Consider this a holy trinity in Blog Updates. I will post talk about each of the major networks, more of this CBS Curse I mentioned last time, and the winner of the Golden Huckleberry Awards for the worst TV shows last season. I will post the absolute worst show in the future, unless you can already guess what it probably is.
The CBS Curse
I mentioned in my last blog post about what I called the CBS Curse. I will now explain more about that. CBS is too good a network. The network is so good it is bad for the network. They once cancelled a show with 11 million viewers because it wasn't enough! That can create a curse for new shows and even for existing shows. The network is number one in total viewers. It may not do so well in certain demographics like FOX does, but at least it keeps shows for a long time, depending on how well they are doing and they don't throw their latest hits in the garbage like FOX does. (Between the two of us, when a hit ages on CBS, they put it in bad timeslots where it soon loses viewers and gets cancelled or miraculously gains viewers for being in a slot not normally watched. But it doesn't matter because new hits come along and should stay on TV for awhile.)
CBS shows tend to fall into a certain category each season. Midseason replacements are always dead on arrival and the last one that was any success was a reality show that first premiered after the Super Bowl and will be a midseason replacement again this coming season. If you don't have a full season of 22 episodes or more on this network, you are basically considered cancelled unless you luck out like CSI: New York did. But that show won't last long in future seasons unless it can survive being on the bubble a third time. The other certainty about the CBS curse is that if the season of a show ends before May Sweeps than it is certain to get cancelled. So far Rules of Engagement has survived the curse numerous times, but since the network doesn't even like the show and only keeps it around when there's an empty time slot, I wouldn't give it any credit. Whether you are a fan of CBS or not, you should know of their failures. They tend to show a lot of successful shows and even air their failures on Saturdays during the summer. Time will tell if the curse goes away. But you can still watch quality programming not seen typically on other networks. One can wonder if CBS will have a serious fall from grace like some networks have. There is no other network that seems as good as CBS. Just remember that it has this curse.
ABC- If they could make up their mind more often, then it would be a better network. Of the main networks not including PBS, this might be my favorite and I would watch it more if I have the time. But it also has a habit of cancelling a lot of good shows immediately once it gets them. It handles a lot of different types of shows. With FOX, they cancel a lot of shows because they order a lot and are constantly changing some of their schedule. However, some of it does remain the same from time to time. I would watch this network more if CBS didn't have good shows. Its popular reality show is Dancing with the Stars and people tend to flock to it more than most scripted shows on the network, even if you don't know who half the "stars" are. During daytime, they show soap operas and other shows, some unique to the network. At late night, they show the popular news show Nightline and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Grade: C.
ABC Run Down- News: They have great investigative news always digging for the truth. Good Morning America is their morning news/talk show. 20/20 and Primetime are ones on once a week, even though their ratings are starting to fail. Nightline is the only national nightly news on five days a week which is actually higher rated than any other late night program. I think that their news is the best. Comedies: This network isn't that good at comedies. For proof, go to www.youtube.com and look up a promo of the show Work It. At least they're unique. Their longest comedies are mostly new: Modern Family and The Middle. Their most popular is Modern Family. Dramas: As with comedies, ABC doesn't do well with dramas either, but has a better success rate. About 25% of it tends to stay around. Their longest running drama is Grey's Anatomy. Their most popular, however, is most likely Castle. Reality: This is probably the best network for reality shows with mostly all of them doing pretty good. Unless you count America's Funniest Home Videos, their most successful and probably longest running reality show is Dancing with the Stars. Soap Operas: This network is catching the cancellation fever with Soaps and is getting rid of two of them at around the same time. The age of the Soap Opera is ending. Game Shows: I don't think that ABC has any game shows at all. Normally the ones they have on in the summer in primetime and tend to be very lame, so lame, in fact, that I'm not sure why they ever existed in the first place. Some good ones do show up from time to time. Talk Shows: All they have is the View during daytime and Jimmy Kimmel Live during late night. Summer Shows: ABC goes overboard with their summer shows practically getting rid of reruns except for their most popular shows. But it is mostly a waste of money and airtime as CBS can beat them in reruns.
More about ABC- Fans: The fans of ABC are around the same as other networks where it manages to find fans all the time despite screwing their viewers a lot. Specials: ABC owns the rights to the Charlie Brown or Peanuts franchise. They tend to air a lot of different ones like the Oscars and special news segments. Boneheaded Decisions: ABC was one of the networks that passed on the CSI pilot. The show Cavemen was a horrible decision. Airing Who Wants to be a Millionaire five nights a week in primetime lost viewers for a good while. Good Decisions: I don't know exactly what good decisions they made are, but I'm sure they've made some. Sports: ABC doesn't show sports that much. Commercials: These tend to last a very long time, much more than any other network. In fact, you'll probably want to throw your remote at the TV because it is taking too long to get back to the main program. What I'd Change: I'd probably scale back the networks orders on shows and make sure that all the other ones ordered would be good.
CBS- Arguably the best network, I have seen every show on it. They mostly do mystery shows and other hits. It is the most popular network, was one of the first three channels. The time slots change the least, which is why it was a surprise when they move shows around. That might have been a bad decision as fans didn't stay at that time slot or follow to the old show's new one. Shows that are no longer a part of the schedule before the end of the season are pretty much cancelled in almost every case I've seen. It also cancels the least shows except for the CW. In fact, CBS owns half of the CW, which is why you might see advertisements for CW shows on CBS. I watch CBS more than any other network. The daytime shows are mostly unique to this network. It has good late night shows. You will find reruns on this network but not of reality shows (except for Undercover Boss). Grade: A.
CBS Run Down- News: The news on this network is liked enough, but for some odd reason, doesn't get as much viewers on at least the early morning show. 60 Minutes is their longest running show and 48 Hours is the second longest running. Comedies: The comedies on this network tend to be at a 50/50 success rate. You may know Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and How I Met Your Mother, but none of the others. The longest running comedy is currently Two and a Half Men. That and The Big Bang Theory are popular comedies. Drama: TNT knows drama, but CBS is the master at it. Drama, most commonly mystery shows, is the network's signature and although they don't advertise it, what makes their network the most watched. The longest running drama is currently CSI. The most popular is NCIS. Reality: CBS was the first to air a primetime reality show. They tend to only stick with what is well liked and keeps reality TV to a minimum. What is rare is seeing a show where the fans decide the competition. The longest running reality show is currently Survivor which is the most popular, (I think). Soap Operas: These shows are starting to fade from this network being the first to get rid of them. That has actually helped them get better ratings in some cases with the new shows that have replaced it. Only two remain and could be the oldest parts of the network and probably existed on radio before television. They are The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. Game Shows: Everybody probably knows what The Price is Right is which is their longest running game show and sometimes the only one. It still seems to do well even though the host is different. Their other game show is Let's Make a Deal. Talk Shows: Except for The Talk, none of their talk shows are just part of their network (unless you count CBS: This Morning, which is more of a news show). The Talk is the longest running talk show on their network and probably the only one unique to their network. They do, also, have two late night talk shows that have been on a long time. Summer Shows: CBS rarely has new shows during the summer as no one is really watching. But they do have Big Brother and reruns of returning series. They also try their hand at normally lame reality shows that aren't typically remembered. (Remember Same Name?)
More about CBS- Fans: The fans of CBS tend to be older audiences that never stop watching. In fact, it is possible that death is the only way CBS loses viewers. Because older people have more time to watch TV, that makes CBS the most watched network. Specials: CBS shows more specials than any other network. Most of them, however, tend to be forgettable as specials can be. Most of them are award shows and a hidden camera show (I Get That A Lot). Boneheaded Decisions: Like all major networks, CBS has made dumb movies. The last season of Roseanne that wasn't supposed to exist was not good. Airing a teen orgy episode of Without a Trace got a hefty fine from the FCC as did partial nudity in a Super Bowl airing. Most of their bad decisions have been kept to a minimum and one hasn't happened in a good while. But the number one network could have a fall from grace in the future. When you are so high up, there's no place to go but down. Good decisions: Although it made three other networks look stupid, picking up the CSI pilot was a very good decision for CBS. Also, when NBC cancelled JAG after just one season on the air, CBS fed off of the older demographic and aired another nine seasons producing the hit spin-off NCIS. Sports: CBS likes to air the Super Bowl and seems to get it every other year. It is the major home of March Madness. The problem is the football they show on Sundays. It delays the normal programming by as much as forty five minutes which can be annoying and causes cancellation of the shows on at the latest slot. Commercials: Not really that different from other networks. Other: They air segments called CBS Cares where people that normally work for the network talk about important events in the world which tends to get preempted by other commercials. What I'd change: I'm not sure that I would change anything. This network is too popular for its own good. What they need is a lesser network for the shows they want to keep but can't get rid of. I'm not sure, however, that the FCC would allow such a thing.
CW- If only more people watched it (and they had better shows), then it would be more popular. There is even an unspoken argument as to whether or not this even counts as a major network. They do a variety of shows and you'll actually find things that aren't on other major networks because it is too good for them. It is the least watched major network. There used to be two networks called UPN and the WB. They were both the lowest watched networks on major television and some people don't even classify it as that. Most shows resemble soap operas in primetime. CBS owned UPN, thus they own half of the CW. The two networks decided to merge and form this one. Most of the shows are inspired by something else or remakes. It was so bad at comedies; they don't show any on the network anymore. It is generally bad at reality shows, but it does have America's Next Top Model. Because the shows on this network perform so badly, they normally don't get cancelled because there are much worse shows on the network. In fact, if any of these shows were on a different network and had the same rating, they would have been cancelled a long time ago. You can find unique shows on here for a while. During daytime hours, you will find syndicated shows. They also show syndicated shows during late night. Reruns are seen a lot. This network is constantly in fifth place and if it ever came in fourth, it would be a success unheard of for the CW. It gets worse ratings then some cable channels original programming. Also, when a show it aired had the lowest premiere in American television history, it still aired more episodes because it is that bad off (and the episodes were already made in the Canadian series that aired here). Grade: B.
CW Rundown- News: The CW shows no national news but does have local ones. Comedies: A total of six comedies have ever aired on this network with all but one of them airing on other networks. Three of them were on UPN before they merged and only one was from the WB which should have stayed ended. The Game was cancelled by this network and picked up by BET, the only survivor. They don't show any comedies anymore because they were really bad at them. Drama: Whether it is supernatural, a teen drama, some other type of show, or a combination of the three, that is pretty much all you will find on the network. The longest running is Supernatural, which was on a season on the WB before it came on this network, and the most popular is The Vampire Diaries. Reality: The CW sucks at reality shows. I don't know why they keep trying. The longest running is America's Next Top Model, a leftover from UPN. That is not only the most popular, but nothing else tends to last. Soap Opera: There is not a single Soap Opera on the CW, unless you count some of their primetime shows. Game Shows: All the game shows on this network are syndicated. Talk Shows: What applies to game shows also applies to talk shows on this network. Summer Shows: These are mostly reruns of shows but some new shows also air sometimes.
More about the CW- Fans: The fans tend to be young women. In fact, that is the main demographic that they look for. Specials: Not a single one airs that I know of. Boneheaded Decisions:
Continuing trying to find a second reality show is stupid. Not picking up Moonlight when it would greatly benefit the network was also dumb. Other than that, it hasn't really made any besides picking up 7th Heaven after it was supposed to end and costing another show it's chance at ever being aired. Good Decisions: Merging with another failing network was a good choice. Also, getting into the vampire frenzy also helped the network. Sports: Although sports do show up from time to time, it is on very rare occasions. Commercials: They seem to end as soon as they begin so that you don't leave the network. Other: The only original part of this network happens at primetime or is the local news. What I'd Change: I don't really know how to improve the network, but I'd probably pick up cancelled TV shows like UPN used to do.
FOX- It is the least liked network among people and most shows even make fun of how much this network sucks. They show animation (adult cartoons) and dramas with a few comedies. Their live action shows don't do as well as their animated shows. It was not an original network. It only shows two hours of primetime programming, the only official network to do that (since the CW isn't an official network). They aren't very popular among some people and tend to cancel a lot of shows yet they also have popular shows which tend to cancel the other ones out. Since their shows change so much, it is hard to tell what is on when. I'm not sure why people like it as they only care about the shows that perform well and treat the rest like crap. It could be because they allow more creative freedom for writers, but even that isn't real. Their primetime is anything, but mostly dramas or animation. Their daytime is all syndicated. Their late night is also syndicated, but they might try a talk show in the future. You can tell it is FOX because they throw their latest hits in the garbage almost the moment that they get them. Grade: D.
FOX Rundown- News: No national news except Sunday unless you turn to its cable counterpart. There is a huge argument as to whether FOX News is actually news. Most of it is heavily biased towards the right, but according to them, they are the only news that is truthful and honest. Comedies: In terms of failures it's hard to tell if FOX or ABC does worse. It does have the successful animated comedies, but I don't count them as you don't find them on any other major network. What typically happens is they have one good sitcom and absolutely nothing to pair it up against. But they have had successes in the past. In terms of their more successful animated comedies, The Simpsons has run the longest and is the most popular along with Family Guy. In fact, there is no primetime scripted show that has lasted longer than The Simpsons Drama: FOX does come out with a good drama every now and then. My favorite of all time is Drive. Their longest running is Bones and that is also their most popular. Reality: If it weren't for American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance?, then there wouldn't be a single good reality show on this network (if you even like those). They are also the most popular shows which always bring back the viewers at midseason. Soap Opera: Not a single soap opera has ever aired on this network. Game Shows: This network has had some good game shows which are now syndicated. Other than that, it really doesn't have any without causing a whole lot of controversy. Talk Shows: I don't think they even show a syndicated talk show on this network. Summer Shows: Like most networks, it doesn't like reruns during the summer except of its most popular shows like its animated shows.
More about FOX- Fans: The fans of this network are put through constant depressions with their favorite shows getting cancelled but finding new faith in another show that just gets cancelled as well. I don't think we'll ever stop to realize how stupid that is. Specials- FOX airs very few specials. It's anniversary special barely drew any viewers and that's another reason most people stop watching the network. Boneheaded Decisions- It's very existence could be described as stupid as television has gotten along without it before and could do it again. Besides, the network has a habit of throwing its latest hit into the garbage when something better comes along. It's special Who Wants to Marry and Multibillionaire caused a lot of problems and caused the network to claim that they would never air a reality show again. They lied. But since no live action show has lasted more than ten years in recent history, it could be further described as a dumb network that people still come back to like a bad drug. Good Decisions- I don't know if FOX did something especially important, but they did prove that a fourth network could exist on television. If you actually like American Idol, then that was a good decision. Sports- FOX airs too many sports that have been known to preempt certain programs. They normally have good schedules on Sundays to avoid CBS's problem of delaying their programs until the end of sports. But it can be aggravating not knowing when these shows are on. Commercials- FOX seems to air a lot of Hardees commercials, so what they air is sexist typically. Other- What makes this network different then the other three is that there is no morning news show, there is no late night show, there is only two hours of primetime, there is few syndicated programs, and their best shows never make it that long. What I'd Change- Well, I would probably stop changing the schedule so much and stop screwing shows like this network does more than any other, if the others even do that.
NBC- This network probably has a head-banging wall over the bad decisions that they have made over time. They show any possible show that they can. It was doing so badly that it merged with Comcast, a cable giant. Their somewhat recent Tonight Show fiasco was rated the number one blunder in television history. More shows have been cancelled from this network and picked up by another network than any other network. They show a lot of different shows in all varieties that change constantly. Daytime is both unique and syndicated. It has more programs late at night than anyone else. That has also caused the most problems for the network. Grade: C.
NBC Rundown: News- I haven't really seen much of the news, but it doesn't matter to me. Comedies- This is where NBC dominates and they have better comedies then most other networks. They are the master at comedies and they can't really do much without them. Most of their comedies are on Thursdays, their most successful night. But expect to see more as they have the best comedies. Their longest running comedy is The Office and all of them are arguably popular. Drama- I'm not really sure what to say with their dramas. Sometimes they get a good hit that lasts an incredibly long time. Law and Order: SVU is not only their longest running drama, but it is the only primetime drama to premiere last millennium, lasting longer than any other network's primetime dramas. They are slowly searching for other hits, but haven't had much success recently. But it should come soon. Reality- NBC does a lot of reality shows that seem like experiments. They don't seem to last long even in the primetime slots. But they have The Voice, even if there is nothing else. Soap Opera- NBC does great with Soap Operas and still has some great shows that have lasted a long time. They will not disappear any time soon. Game Show- NBC does a lot of strange game shows. Most of them are primetime and don't spend that much time on the air. No daytime game shows exist outside of syndicated shows. Talk Shows: The Today show might count as their only talk show. It lasts a total of four hours, but doesn't have much news in it. That show is considered their only hit, outside The Tonight Show. Summer Shows- NBC has a crazy summer schedule and airs very few reruns. But I don't bother finding out what the shows are because they get cancelled anyways it seems.
More about NBC: Fans- The fans of NBC must like the network for some reason, but I don't know who they are and why they haven't been watching much lately. Specials- NBC normally airs the Olympics but doesn't air many other specials. Boneheaded Decisions- Poor NBC has done the most boneheaded decisions, most of which have to do with their late night programming and cancelling JAG after just one season. (JAG would be picked up by CBS and have a spin-off known as NCIS). But NBC should prosper, if only they can come up with a better way of doing shows. Good Decisions- We'll see what more of their good decisions are when they actually make them. Sports- NBC airs the typical sports of any other major network. Their Sundays are always sports the first half of the season. Commercials- The commercials don't seem that bad or good and seem like those on every other network. Other- NBC is struggling at the time. Whether it will succeed in the future is another thing. Back in the days of radio, it had two channels and had to sell off their less successful one now known as ABC. It was the first of the major three radio channels to premiere on TV. What I'd Change- I'd stop cancelling good shows which give other networks a chance to do better.
PBS- This is the best network and should always stay, if nothing else, for its educational shows. It is completely owned by the government and mostly survives through viewers' donations. It is very different from other networks because they don't show commercials. They show historical, educational, and musical programs as well as the popular kids block that it on weekdays. Its daytime children's block is filled with the best and most popular kids' shows. Even if the show isn't producing any new episodes, they can be in reruns for a long time. In fact, some have and got more, new episodes a long time later. Their primetime and other slots are nice as well. The problem that arises is the fact that there tends to a lack of consistency with their schedules from weeknights and some weekdays. The only counterpart to PBS I know of is National Public Radio (NPR). It also has the least biased news whose basis in truth telling can get it accused of liberal biased and threatened to take away funding. I recommend it as a great wildcard as you are sure to find something great on at some point. In fact, if you start watching something, you won't want to change the channel or you'll probably miss something. It has more nationwide affiliates than any major network that is considered a major network. (It beats the next by over a hundred.) Grade: A.
Golden Huckleberry Awards (for the worst TV shows)
Here are the winners of each category along with the nominees for the worst shows on television.
Worst cliffhanger resolution: CSI
Worst ending to a TV series: Missing
Worst acting: How to Be a Gentleman
Worst writing: The Bachelor/The Bachelorette
Worst plot: Work It
The good riddance award: Work It
Why do people care award: Glee
Worst idea for a show: Work It
Biggest waste of time: Rules of Engagement
Most forgettable: How to Be a Gentleman
Bonehead decision of the season: Work It
Worst pilot: Work It
Worst drama show: Glee
Worst comedy show: Work It
Worst new show: Work It
Why is it still on award: American Idol
Most overrated show: Glee
Weakest Characters: How to Be a Gentleman
Worst Reason to Cancel a Good Show: 2 Broke Girls
Why was it created award: Work It
What were they thinking award: Work It
Why do people like it award: 2 Broke Girls
Jumped the shark award: The Simpsons
Worst show on FOX: American Idol
Worst show on ABC: Work It
Worst show on CBS: How to Be a Gentleman
Worst show on NBC: The Office
Worst show on the CW: Gossip Girl
Worst show on every other network: Jersey Shore
Worst syndicated show: The Jerry Springer Show
Worst show on television: American Idol, Work It, How to Be a Gentleman, The Office, Gossip Girl, Jersey Shore, and The Jerry Springer Show
Stay tuned for my next post.