Um, Duh? Advertisers Unsure Whether NBC & Fox Comedies Will Be Hits

Categories: TV Advertising

Written By

May 16th, 2011

Deadline writes that advertisers are intrigued by new drama offerings and like the idea of NBC and Fox launching comedies, but "say the clips shown to them today don't show enough to suggest whether any will become hits."

Ya think?

It's been a couple of years, but I do remember some consensus salivating over Modern Family well before it aired (but don't remember whether the salivating began at the upfront) and Modern Family was indeed a hit in the ratings. But that kind of frothiness over a new show, let alone any kind of frothing that correlated with ratings sure strikes me as the exception rather than the rule. If advertiser confidence was a metric that accurately predicted how shows would rate in advance, shows would frequently be canceled before they ever aired. But it isn't an indicator.

So why are advertisers stating the obvious to Deadline?  I'd guess it's the natural resistance to the higher ad prices this year (due to a better economy, not better ratings), and nonsense like this only reinforces that guess:

At Fox, advertisers wonder whether there'll be talent-contest overkill by airing Simon Cowell's new The X Factor in the fall, followed by American Idol in the winter. "At some point it's too much," says Lyle Schwartz of GroupM.

Really? Posturing alert!  Such talk will surely curry favor with those who hate reality programming, but the networks will laugh at Lyle Schwartz's claim because the data suggests the opposite is true.   Sure, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Deal or No Deal flamed out after their respective networks aired them practically every day, but those shows weren't talent contests.

Two cycles of Dancing with the Stars is still working for ABC.  And Idol, DWTS, The Voice and Survivor all seemed to do okay.

I did love the line from Brad Adgate about Fox making a big deal out of trying to package television and online ads together:

[If a show is] "crap on TV, then it's crap everywhere else," he says.

 
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