Sunday , July 21 2024

Where Have the Viewers Gone?

I am certainly not in the 18-24 demographic causing the greatest concern in this NY Times article, but I can tell you this: I have barely missed an inning of the MLB playoffs and World Series, and the unrelenting promos for The New Joe Millionaire and Skin have cumulatively induced in me an aversion to either show that approaches physical nausea.

More (and more and more and more and more ……) is NOT better, and the endless litany of spots flogging these shows has done nothing but give me time to think about what an absurd, cruel, played out, pointless sack of shit the “Joe Millionaire” concept now is, and that the need for another version of Romeo and Juliet is nonexistent.

Some things can, and some things cannot be repeated – a show based upon deceit, dashed hopes, and thinly veiled xenophobia as is the new Millionaire, is just not going to make it this time around. It’s done – toast – in the wind – yesterday’s new – a week-old fish sandwich.

Skin may or may not be an interesting show, I’ll never know because the landslide of promos for it have long since reached the saturation point in my brain and spilled over into “get the flying fuck out of my face or I’ll puke on you” territory. Sorry Fox programmers and marketers, just being honest.

There are two issues here, the first being that most of network TV, and in particular “reality” TV, is just unmitigated excrement. Once the novelty angle of “reality” programming is gone – and it is SO spectacularly gone – then you actually have to come up with a compelling SHOW, and the vast majority just aren’t.

The other issue is promotion, and while there is nothing wrong with letting viewers know about your other shows, don’t ram a firehose down their throats and then be surprised when they run full-speed in the opposite direction choking, spitting and cursing.

It would appear I am not the only one suffering this reaction:

    Network executives are baffled by a season unlike any seen before. Returning hit shows like “Friends” and “E.R.” are losing significant numbers of viewers from previous years. New shows have performed far worse than almost anyone expected, a result capped off Monday night when the Fox network started two shows that had received huge promotional pushes during the baseball playoffs, “The Next Joe Millionaire” and “Skin,” and they posted crushingly disappointing numbers. And men between 18 and 24 are apparently deserting television in droves. So far this year nearly 20 percent fewer men in that advertiser-friendly demographic are watching television during prime time than during the same period last year.

    ….Gail Berman, the president of Fox Entertainment, acknowledged that the network was disappointed, though she said “Joe Millionaire” might grow as it goes along. She also pledged to run “Skin” in other time periods to build an audience for it.

    But the numbers were sobering, she conceded. “We’ve now experienced a taste of what our competitors have been through this fall,” Ms. Berman said.

    Mr. Sternberg summed up the state of television at the moment: “No one knows what’s going on.”

I just told you, dumbass.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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