There must be someone new working in the head office. This new person must be crazy... crazy and insanely convincing. It's easy to come in and maintain the status quo, but that's boring. No one likes the status quo... nooooo, we gotta move forward! So why not shake it up a little? Wake up on the other side of the bed? That's right Ellen, CBS is getting jiggy!
That's the problem, you can't get jiggy when the entire network is all about the status quo! No other station would create three television dramas that are exactly the same – except NBC, of course. No other station would ride the coat tails of a reality television show that's brought back season after season – except FOX. No other station would continually go after the same demographic, except UPN and The WB.
Something has switched at CBS. Someone has weaseled their way into some position of power there and is changing how the network is going after the coveted adults aged 18-49 demographic. CBS has dominated the Nielsen Ratings for the past few seasons, if not years, but they usually don't fare well in the 18-49 demographic (think Murder She Wrote, 60 Minutes and Walker Texas Ranger – yeah, you're wondering the same thing I am... how could they NOT attract a younger audience!?!). The people that watch CBS are generally older... than dirt. The people that watch CBS walk around malls and drink free coffee everywhere they go. The people that watch CBS run over 346 children every year because they can't see over their own steering wheel.
But CBS has decided to get away from the dying few that watch their station. Maybe feeling the heat from above, someone decided to do something at CBS. I'll give them credit for giving it a shot, but why on Earth would you say:
"Alright people... listen up, turn up your hearing aids if you have to. Things are gonna change around here, and I'm not talking about the diapers of our viewers. That's right, we're gonna give 'er the old college try and go after the 18-49ers. I know you think this is a crazy idea, but I've got a plan. We're gonna moel ourselves after a very prestigious and reputable network... we're going to be the next FOX. I've seen their shows, they've got something good going on... I absolutely LOVE those 'when animals attack' shows. That's pure gold and we're about to strike it rich, baby! Wooo-weeeee!!!"
–Dude-in-charge at CBS*
And here's how CBS is changing the landscape:
True to Dude's word... ripped right out of FOX's diary, came this wickedly cool reality show about a rich rancher that is picking who (in his family) will be the heir to his fortune. It received such great ratings that CBS canceled it after the first show aired... but why? Isn't this exactly what us 18-49 year olds want to watch? I must confess, I love shows about filthy-rich people making asses of themselves so they can stay rich forever. It's the American dream, right? That's reality of an entirely different world, and it's nothing any semi-intelligent American viewer would waste their time on. But, that doesn't explain how Jerry Springer does so well, though – there's no money involved on that, just trash.
Spring Break Shark Attack
Are you kidding me? Did you see the commercials for this? At one point there were about 50 fins in the water surrounding some people in a boat, or on a dock, or in someone's lap pool. I couldn't believe this when I saw it. Nor could the NCAA Tournament announcers that had to promote it every second the games weren't being played, "make sure you stick around for this gem." Oh, but it starred someone from The OC, that'll get people to watch it, or maybe it was the hot chicks in bikinis. I can't figure it out, but there were several people from my office that watched it... only to make fun of it the entire time. I don't think that's what CBS was hoping for – but it got them ratings I suppose.
Giant locusts that can reproduce ten times faster than normal locusts... holy crap, I've been DYING to see a flick about this for a long time now! Please, oh please, star a recently washed up fan-boy actress... no way, LUCY F'ING LAWLESS!?! I think I just threw up in my mouth with excitement. Nope, that wasn't excitement, that was me sticking fingers down my throat. And how's this for the tag line: if you can hear the buzz, it's too late... great, I just threw up again.
Those are some great changes. If this guy hasn't gone around back and shot himself yet, then I'm sure it's only a matter of time. Please, CBS, I beg you, knock off this new attitude you've got going on. It's a joke. It's a waste of your and your main audience's time – and they don't have that much time left... they're thinking about great-grandkids and christm... well, great, they just forgot what they were thinking about. If you don't stop, at least you're making some good shows to make drinking games out of. On that note, keep it up!
*No one actually said that... on record. I made that up. Sorry for deceiving you.
+ original post date: March 26, 2005 10:02 PM
+ categories: Television