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Huh? ABC and According to Jim

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Written By

February 27th, 2008

I'm not typically moved to comment on the daily goings on via the Hollywood newswire, but when I saw a Reuters story headlined "ABC in Talks for More Jim" that did in fact turn out to be a discussion about making MORE of the Jim Belushi sitcom, According to Jim, I was indeed baffled.

In last night's overnights According to Jim averaged 4.63 million and a 1.4/3 in the 18-49 demo (where it tied with the CW's One Tree Hill).  I'll grant that it's up against American Idol, but these are really lousy numbers for a broadcast network.  For the hour Big Brother averaged more than 2 million more viewers than Jim and a 2.6/6 in the demo. It's not an apples to apples comparison because Jim went head-to-head against American Idol for all 30 minutes while Big Brother suffered that fate only from 9p-9:30p.  Still, the numbers for Jim stink.  I don't understand what ABC is thinking. 

I get that it's tough to compete with American Idol, but if NCIS can pull 11 million plus viewers with a rerun and The Biggest Loser can average over 8 million from 8p-10p, shouldn't the Mouse be thinking about doing...something else?  If "hey, it beat the snot out of Quarterlife" is how programming decisions are going to be made...I want in on that!

Hopefully it's some kind of fake news story that got circulated to the mainstream media :) I don't think it's even necessary for Bill to do a Renew or Cancel on According to Jim, but it looks like the wonks at ABC don't care what we think (which is to their credit, no doubt).

The article attibutes Jim's cash production in syndication as the reason for considering it, but what's the opportunity cost of airing something that attracts less than 5 million viewers if you could find something that attracts 8 million?

 
  • Ike

    I've always heard that sitcoms are incredibly lucrative in syndication, but in this case, the show must be making ALL of its money in syndication, and none in first-run. Of course, the current shortage of sitcoms definitely helps this show's case. However, if the syndication is so valuable then why don't they send the new episodes directly into syndication-land and bypass ABC entirely? Clearly ABC is just lying down in the middle of the Tuesday highway and letting AI run over it.

  • Ike

    I’ve always heard that sitcoms are incredibly lucrative in syndication, but in this case, the show must be making ALL of its money in syndication, and none in first-run. Of course, the current shortage of sitcoms definitely helps this show’s case. However, if the syndication is so valuable then why don’t they send the new episodes directly into syndication-land and bypass ABC entirely? Clearly ABC is just lying down in the middle of the Tuesday highway and letting AI run over it.

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