Will PTC Drive Even More Viewers to 90210?

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August 26th, 2008

Though as a preference I would prefer people focus on TV show ratings here rather than moralistic concerns, I don't really have a problem with organizations like the PTC (Parents Television Council) having an agenda and trying to use whatever power it has to effect change.

But I wonder with an organization like the PTC whether it's more concerned making sure that people know it exists than getting television programs it doesn't want its kids seeing off the air.  It makes me wonder if in the effort to do good, it in fact winds up getting more people to watch a show it didn't want broadcast to begin with! Now the PTC is up in arms about Beverly Hills 90210 and is upset with the CW's decision to not offer any advance screenings of the show prior to its debut on-the-air on September 2.

The PTC is trying to warn off advertisers. 

"No reputable advertiser should even consider sponsoring the show without viewing the content in advance," PTC President Tim Winter said in a statement. "CW's cowardly decision heightens the need for advertisers to be responsible corporate citizens who carefully evaluate their media buys and ensure that the content they subsidize lines up with their corporate ideals."

Alrighty then.  I saw that and then I thought "Gossip Girl is on the air and they're worried about 90210? WTF!" 

It turns out that the PTC is against Gossip Girl too, so that probably should head me off from any notion that PTC buzz gets more people to watch.   But I'll make a few predictions: 

  • 1. Generally, 90210's advertisers will not bail
  • 2. 90210 will be, at least in the premiere, CW's most-viewed show in some time, and draw a sizably bigger audience than Gossip Girl
  • 3. 90210 will live or die based on its ratings, which if not generally perceived as "good" may spell problems for the troubled CW network.

While I don't personally share the PTC's goals, again, I don't have a problem with it existing or having an agenda. I just wonder if it acts in ways to best serve its own objectives.  Of course I often wonder that about the CW, too.  So perhaps the PTC and the CW have more in common than they know.  We'll have a good idea who the night (and the ban on pre-screening) worked out better for next Wednesday morning after 90210's debut.

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