WHDH threatened to run local news instead of Leno and then recanted a week later when their lawyers pointed out to them that they're not allowed to do that.

    Indeed; we have to figure this move into the entire NBCU strategy including cable networks.

    That's a myth. The Safe Harbor laws are time zone agnostic, so since 10PM Eastern Time programming airs at 9PM Central Time, there is no extra latitude regarding adult themes when a show airs at 10PM.

    I'm sure that they did count on ratings going down. Whether they figured that ratings would go down this much, I don't know.

    Correct: The fact that Leno satisfies the network's objectives would mean Leno is a success. Leno is still on. NBC has done nothing to justify any assumptions on your part that Leno is doing anything other than satisfying the network's objectives.

    However, neither may trump the advantages that NBC derives from saving so much money on production costs.
     
  17. Oct 13, 2009 #97 of 2005
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Not in ignorance of costs versus benefits. One of the first winners of the National Quality Award ended up in dire financial straights just short time later because they took their eye off of what was really important to a business, the money, and focused solely on customer satisfaction and quality. Customer satisfaction and quality are tools for achieving profitability. When companies mistakenly make those tools objectives in themselves, they're committed a gross disservice to those that they own their fiduciary responsibility to.

    Full Disclosure: I was on the team that led the company I worked for at the time to the National Quality Award just a year later. I helped foster the kind of ignorance that I'm warning people against in this thread (and many others). With all due respect to Phil Crosby (RIP), quality is not free.
     
  18. Oct 13, 2009 #98 of 2005
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Which network has no viewers?
    What I saw of Southland sucked IMHO, and if NBC canceled these episodes before they aired means they sucked even worse.
     
  19. Oct 13, 2009 #99 of 2005
    aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    I agree they generally don't care. When they start to care is when their own ratings suffer because the network sucks, which decreases the value of the package when they try to sell it for the next contract.

    I don't think anyone can realistically bid for the Olympics other than NBC and ABC. CBS doesn't have the cable channels needed to run three and four things at a time. Remember, they're not the same company as Viacom with the MTV networks anymore. The only cable channels CBS owns are the Showtime ones.

    I don't think the NFL Network has the kind of in-home penetration to accept one of the major Sunday or Monday packages.
     
  20. Oct 13, 2009 #100 of 2005
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Of course. Like I said, above, there is no basis for assuming that Leno is not not satisfying the objectives of the enterprise set forth for it. I know you want it to be considered a failure, but your wanting it to be a failure doesn't make it one. Wait until NBC says it is a failure, or does something to indicate that they feel a change is needed. Then you can put forth your conclusions in that regard.

    Rest assured that if it isn't your full-time job to think of such things, and you thought of them, that more than enough of the folks for whom it is a full-time job also thought of it.

    Ridiculous assertions -- reckless aspersions actually - without any basis in fact.

    Let's come by your job and take some careless pot-shots at your attempt to satisfy objectives. :)
     

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