CBS New Fall Shows: Complacency Rules
As you’ve doubtless noticed we’ve been posting plenty of clips from all the new Fall shows up here on Remote Patrolled including trailers for Charlie’s Angels, Smash, The River and Pan Am.
The new season is shaping up to be a great one from a creative standpoint with ABC, Fox and NBC taking some interesting risks and developing some decidedly unconventional programming for a change.
But you may have noticed a glaring absence from our Fall previews. Yep, that’s right, we’ve not included clips of any of the new CBS shows. The reason – frankly they bore me to tears. Seems to me the head guys at CBS didn’t get the memo that the Fall season wasn’t business as usual.
So what are CBS offering us? There’s Person Of Interest, a crime thriller. Unforgettable, a detective show that’s essentially a female version of The Mentalist. And for mid-season The 2-2, which is, hey you guessed it – a police drama.
On the comedy front we have Ashton Kutcher joining Two And A Half Men – a casting decision I still question, a possible Rob Schneider comedy and another laugher with Kevin Dillon. Oh and let’s not forget the 23rd installment of Survivor, the 19th season of The Amazing Race, CSI series 12, the 9th year of NCIS, and on and on.
So CBS is a network with a lot of very old shows (in TV terms) whose new shows aren’t that dissimilar from the series they’re replacing. Kind of boring don’t you think?
Now on the one hand I understand CBS’s mindset. They’re the number one network in America in terms of total viewers. This year they cancelled less shows than their competitors and even the series they let go were scoring the kind of overall ratings their rivals would kill for – remember even slop like The Defenders was still averaging 9 million viewers a week. Good position to be in right?
Well yes, but on the flipside is the fact that CBS’s audience is old and not very ad sales friendly. And the problem is they’re getting older. Even a show that should be a hit with the 18-49 demo, The Good Wife, finds itself constantly on the bubble. And while Survivor and The Amazing Race are reality shows, and therefore should skew young, the fact that they’re so old doesn’t exactly entice younger audience craving new thrills. To be honest only The Big Bang Theory has any kind of buzz among a younger audience, and even that show’s about to enter its 5th year.
Honestly, what the CBS Fall schedule most smacks of to me is complacency. The network knows it’s number one and will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future – so why make an effort? Like a lot of channels they’re programming for today instead of for the future. After all if CBS did take some risks with its shows it’s numbers would probably drop in the short term – and that affects the bonuses of the network heads in charge (CBS head Les Moonves reportedly earned over $57 million in the last year!) So they’re going to play it safe all the way…
But I think there’s a big risk with CBS’s strategy – and personally I think the network is heading for a big fall down the road. I think networks run into trouble when they become a cliché of themselves and dependent on just one type of show. Bravo has allowed itself to become so overwhelmed by the Real Housewives franchise that even the shows that aren’t Housewives feel like they could be. And CBS has essentially become a network for old people watching cop shows. That may be fine for now, but if the new shows from NBC, ABC and Fox take off I wouldn’t be surprised to see CBS playing catch up in the years to come…
But what do you think? Are you intrigued by anything on the new CBS slate? And do you see problems ahead? Start weighing in everyone…
|Print article||This entry was posted by Richard Drew on May 19, 2011 at 10:08 am, and is filed under OPINION. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
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about 3 years ago - No comments
I hate to say ‘I told you so’… but, well, I did tell you so! A couple of years ago I wrote a post here at Remote Patrolled centered around CBS and what I perceived as an attitude of complacency at the network. At the time CBS was riding high on huge ratings and was…
about 5 years ago - 1 comment
In the year and a half that I’ve been writing Remote Patrolled we’ve covered a whole heap of shows on a range of networks from ABC to Fox to AMC to FX and many more. But as I was writing a piece last week a sudden thought hit me. There isn’t a single show on…