The Crazy ones-TV show

So how is your Fall TV Season going so far?

Well given that I’m crazy busy on shoots at the moment I have to admit I’m finding it mighty tough keeping up with the non-stop onslaught of new shows!

I gave up on The Michael J. Fox show (all that hype for another glorified family sitcom). Agents of  S.H.I.E.L.D. was okay but didn’t intrigue me enough to stick around long term. The Crazy Ones had way too much Robin Williams’s desperate riffing… but hopefully will settle down. And I actually really liked The Goldbergs.

But I never bothered with Lucky 7 after it died a death in its premiere. And Hostages will be next to go from my DVR since it too is destined for the scrap heap! And who knows when I’ll get around to watching Trophy Mom or even just Mom! Or the new batch of shows launching this week. Especially with old favorites like Revenge, Scandal and Nashville back on our screens… and The Walking Dead and American Horror Story returning soon.

Which does have to leave you wondering… why the heck do American networks still persist in this age-old ritual of premiering basically all their new Fall shows within a 3 week period. It literally is TV Survivor!

As a Brit now living in the US I find it a rather strange phenomena. On the one hand I personally love all the hype and hoopla of the Fall TV season, especially after a relative summer drought. We never had anything like this in the UK where you’d be hard pressed to find anything decent to watch most nights. I honestly could say I was NEVER spoiled for choice when watching Brit TV.

But I also can’t help feeling the networks are hurting rather than helping themselves. Sure DVR usage helps in a way it never did before, but those numbers are still of limited aid to struggling series since advertisers currently don’t really care much about a show’s Live +7 numbers. And the fact is we’re in a different world now – a world where cable shows can regularly beat broadcast options (as evidenced by the recent Breaking Bad finale which demolished the premieres of Revenge, The Good Wife and Once Upon A Time on the same night).

Everyone has so many distractions these days that throwing 5 or 6 show premieres at viewers in a single night just feels like craziness! I mean, at least stagger the new shows a bit! Sure networks have tried to expand the Fall season by debuting new shows in early September through to early November. And to be fair January has become a healthy launching ground for mid-season series too. But even so – what we’re seeing at the moment is a pure bloodbath. And a costly one at that too, given then millions of dollars spent on development, production and promotion of all these new shows…

Lucky 7 - TV show

Would Lucky 7 have launched big if it hadn’t aired during Premiere Week? Probably not – it was always going to get lost in the shuffle – and remember the concept was tried and failed before (NBC’s Windfall in 2006).

But I do think a show like The Michael J. Fox could have debuted higher if it wasn’t in the midst of so many new shows – and directly opposite CBS’s The Crazy Ones (which had the benefit of a massive Big Bang Theory lead in).

Sure networks will argue that launching so many new shows at once enables them to cross promote at the same time, and that viewers will naturally gravitate to their favorites and will try out new series in the coming weeks. All of which is partially true. But let’s be honest – very few of us sample a new series after week one – especially serialized dramas. For most shows those premiere numbers are as good as it’s gonna get. And in some cases that’s definitely not good news!