Monday, January 04, 2016

TV: Is ABC in the entertainment business?

How long would Ronald Meyer last as president and CEO of Universal Studios in 2016 if it turned out he had no new releases ready to exhibit?


We ask that because, despite continuing to bleed viewers each year, network television continues to display gross contempt for the viewers -- one network in particular.

If Meyer decided to bench Universal films for a few months, he'd be out of job.

So explain ABC to us.

SCANDAL and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (two dying but heavily promoted shows) do not return until February, ONCE UPON A TIME and QUANTICO do not air new episodes until March.

No other network is as bad as ABC,

Take NBC -- HEROES REBORN and THE BLACKLIST are among the shows that will return with new episodes on the network this week.

Like NBC, FOX is bringing back many shows this week.

And Tuesday is their new comedy block of all new episodes and this month also sees the return of THE X-FILES in mini-series format.

Yes, they're waiting until the end of March to bring back the network -- and TV's -- most talked about show (EMPIRE) but, hey, they're not ABC waiting until February to return FRESH OFF THE BOAT and THE MUPPETS, are they?

More to the point, Sunday night saw them begin airing two new shows.


The latter would do a public service if it would explain how to survive a bad sitcom -- which, for the record it is.

The live action show centers around a bland male lead -- yet another bland male lead.

It feels like every other failed FOX sitcom and the first episode seems to last as long as all of them combined.

Is there a point to the show?

Not really.

BORDERTOWN is the latest animated series from Seth MacFarlane.

It's frustrating as well.

But it stands a chance of getting better.

That's if it follows the characters and not the tired template that all of Seth's shows have been built around.

That template is dumb father,, dumber son, talking animal.

AMERICAN DAD used to air on FOX.

It started off a tired copy of FAMILY GUY.  Then it became something a little better as they explored Hayley more.  Then they married Hayley off on the show and pushed her to the back resulting in yet another lifeless show.  Not even sending Hayley's husband Jeff into space forever was enough to revive the show which now airs on TBS.

If that's where BORDERTOWN's headed, then there's no point in sticking around.

If they're going to make Becky a main character, the show might have something to offer.  (Voiced by Alex Borstein, Becky gets off the best joke in the pilot -- about wanting to get pregnant so she can fight for the legal right to an abortion.)

Both BORDERTOWN and COOPER BARRETT'S GUIDE TO SURVIVING LIFE should have started airing in December when there was so little original content.

With no real competition, they might have stood out.  Instead, viewers will most likely already be asking themselves how many more episodes they'll commit to?

Even if both series flop, however, FOX can point to them and other shows this month which demonstrate they tried.

ABC really can't point to anything.


Last season's slow building anchor returned for another brief run.

The attempt to pull in female viewers didn't mean any female characters being given meaningful time on screen but they did let a woman sing on endlessly about the need for the main character to take off his shirt -- she got more time in the frequently aired promo than in the actual episode.

And the ratings for the return underwhelmed.

As affiliates wait and wait for ABC to return brand product, it'll be interesting to see how long Ben Sherwood can continue to avoid criticism?

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