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Old 09-19-2013, 03:26 AM   #1
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Question The 20 Biggest Mess-Ups/Mistakes in NBC History

What most immediately comes to my mind:
*The entire Jeff Zucker era/regime, which saw NBC go from first to worst by the end of the 2000s. This includes giving five nights a week to Jay Leno in prime time.

*"The Heidi Game"

*Canceling shows like Star Trek, Baywatch and JAG, which went on to become even bigger hits elsewhere.

*Just about the entire 1979-80 season (the "Fred Silverman Years" to be more exact or direct).

*Letting NBC Sports deteriorate by the early part of the 2000s w/ the loss of the NFL in 1997 (which naturally, lead to the XFL debacle), MLB in 2000, and NBA in 2002.

*Cutting away from the closing ceremonies for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics in favor of The Marriage Ref and Animal Practice.

*Replacing Jane Pauley w/ Deborah Norville as the female host of Today. Plus, there was the more recent fiasco involving Ann Curry being forced out as female anchor for Today.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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letting "Cheers" last as long as it did instead of canceling it in 1984 and giving "Happy Days" a new lease on life

letting "Friends" last as long as it did in the name of corporate greed--and letting David Schwimmer be known for someone other than Michael on "The Wonder Years"

foisting "Will and Grace" (or as I call it "Swill and Disgrace") on the American public

foisting "The Facts of Life" on the American public

Last edited by James : 09-20-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James
foisting "The Facts of Life" on the American public
What's wrong with The Facts of Life? I would consider it a show families can watch together, at least for most episodes. If you're going after racy sitcoms on NBC The Golden Girls would make more sense.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:27 PM   #4
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Letting "Must-See TV" go down like it did.

Having "Dateline" on almost every night!
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James
letting "Cheers" last as long as it did instead of canceling it in 1984 and giving "Happy Days" a new lease on life

letting "Friends" last as long as it did in the name of corporate greed--and letting David Schwimmer be known for someone other than Michael on "The Wonder Years"

foisting "Will and Grace" (or as I call it "Swill and Disgrace") on the American public

foisting "The Facts of Life" on the American public


Mistake? Cheers? Cheers was among the highest-rated shows during most of it's run, it was a top 10 show for all but it's first two years, and was considered the most prestigious show among advertisers... If anything, NBC should have fought harder to save the show!

Will & Grace? a highly-rated, Emmy-winning, ground-breaking show? yeah, huge mistake...
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by factsoflife
Mistake? Cheers? Cheers was among the highest-rated shows during most of it's run, it was a top 10 show for all but it's first two years, and was considered the most prestigious show among advertisers... If anything, NBC should have fought harder to save the show!

Will & Grace? a highly-rated, Emmy-winning, ground-breaking show? yeah, huge mistake...
I agree. "Cheers" and "Will & Grace" are two of NBC's finest.

Canceling "Mama's Family" after season 2 was a big mistake but I'm glad they did because we all know what happened next...
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by factsoflife
Will & Grace? a highly-rated, Emmy-winning, ground-breaking show? yeah, huge mistake...
Will & Grace may have been an Emmy favorite but I consider it one of the worst shows ever made. And its ratings plummeted when Frasier and Friends ended, wasn't able to carry NBC like they were.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:37 PM   #8
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Will & Grace, Cheers, The Facts of Life, and Friends were all giant hits, so clearly none of them were "mistakes".

Can't speak much about their 70s collapse, but I think what really did them in during the current era was failing to find any worthwhile shows to replace Friends and Fraiser ended (and to a lesser extent, Will & Grace). They put all of their eggs in quick-fix reality shows like The Apprentice and Deal or No Deal, which did the job at first but left gaping holes in their schedule once they started tanking around 2007/2008. From then on, it was just a series of mind-boggling stupid decisions, from the Leno/Conan debacle to their entire "broad comedies" approach last season that fell miserably on its face. We'll see if their "family" approach works this year...I have my doubts, but who knows? If MJF's show is the big smash they want it to be, it could go a long way in revitalizing NBC's name.
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:08 AM   #9
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:45 AM   #10
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Moving NewsRadio around so many times (I believe 9 times) in its four and a half seasons, hurting its chances of it having a bigger audience than it could have had. Warren Littlefield even said he should have just left it on Tuesday nights.
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:05 PM   #11
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Too much Deal or No Deal for sure.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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Firing Kevin Reilly, who was NBC's head of entertainment from 2004 to 2007. He was working miracles at a network struggling in the post-Friends era. He developed My Name Is Earl (the #1 new scripted show of 2005-06) and Heroes (the #1 new scripted show of 2006-07) and was fired for it.

The straight-to-series idiocy of 2007-08. Turns out pilots exist for a reason.

The Jay Leno Show. Cancelling so much programming had a ripple effect that carries on until today. They needed to develop a ton of shows to fill the gap. That impacted quality, plus they couldn't successfully promote all of them.

Not firing Zucker earlier.

That season in the late 90s when NBC put sitcoms on pretty much every single night. I know this might be controversial on a website dedicated to sitcoms, but they spread themselves far too thin, which really hurt the genre. I blame NBC for the subsequent decline in sitcoms in the 2000s.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherryade
Firing Kevin Reilly, who was NBC's head of entertainment from 2004 to 2007. He was working miracles at a network struggling in the post-Friends era. He developed My Name Is Earl (the #1 new scripted show of 2005-06) and Heroes (the #1 new scripted show of 2006-07) and was fired for it.

The straight-to-series idiocy of 2007-08. Turns out pilots exist for a reason.

The Jay Leno Show. Cancelling so much programming had a ripple effect that carries on until today. They needed to develop a ton of shows to fill the gap. That impacted quality, plus they couldn't successfully promote all of them.

Not firing Zucker earlier.

That season in the late 90s when NBC put sitcoms on pretty much every single night. I know this might be controversial on a website dedicated to sitcoms, but they spread themselves far too thin, which really hurt the genre. I blame NBC for the subsequent decline in sitcoms in the 2000s.
I agree with you about the sitcoms. Most of those sitcoms were Friends clones and they were mediocre at best. They overdid it on them. Then you knew it was bad when NBC started with their supersized Thursdays. They wouldn't have done that if their other sitcoms in the lineup were any good.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:21 PM   #14
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I remember the 1979-80 Season. My Friends made up an acronym for NBC - "Nine Bombs Cancelled". One of them, a show called Cliffhangers happened to be a show I LIKED. I was quite dismayed they didn't show the final episode. It would take me 30 years to find out how two of the segments (The Secret Empire and Stop Susan Williams concluded, with a little help from ioffer. For the record, I don't like having to turn this route to see how a series concluded. I'd rather purchase an OFFICIAL release. Unfortunately there are times where one finds themselves 'Damned if they do, Damned if they don't"
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James
letting "Cheers" last as long as it did instead of canceling it in 1984 and giving "Happy Days" a new lease on life

First of all, Happy Days aired on ABC not NBC. Second, Cheers is one of the greatest shows of all time. If anything, cancelling Cheers then would've been another huge blunder for NBC.
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