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Yes? Then you're smarter than a Network Executive
Thursday, January 19, 2012
COLOSSAL NETWORK BLUNDER
ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A NETWORK EXECUTIVE?
If the Patriots had taken a pass on quarterback Tom Brady cause they didn't see any potential; if Amazon had decided to stop selling books; if McDonalds had left the special sauce off the two beef patties; if Tabasco had dumped the hot peppers for a sweet ketchup; if Cartier decided not to sell diamonds; if Coke changed its formula….Yeah, that dumb.
So what was this colossal blunder?
Biggest network mistake EVER was cancelling the nighttime TV series that co-starred handsome, talented, funny, witty actor, none other than Tom O'Rourke. Okay, that's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it, and that and $2.25 will get me a ride on the subway. Besides, anybody who reads this blog knows that I'm more than a little partial to Mr. Tom O'Rourke. So I have no proof that I'm right, because Tom never got another chance to show his comedic, leading man chops.
However, the cancelled series was Working Girl, based on the smash hit movie, and the star of that TV series was a young, talented actress just starting out named Sandra Bullock. You might have heard of her, she's been successful in both comedy and drama, and the Oscar winning star of, among many other memorable and immensely popular films, The Blind Side. She is an actress who has abundantly proved she is one of the greats of her generation, with talent, intelligence, sense of humor, force of drama, self awareness, poise, and did I mention she's drop dead gorgeous? When her name is on movie marquee, the audience shows up in record numbers. That Sandra Bullock.
So, yeah, the Network had this wonderful new actress's name on the dotted line in a TV series based on a smash hit movie, and they cancelled the show after 13 short weeks. Somehow, nobody at the network picked up on what a huge talent this young woman was. Nobody saw anything even worthy of another thirteen weeks. Sure the ratings were only good, not breakout. But most TV shows take awhile to find an audience. How do you let a Sandra Bullock slip through your fingers? How do you miss a super nova? How does a network so benighted make enough money to keep the lights on? Beats me. But I certainly think it qualifies as one of the Networks biggest screw-ups.
And Tom, my Tom, had the "and also starring Tom O'Rourke" billing. We coulda been somebody.
How big was this mistake? Let's see, we get network TV for free. And even for free, conveniently right in your living room, network TV is struggling to keep an audience. Whereas, people have to get in their cars, drive to a movie theater and plunk down big bucks to see Sandra Bullock these days. And they line up for the chance to do just that, movie after movie. She's that good. And they totally missed it. Guess Sandra taught Hollywood a thing or two about what constitutes genuine entertainment.
Sure, I know hindsight is 20/20, but these guys get big paychecks to provide something remotely resembling entertainment. It's like astronomers missing Haley's Comet, for Pete's sake.
Soooo, when the TV Network Executives start crying and BLAME THE AUDIENCE for the low quality of their programs, claiming they have to use violence, bad language and nudity to get an audience because that's what the public really wants, remember, they have to aim low because they are too Dumb and Dumber to spot real talent when it's right there in front of them. Creating something that draws an audience and doesn't involve violence, nudity and bad language is mostly beyond their pay grade, high as that pay grade is.
Or, when they BWAWAWAH about how TECHNOLOGY is to blame for their lack of profits, remember, it's not the technology, it's the people running the show who don't seem to know squat about entertainment that's killing the profits.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Getting Working Girl was our Nantucket Sleigh Ride; one of the most exciting things that ever happened to Tom. And it's a story with a few twists and turns that I think will amuse you. The next post will start at the beginning of our Nightime TV epic.