Monday, January 08, 2007

How to keep your favorite show from being cancelled

I suppose the short and sweet answer is to WATCH THEM.


I suppose you want more than that. Fine. Become a Nielsen family. THEN WATCH THEM IN REAL TIME.

Still no good? Have any friends who are Nielsen metered homes? Go over to their place, make them watch your show in real time. Repeat this about 1,000 times.

Networks care about their ratings. Ratings dictate how much they can charge for ads. If a show gets terrible ratings, in most cases it equals not getting enough people to pay ad rates for that show. The network then tries to salvage what they can by putting something else on the air which companies will buy ads during.

But wait, what about me? The viewer! Don't I get a say?

Not really.

If you pay for a channel, like HBO, you have a say. They cancel your show, you cancel your HBO. Pretty easy. Network and basic cable are a different ballgame.

It's all about the ad dollars.

Look, I've been where you are, I'm there now. You fall in love with a show. It's funny, dramatic, interesting, quirky, different...all the things you want in a TV show. But it only pulls a 3 share (a share point represents about 1.2 million households). Even with close to 7 million people watching, it just isn't enough. Advertisers can get more eyeballs on the competing show. Your favorite show loses advertisers. If it loses ad dollars, it loses the game.

So, the best solution is to know how to cope with a show you love not going the distance. Some people form cult like support groups (Firefly fans come to mind). Others just find something else to watch. Some form letter writing campaigns.

Campaigns targeted at a network are pointless. Target the advertisers. Tell them how much you love their commercials and products and are happy they support your favorite show on TV. Tell them you will happily buy more of their products if they keep supporting your show. I have no idea if this works, but believe me, it's more on target than bitching at ABC for cancelling Daybreak. If the advertisers left and it didn't get good reviews- the only saving grace for some shows is award cred. Win some awards, and a network will save a low rated show because awards are like free advertising that your show is good. More people may start watching it. More people equals higher ratings equals more $$ for advertising.

You getting the drift?

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