Posts Tagged ‘cbs’

The American Model is the Devil

13 February 2012
by R.A. Porter

They did it. And I’m done with it.

I’ve unlocked the “Cancel Season Pass to How I Met You Mother Badge.”

Maybe Brent Musburger could get me to care that THIS IS CBS

8 February 2012
by R.A. Porter

Since I started out my little project with a spotlight review of How I Met Your Mother, I might as well stick with CBS.

I bet that a clever monkey (like a Nielsen statistician) with access to Nielsen’s numbers (like a Nielsen statistician) and some secondary studies about television viewing habits, traditional vs. alternative broadcast models, and a well oiled slide rule could easily demonstrate that the lower overall numbers for shows with younger skewing demos are artificially depressed because many of those shows’ viewers watch through alternative, unmetered avenues. This problem is similar to that where the ratings service under-reports for shows that are commonly watched in groups. Then again, no clever monkey working for Nielsen is ever going to point out to its clients that its product is only good at figuring out what your mom likes to watch.

Top of the Nielsens (even if their demo still skews old) and able to successfully promote new shows and their overall brand from just about any timeslot, CBS has been the king for quite a few years now. They do an excellent job of building on their successes and duplicating a few formulas over and over, which means there are only a small handful of genera to which most of their shows fit.

  • Copus forensicusCSI and all its offspring. Numb3rs also fit in this genus when it was on the schedule (though a case could be easily be made that it could have been classed as Copus giftus).
  • Copus darkus - Here’s where you’d find your Criminal Minds, NCISes and Person of Interest. Given that CSI: NY tends to embrace the darkness  more than its kin from sunny climes, it could also fall into this classification.
  • Copus giftus - That special someone with that special gift. Poppy’s idiot show1 and the Unfunny Version of Psych slot in here.
  • Chuckus lorre - You’d better believe if I were in Moonvest’s place I’d give Chuck Lorre free reign to give me at least one hour of programming for the 8-9 timeslot each weeknight. My only special request would be that he provide a family-friendlyish block of shows for Friday nights in the mode of ABC’s old TGIF.
  • Survivus maximus.

That’s a whole lot of CBS shows. If you look at their schedule, there aren’t that many outliers. And that programming model has worked brilliantly for them. It’s not exactly niche programming, but they’ve found what works (and works well) and know how to stick with it.

But let’s not heap the praise too high here; as successful as they are from a numbers standpoint, their demo is getting older. And on a personal note, I just took a look at my DVR’s list of season passes…of the 44 current season passes, exactly three are for shows on CBS (and one of them, as you can imagine from yesterday’s post, is holding on by a thread).

So after the jump, let’s take a quick walk through the CBS week. I’ll try not to forget any shows that aren’t airing right now but make no promises.

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  1. I gather from the ads that criminals must spend a lot of time hanging around crime scenes when the police show up; else, how would her gift be of any damn use? []

How I Wrote About Your Show

7 February 2012
by R.A. Porter

So let’s talk about The View.

What? You didn’t think I was going to write about How I Met Your Mother just because the title of this piece clearly implied that, did you? No, no. Titles are contrivances, mere fluffery. They don’t constitute a contract between author and audience.

Just because the show seems to be framed as the first-person narrative of how its nominal protagonist met his children’s mother doesn’t belie the authors’ true intent. And since deconstruction is a passing fad, we’ve got to pay attention to all that stuff external to the text. If Carter Bays and Craig Thomas say HIMYM is a show about five friends on the cusp of delayed-onset adulthood that only tangentially concerns the romantic journey of one of them, then clearly that’s the way it is. You’re wrong. Each and every single one of you.

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