TV Execs

Brian Castaneda writes to me:
“My current theory is that network executives are a bunch of cowed and gutless morons who don’t have an iota of courage or the wherewithal to support quality shows. But that can’t be it, right? Right?”
I don’t think so. I know all of us TV writers are supposed to sneer at the dumb network suits, but I’ve been lucky enough to work with more bright, intelligent execs than dumb, mean-spirited, or interfering ones. The truth is TV is big business and more intensely competitive than ever before. The network can’t afford to keep a unwatched show on the air. WONDERFALLS didn’t deliver for a lot of reasons…some the fault of the network, some not. But the bottom line was, it didn’t deliver. Yes, there’s art on TV…but TV isn’t an art gallery or a museum. It’s a busness, first and foremost. TV Shows exist to sell ad time, that time is sold based on eyeballs (and the age of those eyeballs, but that’s another rant). If a show isn’t delivering eyeballs, and the network can’t sell the adtime, they are supposed to keep it on the air anyway? Yeah, some shows take time to build… but most shows never will, no matter how long they are kept on the air. The audience drop off on WONDERFALLS from half-hour to half-hour tells the story. They couldn’t even keep the audience that was already watching. FOX probably made the right choice axing it.

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