TV Bites With
Now is the Season of Our Discontent
by Neena Louise
As we find ourselves deep in the depths of TV Rerun Wasteland, I started
wondering WHY the television season starts in the fall and ends before summer.
So I asked the networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, WB, UPN and Fox). Fox was the only one
to bother responding (which somehow didn't surprise me...just reinforces my
convictions that the Big Three don't give a hoot about their viewers and that
UPN is a non-entity).
Fox responded thus: "In the Fall, the weather gets colder and the kids are
back in school - thus the family tends to stay inside more in the evenings - and
watching more TV. (In the summer months, many families are vacationing or at the
very least staying out late into the evening because of the warm weather and no
school the next day - thus less available viewers watching TV until Fall comes
along)." That makes some sense, but I don't agree. Sure it's warmer
in the North, but what about the huge audience in the South? And don't people go
out during the week in the winter? And, with no school the next day, wouldn't
kids be more likely to stay up and watch more TV? And don't people watch TV when
they're on vacation? (I remember being thrilled with the great TV at my
grandmother's house during summer vacations.) And what about people without
kids? Or those who don't go on vacation?
As for the other networks, since they didn't bother to respond, I can only
It is a well-known fact that peacocks mate in the spring. Thus, I can only
surmise that NBC's staff is simply too busy selectively mating and raising their
young mascots during the spring and summer months to find the time to offer and
promote new programming.
With the Disneyfication of ABC, executives have acquired the minds of children
and don't know how to do anything else in the summer except go out and play. New
programming? Bah! I'm going to Disneyland!!!
CBS's monstrous "Eye" probably has so many problems with "itchy,
watery, eye" during the summer allergy season that it has to take a hiatus
and relax (can't have Bloodshot Eye representing a network, after all), so of
course no new programming can be scheduled when Eye isn't around. This summer,
it was found rolling around with the survivors in the South China Sea trying not
to point itself at the naked Richard; and holed up in the Big Brother House
matching bloodshot eyes with the crybabies Jordan and Brittany.
Cartoon characters are known for going on extended summer vacations and taking
wrong turns at Albuquerque and getting lost on their way to Miami Beach. They
can also be found in Walla Walla Washington, Timbuktu and, of course,
KOOOK-a-munga. Executives are so busy giving directions to their errant cartoon
celebrities that they don't have time to create new series.
UPN doesn't need an reason since it doesn't matter when the season starts or
ends as far as viewership (or, rather, the lack thereof) is concerned.
Forget the fall - why doesn't the season start in, say, January? People are
definitely home more (especially in the North) and, with the post-Christmas
letdown, new TV shows have a perfect opportunity to gain an audience. If I were
King of TV, I'd start - not end - the season in May and run it
until February. 'Course I'd also ban Sweeps and bugs, insist a TV hour be at
least 48 minutes long, run full-size credits, and....well, you get the picture.
In my dreams.
would love to know what you think, sound off on the
boards and let us know what you think!