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Old 10-16-2013, 03:38 AM   #31
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The whole 1979-80 season could on its own be considered as one of the biggest mess-ups in ABC history:
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http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/04/25/how-networks-perish/

Anyway, the historically interesting point about this season is that it was the centrepiece of a disastrous season for ABC, where the network essentially gave back much of what it had gained during the Fred Silverman era. Silverman, the most famous TV executive of the era, came to ABC in 1975 after turning CBS around in the ’70s, and he did the same for ABC with a combination of shows with kid appeal, shows with sex appeal, and a slight sprinkling of quality TV (Roots, Barney Miller, Taxi). Silverman left to join NBC (where he didn’t pull off the same feat but did manage to greenlight Hill Street Blues) in 1978, and in the 1979-80 season, ABC made a number of aggressive scheduling moves. The biggest move was taking Laverne & Shirley out of the slot following Happy Days, where it had actually out-rated its lead-in, and moving it to Thursday at 8 to anchor the night. This is why the season begins with a special (and kind of idiotic) crossover event with Happy Days, designed entirely to make viewers follow the show to Thursdays. Only they didn’t. Up against what should have been easy competition – the aging The Waltons and the bubble show Buck Rogers in the 20th Century – the show sank like a stone in the ratings and eventually had to be moved to Mondays and then back to Tuesdays, ending the season out of the top 30 after several years as #1. The following year it underwent a huge, absurd retool, moving the whole cast to California, just to keep viewer interest alive in a show that seemed all-conquering only a couple of years before. It seems to have been an odd case of a show that was incredibly popular as a lead-out but simply was not strong enough to anchor a night; the biggest time-slot hit of all time.

Though it did come up with one new hit, Benson, ABC seemed to be over-confident in some of its other shows, including Mork & Mindy, which underwent an ill-advised retool and did poorly in its new Sunday night timeslot. Fantasy Island also got moved to make room for a show from the same producers (Hart to Hart), and it never quite caught on as the anchor of an evening, either. The midseason comedies of 1978-9, The Ropers and Angie, turned out less strong when they had a full season. The Associates, the one new high-quality comedy of the season, was given a terrible timeslot (after the retooled Mork) and died. And some other shows just passed their prime really suddenly: 1979-80 was the season of Shelley Hack on Charlie’s Angels, and that was the end of that franchise. To some extent, it seems like an illustration of how a #1 network can be weaker than it seems. Silverman had left his successor, Tony Thomopoulos, with some genuine smash hits, but also some shows that needed careful handling if they were not to lose their audience. Every successful network has a combination of the two: some shows can be a hit no matter what the network does to them, and others can only be a hit in certain controlled circumstances. What ABC found out in 1979-80 was that a lot of its shows weren’t as strong as they looked.

By the end of the season, CBS (powered by Dallas) had taken back the #1 network spot, and ABC would struggle for a long time – a struggle that was bad for them but good for the viewers, since their desperation eventually forced them to greenlight all kinds of experimental drama series in the late ’80s. Thomopolous apparently felt that the principle of aggressive scheduling was still a good one, and continued the policy in 1980-1, moving two of ABC’s best comedies, Taxi and Soap, to new time slots. Both were basically killed by these moves.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:42 AM   #32
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ABC had a lot of problems in the years following the 90's. The biggest mistake was overplaying Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, and not foreseeing that it was going to be a trend that burnt-out quickly. They also failed to use this show to produce new hits.


But the main problem was mismanagement, starting with the appointment of Jamie Trases as President of Entertainment where she turned everything on the network into a "Friends" clone. ABC tried in vein to capture the market NBC was getting by turning every show on the network into a show about young 20'somethings.


You also had the mistake of passing on several shows that turned into major hits for other networks--- They passed on the CSI Franchise (and along with it the lucrative Jerry Bruckhemier production contract which ended up earning CBS untold fortunes.)

They passed on The Apprentice a show that ended up going on to to the #1 show on Primetime for awhile

I believe I also read that they also nearly passed on both Lost and Desperate Housewives.


Which brings me to my next point:

Firing Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, whose development work produced the two biggest hits ABC had had in decades and turned the network around. I think ABC was in such bad shape for so long and Lyne's previous development efforts produced little fanfare that firing her was sort of inevitable. Aside from George Lopez and 8 Simple Rules, her work produced little value until Lost and Housewives.


Cancelling long-running soaps "All My Children" and "One Life To Live" (which at the time of it's cancellation was the highest-rated soap on ABC) in favor of cheaply produced talk shows that nobody is watching. They thought that producing cheaper shows would off-set any ratings slips. They were wrong. This decision is to be solely blamed on one man imho, Brian Frons, the idiot who from the second he was hired at ABC Daytime began to systematically dismantle the shows he was in charge of. It was clear he was a man that did not love the soap opera genre and every decision he made undermined the intelligence of the audience and disrespected the crew and cast of these shows. He made bad decisions so he would be justified in cancelling two beloved iconic series.

I wouldn't exactly consider 8 Simple Rules of any real value after John Ritter suddenly passed away early into the second season.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:41 AM   #33
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Default Shows that ABC "screwed"

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  • Better Off Ted. The critically acclaimed sitcom quickly grew a Firefly-level intense fanbase, and to ABC's credit was given a second season despite low ratings, but then screwing truly began with the network providing minimal promotion, launching the season in December (exceptionally late for a returning show on the network), airing episodes during the holiday season (even though by 2009 most US viewers had been conditioned to expect new shows to be on mid-season break and so likely didn't expect the series to be on at that time), and when the ratings weren't stellar began burning off the episodes two at a time in January, cancelling the series, thus giving the show a Season 2 that ran for less than two months with the last two episodes not being aired in the U.S.(they did air in Australia later that summer, and both are availible on Netflix) due to the network's plan of airing them as Filler if the NBA Finals ended early wasn't needed due to that year's series going a full seven games.
  • ABC's apparent reaction to Commander In Chief winning rave reviews and Emmys for its acting was to kill the show. They put it on hold during the Winter Olympics, then moved it to a different timeslot afterwards without properly announcing this. Ratings suffered, as tends to happen when one moves a show to a new timeslot without announcing it, so they canned it.

    There's a bit more to that story. Showrunner/Director Rod Lurie took too long to produce episodes for the network, since he wanted to write and direct everything himself. ABC was understandably upset, but their unwise next move hurt the show beyond repair. Instead of giving Rod Lurie a scriptwriter to help him out, ABC instead fired Lurie and brought in Steven Bochco as the new showrunner mid-season. Then came the way-too-long delays and schedule shifts that followed, which further destroyed the show, one season in.
  • Covington Cross (1992) aired only six episodes over eight weeks, being constantly preempted and/or moved due to sports programming. It didn't help that the show was expensive to produce (shot on location in England) and had been a prime target for Moral Guardians due to its violent content. Regardless, after the show's "dismal" ratings, it was canned.
  • One of Litton's Weekend Adventure shows, Culture Click (an educational clone of The Soup), got screwed in Atlanta when their ABC station aired it at 4:00 AM Eastern. To be fair, it was the dud show in the Litton lineup and the first canceled program.
  • Cupid was bounced around from the Friday Night Death Slot to Saturday (the two nights nobody is ever home to watch a romantic dramedy) to Thursday against NBC's Must-See TV, justifying its cancellation before the end of the season. The show was Un-Cancelled years later, as ABC has gave its creator permission to try again...but the revival didn't get much better treatment, and after ratings slipped it was quickly canned once again.
  • Fridays was a Saturday Night Live knock-off that aired on ABC from 1980 to 1982. Despite clashes with the censors and a bad first season, it did win over fans who were disillusioned over SNL's decline in quality at the time and cited by most critics as the only sketch show that was worthy of replacing SNL. However, ABC was wary about the show's content, and, during the second season, moved the show from its cushy 11:30 PM timeslot to midnight and extended it from 70 to 90 minutes to make room for Nightline. When the ratings suffered because of this, ABC had the brilliant idea to air the show in primetime on April 23, 1982 — where it got its ass kicked by Dallas (like so many other shows from the early- to mid-1980s). Also not helping was the fact that NBC had gotten rid of Jean Doumanian and most of her SNL cast (Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo were the only survivors of Season 6), with the show more-or-less recovering from its Seasonal Rot with Dick Ebersol at the helm.
  • Hope and Faith was still getting decent ratings in Season 3 despite being scheduled opposite American Idol, but ABC cancelled it anyways so they could make room for an expanded Dancing with the Stars.
  • ABC screwed over Jake In Progress after its Season 2 premiere by replacing its timeslot with The Bachelor and cancelling the show a few short months afterwards (they screwed over Emily's Reasons Why Not in a similar manner), leaving eight episodes unaired, ABC cited lackluster ratings in the premiere as its reason; it seems more like ABC just wanted an excuse to cancel the show so it could fill another time slot with more of their Lowest Common Denominator reality shows.
  • Just the Ten of Us, a spin-off of Growing Pains, was screwed because of politics. Although Just the Ten of Us did well in the ratings on Friday nights (and frequently won its 9:30 PM timeslot), ABC wanted all shows in the TGIF block to be produced by Miller-Boyett Productions (as was the case with Full House, Family Matters, and Perfect Strangers). Ultimately, after finding no other suitable timeslot for Just the Ten of Us in time for the 1990-91 season, the series was canceled outright and replaced by Going Places (which lasted only one season of 19 episodes, changing its premise on #13).
  • Feeling that ABC wasn't promoting it enough, Stephen King spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to buy print ads for Kingdom Hospital. The network then decided to change the timeslot to compete with CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, meaning all the ads King bought gave the wrong time. King was probably pissed-off at this.
  • Less Than Perfect was royally screwed by ABC during its final year, first by shortening its Season 4 order from 22 episodes to 13 despite solid ratings for the previous season, then the season was delayed until April. Then only 5 out of 13 episodes were aired; the next two episodes scheduled to air were pre-empted by NBA games and ABC unceremoniously cancelled the show without giving any explanation whatsoever.
  • Fans of Lois and Clark had no reason to suspect Season 4 would be its last, as 4-5 had been confirmed for some time as part of a single contract deal. Then ABC got both new Disney ownership and leadership who wanted the timeslot for a revival of The Wonderful World of Disney and the contract was reneged on, leaving the cliffhanger unresolved and the hasty removal of "To be continued..." over the last scene.

    America's Funniest Home Videos may have suffered for this too, given that its 7 pm Sunday timeslot was the first half of the two-hour timeslot Disney wanted for the Wonderful World revival. That Videos was already facing trouble, with a weary Bob Saget leaving at the end of the 1996-97 season, couldn't have helped. In any case, the Retooled show was treated poorly (start at 3.2 at the linked page) from that point on, with three timeslot changes — ending up on Saturdays. From there, it was demoted to occasional specials. In the end, however, it survived the screwing; once it relaunched as a series with Tom Bergeron as host in 2001, it gradually clawed its way back to being a network fixture and returned to its old Sunday at 7 timeslot.
  • Max Headroom: Give it promotion no series could live up to (come on, a Newsweek cover?) and then drop it opposite the wildly-successful Miami Vice. This is somewhat different, though, as the reason it was screwed was not due to incompetence or office politics so much as the content of the show, which pretty much did everything it could to spit in the face of the execs and their way of life. The fact it was ever greenlit at all is a miracle.
    ABC screwed over My Wife and Kids by cancelling it after the creators had already been promised another season, thus ending the series on a cliffhanger as a result (though Word of God's explanation for what would've happened next season lessens the blow somewhat).
  • The Partridge Family was a modest ratings success its first three years, debuting at #26 and breaking the Top 20 in Seasons 2-3. Then ABC moved it to Saturday nights opposite All in the Family, which was in the middle of five consecutive seasons at #1. Ratings tanked, and the show was canned.
  • The Practice was having great success for six seasons. Then ABC decided to move it from Sunday nights to Monday, supposedly to get out of the way of the similar and strongly-casted NBC show The Lyons Den (which ended up being canned in less than a year). The Practice suffered a huge drop in ratings during that year. At the end of Season 7, ABC refused to renew the show unless its budget was severely cut, citing "poor ratings". As a result, six of the main cast members were fired. Ironically, the show was put back on Sunday nights for the final season...and to show that David E. Kelley can make lemons into lemonade, he introduced a new character: Alan Shore, played by James Spader. The final season mostly dealt with Shore being wooed by a rival law firm led by Denny Crane, portrayed by special guest star William Shatner. Spader and Shatner both won Emmys later that year for their performances, and both characters and actors were spun off onto a new show, Boston Legal, which lasted for several years.
  • For some reason, ABC decided to screw Samantha Who?, which was undoubtedly one of their most successful shows with high ratings and an award-winning cast. The deathblow? The network decided to move the show from its popular Monday timeslot (right after Dancing With the Stars) to a Thursday timeslot right after In The Motherhood, a complete flop that turned off most viewers.
  • Tales of the Gold Monkey. Cast and crew members cited a lot of hostility by ABC at the tone of the show (the network wanted Lighter and Softer), the high budget, and "culture clash" (the South Seas Retro setting of the show didn't mesh with ABC's at-the-time "modern urban" sensibilities). It experienced Executive Meddling in scripting from the start and was canned after a single season even with growing ratings and the rival networks certain it would be ABC's flagship.
  • ABC originally slotted Twin Peaks against Cheers, against which it actually performed admirably...then shifted the show's timeslot repeatedly. And then they forced David Lynch to reveal who killed Laura Palmer long before he wanted to.
  • Ugly Betty was screwed over by ABC. Its first three seasons aired consistently on Thursday nights at 8:00 PM, but a slight drop in ratings resulted in the show being shunned to the Friday Night Death Slot at 9:00 PM in favor of Flash Forward taking its place (which ended up being canceled). Betty's ratings were cut in half after the night and time switch, and its fans spoke out...so at midseason it was moved to Wednesdays at 10:00 PM with other comedy shows. Even though the ratings improved, it was too late. The show officially ended at the end of Season 4, not finishing its original ordered run. The show did get a story sendoff, but it was rushed, and many plot points were never explained.
  • ABC doesn't have a Friday Night Death Slot, it has Thursday Night Death Slot. The network has tried and failed to get a successful show going at 8:00 PM (Ugly Betty was the only scripted exception, although Whose Line Is It Anyway? and more recently Wipeout have both managed to run a few years by being low-cost filler) for over 30 years. So, naturally, in 2012 the geopolitical/military thriller Last Resort was aired Thursdays at eight. The ratings started as bad as you'd expect from a show that had to compete directly against (among other things) The Big Bang Theory and The X Factor, and got worse to the point where it finished last in its timeslot twice in a row, after which ABC killed it. Mildly subverted in that ABC is airing the remaining episodes and allowing its studio to give the series an actual ending.

    Of course, with Grey's Anatomy being such a runaway hit in the hour afterwards, does ABC really need to worry too much about that?

    In all honesty, ABC did try to subvert this with FlashForward (2009), where the show debuted to a promising ratings, and looked to be successful. And then the show went on hiatus, which the second part had half the ratings that Part 1 had. By the time the show was cancelled, the show was performing in last place, being beaten by The CW of all channels. It was cancelled, without resolving any questions the last episode made.

    Actually, FlashForward's ratings declined steadily going into the hiatus, yet it was brought back afterwards at the same time slot. They gave the show every chance to succeed, but it just didn't take with enough people to become the Spiritual Successor to Series/Lost that ABC desperately wanted.

    If it was screwed in any way, it was by putting it on at 8 rather than 9, where violence that didn't hurt Lost was perhaps a little off-putting at the earlier hour, and certainly didn't make any of the Grey's Anatomy fans watch it.
  • While 666 Park Avenue received modest ratings by Nielsen standards, it was later revealed that 77% of it's viewings came from DVR recordings. However, ABC ignored this, and the show was canceled anyway. Fortunately, this announcement came early enough for the final episodes to be re-written and re-shot to give the series closure. Unfortunately, the show was pulled off the schedule before they could actually air that finale. It finally did over the summer, only to see another screwing with the literal last minute of the show's finale being pre-empted for the George Zimmerman trial verdict in the East.
  • Masters of Science Fiction was an anthology series with plenty of promise (adaptations of stories by popular science fiction writers with a wraparound sequence hosted by none other than Stephen Hawking) but ABC sat on the show for a year, dumped it to Saturday nights and didn't air two episodes as the studio head felt the show was "too intelligent". And you wonder why there hasn't been a successful anthology show since Tales from the Crypt.
  • My So-Called Life. Among other factors, it was in the Thursday Night Curse Slot, and up against Friends and Mad About You. And unlike, say, Last Resort, it ended on a huge, unresolved cliffhanger.
  • ABC started airing season 2 of Dont Trust The B In Apartment 23 and Season 3 of Happy Endings on Tuesdays on October 23, a month after the start of the season, and more importantly after the start of popular Tuesday comedies New Girl and Raising Hope and new comedies Go On, The New Normal, The Mindy Project and Ben And Kate, all of which share the same time slot as the B and HE. Then they began seriously effing with Apt. 23 airing unaired episodes from Season 1 while airing episodes from Season 2 at random, resulting in serious discontinuities between episodes (like June working on Wall Street and then not, then doing it again the next episode; the entire "James on Dancing with the Stars" plot via airing order was scrambled beyond belief to the point a Dub-Induced Plot Hole had to be created to scrub a DWTS mention). Then, on January 22, 2013, they cancelled the show and announced they were not going to air the remaining 8 episodes on the network. After the end of the 2013 broadcast season the missing eight episodes were placed online and Hulu, allowing some kind of closure.

    This was actually a result of being screwed in Season 1 when, after a positive response at upfronts, ABC had ordered 13 episodes and scheduled it as an actual midseason replacement with a premiere date in February. But then...perhaps ABC got cold feet about the title, not least because they were taking similar heat over Good Christian Bitches, which became Good Christian Belles and finally just GCB. After putting Apt. 23 through the same rollercoaster, they rescheduled its premiere date to the end of April, allowing just 6 episodes or so and forcing the mixed-up order in Season 2.
  • Houston Medical was a well-received 2002 documentary series about the inner workings of a hospital in Houston (it also received praise for its tasteful handling of one of the series' subjects, a doctor dying of brain cancer). So what did ABC do? Dumped it into the Summer 2002 scheduling with no advertising or awareness whatsoever. After ABC burned off the series, the series was never re-run.
  • Late in the run of Power Rangers Jungle Fury and continuing for Power Rangers RPM and the subsequent Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers reversioning, Disney took PR off cable and made it exclusively an ABC Kids series, despite having just opened up the boys-targeted Disney XD. This would have been borderline tolerable if it aired at, oh, a sensible time. Instead, Power Rangers RPM and the reversioning were not aired as part of the ABC Kids block in most top markets. And where it was aired, it was often given a time slot before sunrise. Both seasons were barely promoted by the network.
  • ABC is pretty much the Fox of the 2010s. Pan Am, Missing, Body of Proof, Zero Hour, No Ordinary Family, Better with You, How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life), Red Widow, and countless other series have gotten yanked off the air pretty quickly, some as a result even ending on cliffhangers!

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...edByTheNetwork
  • In 2005, ESPN opted not to continue its relationship with the National Hockey League (fresh out of the lockout that canceled the entire 2004-05 season), and the cable rights were taken over by OLN (which then became Versus), a channel dedicated to outdoor sports with distribution not as wide as ESPN's. When NBC finally offered to air the 2007 NHL playoffs, they cut away from a series-clinching playoff game IN OVERTIME to show 90 minutes of pre-race coverage of the Preakness Stakes, knocking the remainder of the game over to Versus (except in Buffalo, one of the NHL's smallest markets, and Ottawa, where the CBC knows better). Though thankfully, they've learned their lesson (and Versus, now known as the NBC Sports Network following Comcast's acquisition of NBC, has become a lot more established since.) The Preakness Stakes incident was Executive Meddling of its own, as NBC's contract with the race (negotiated years before, mind you) had advertising commitments.

    ESPN and ABC aren't exactly blameless for losing their NHL TV rights, though. Once they pulled some duplicitous tactics to yank broadcast rights away from FOX, both ESPN and ABC proceeded to ignore the league, giving it absolutely no advertising time on ABC and the bare minimum on ESPN. This behavior accelerated when ESPN and ABC got the rights to broadcast NBA games (coincidentally, the NHL's direct competitor for the winter months), with both networks making it clear they were prioritizing basketball over hockey. Then right as the 2004-05 NHL lockout started, ESPN canceled their NHL recap show NHL2night and refused to revive the show when the League approached them for a new cable deal after the labor dispute ended. With this kind of network screwing over a 6-7 year period, you cannot possibly blame the NHL for jumping to a more caring TV partner in Versus (although going with NBC is still inexcusable, as shown above). This blog entry goes into more detail about how Disney's networks screwed over the NHL, as well as the aforementioned dirty tactics used to screw FOX out of any TV rights.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...sternAnimation
  • Of the six episodes of Clerks: The Animated Series that were actually made, only episodes four and two were actually aired, in that order. This despite the number of running gags and ongoing plotlines that the series had, and the fact that the second episode makes sense only if you have seen the first (it's a parody of clip shows, because they only have one episode to mine for clips). All six episodes — with vitriolic commentaries — were later released on DVD.

    Comedy Central later showed all six episodes in 2002, before also shoving the series aside. [adult swim] picked it up in November 2008, airing one episode every Friday night for about six months straight.
  • Recess was once Adored by the Network. But Walt Disney Television decided to end the series in 2001, not for any issue with ratings (actually, the ratings for the show were higher than any other Saturday Morning Cartoon at the time, and for a while, the highest rated Saturday morning cartoon), but because there was a policy to end a show once it reached 65 episodes. And it doesn't matter how popular it was, it had to end with 65.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog suffered this badly. It's entire first season was plauged by preempts from college football. Then, when the second season hit, it turned out that it was a major contender against Fox's Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Then, a new head honcho came in, actually declared that he was sweeping out everything connected to the old guy... and did so. Sonic would be driven out in favor of those within "One Saturday Morning" and Power Rangers would begin its 10-year romp on Fox.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:39 AM   #34
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I'm still mad about Hope & Faith getting screwed over. Instead of a 4th season we got a 2nd season of mediocre Rodney, which tanked in season 2. And for two and a half years ABC was fine with Hope & Faith Fridays at 9:00. But then the Dancing With the Stars results show came. Hope & Faith was scheduled after it at 8:30 but was pulled after one episode (barely got a chance!) so they could have a bloated results show, which led to DWTS airing 3 hours a week 2 seasons a year. Ever since then shows with 3 full seasons automatically get renewed for a 4th season because of syndication, Hope & Faith was the last show cancelled after 3 full seasons.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:29 PM   #35
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I'm still mad about Hope & Faith getting screwed over. Instead of a 4th season we got a 2nd season of mediocre Rodney, which tanked in season 2. And for two and a half years ABC was fine with Hope & Faith Fridays at 9:00. But then the Dancing With the Stars results show came. Hope & Faith was scheduled after it at 8:30 but was pulled after one episode (barely got a chance!) so they could have a bloated results show, which led to DWTS airing 3 hours a week 2 seasons a year. Ever since then shows with 3 full seasons automatically get renewed for a 4th season because of syndication, Hope & Faith was the last show cancelled after 3 full seasons.

What annoys me in particular about Dancing w/ the Stars is that Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney (and former entertainment president of ABC if I'm not mistaken) in the book about the "behind the scenes history" of ESPN (Those Guys Have All the Fun) tried to spin ABC's loss of the National Football League package (I've said earlier that Iger, screwed up a chance of Disney landing both the Sunday night and Monday night package for ABC and ESPN respectively) by saying that they really don't need it anymore since Dancing w/ the Stars appeals to both men and women w/ the same sort of ratings.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:20 PM   #36
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I wouldn't exactly consider 8 Simple Rules of any real value after John Ritter suddenly passed away early into the second season.

I would agree with that statement. It was really unable to recover from his death, and what little potential it once had was ruined, making ABC's issues at the time even more unfortunate.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:30 PM   #37
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Basically it was just around to limp around to get to syndication, and the post-Ritter episodes were nothing much more than filler to get the Ritter-eps into syndication.
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:53 AM   #38
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Basically it was just around to limp around to get to syndication, and the post-Ritter episodes were nothing much more than filler to get the Ritter-eps into syndication.

I'm very surprised that 8 Simple Rules managed to get a third season after the whole mess w/ losing John Ritter (and in all honesty, the whole central premise). I kind of think that ABc move the show to the "Friday night deathslot" (during the brief period in which they tried to revive TGIF) to justify (mercy) killing it.

You can make the argument that ABC during that era (i.e. the early 2000s) didn't really have a lot of quality or remarkable sitcoms to rely on. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when According to Jim was pretty much your flagship sitcom.
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by TMC

You can make the argument that ABC during that era (i.e. the early 2000s) didn't really have a lot of quality or remarkable sitcoms to rely on. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when According to Jim was pretty much your flagship sitcom.

This is true, ABC comedy was in shambles during this era, and by comparison, 8 Simple Rules looked like a winner compared to shows like George Lopez and According To Jim, which were sort of bottom of the barrel type shows, IMHO.


It would take until the launch of "Modern Family" in 2009 for ABC to have a comedy series that was a hit with critics and viewers alike.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:14 PM   #40
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Cancelling the drama "Brothers & Ststers" after five seasons, after the network was considering an abbreviated sixth and final season, and "B&S"'s timeslot (Sundays @ 10:00 P.M. ET) has been a death slot ever since, with failures like "Pam Am", "GCB", "666 Park Avenue", and "Red Widow".
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:43 AM   #41
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ABC's treatment of their comedies in general is really frustrating lately. They acquire lots of great shows with tons of potential but squander them with poor scheduling. Cougar Town, Happy Endings, Apartment 23, Suburgatory, The Neighbors...all shows that started off well and collapsed once ABC jerked them around the schedule. Now they're all either cancelled or greatly weakened.

This year's schedule is a great example. The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife would make great post-Middle and post-Modern Family shows, respectively, but instead they throw them after SHIELD which seems really incompatible with the audience they'd be going for. And yet, they stick young-skewing and "hip" single-cam Super Fun Night after Modern Family, instead of putting it after the similarly young-skewing SHIELD? It makes no sense at all.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:31 AM   #42
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Another ABC screw-up I like to add is the fact that they passed on American Idol, which would allow FOX to take the ball and run with. AI became the dominant show on American TV, making FOX jump from fourth, to third, to second, to even first place. This move certainly hurt ABC, which was at doing poorly the time of Idol's debut due to the lack of hits. In fact, they were the fourth-place network in the 2003-04 season. Since then, ABC has struggled to beat FOX in the ratings.

Last edited by 2Point5D : 11-13-2013 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:44 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by 2Point5D
Another ABC screw-up I like to add is the fact that they passed on American Idol, which would allow FOX to take the ball and run with. AI became the dominant show on American TV, making FOX jump from fourth, to third, to second, to even first place. This move certainly hurt ABC, which was at doing poorly the time of Idol's debut due to the lack of hits. In fact, they were the fourth-place network in the 2003-04 season. Since then, ABC has struggled to beat FOX in the ratings.

I gotta give ABC a pass on this one, and here's why: American Idol was a pretty radical new concept when it debuted and frankly it wasn't not seen as a sure-fire success when it was being pitched. There hadn't really been a successful singing competition since Star Search in the late 80's. so I understand WHY ABC passed on it.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:00 PM   #44
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Default ABC Is In Last Place…So Why Does NBC Get All The Bad PR?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/kateaurthur/...all-the-bad-pr

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Beating up on NBC is a sport, and the consequence seems to be ignoring that ABC is also in sad shape — and has been for a while.

In fact, ABC is currently in last place among adults 18 to 49, and it could stay there unless The Voice tanks when it returns to NBC on March 25. Here are the current rankings of the big four networks in the 18-to-49 demographic that advertisers covet most:

1) CBS: 3.1/9
2) Fox: 2.6/7
3) NBC: 2.5/7
4) ABC: 2.3/6

ABC has no new hits this season and has had many failures. The network has become a serial killer of dramas in particular: Last Resort, 666 Park Ave, and Zero Hour are gone already, and Red Widow can’t last at its current levels. Last season, it was Charlie’s Angels, GCB, Missing, Pan Am, and The River that came and went.


ABC’s bright spots are that Scandal has grown in its first full season (and become a huge zeitgeist show) to be a genuine hit, and The Bachelor rebounded in the season that just ended Monday night. Grey’s Anatomy still does well, and Modern Family is one of the most popular shows on TV — unfortunately for the network, it’s on for only 30 minutes a week. And Shark Tank, the once invisible reality competition, has climbed its way to nice numbers on Friday nights. When Dancing with the Stars returns next week, it will do well among total viewers, but its audience has always been and will always be older (its median age was 61.6 during its fall season) — casting Bachelor Sean will not reverse that years-long trend. But still, because of DWTS, ABC should finish second among viewers for the season behind CBS.

Beyond that, the news is not good for ABC. I love Nashville as much as the next Connie Britton obsessive, but it’s not a real hit — at all. (Still, I would bet money it will be renewed.) The retooled Dana Delany drama, Body of Proof, has been hitting series lows. Moving Revenge from Wednesdays at 10 to Sundays at 9 has grown its audience because of its better lead-in in Once Upon a Time, but its ratings have declined lately as the plot has descended into madness, and it’s underperforming how Desperate Housewives did in that slot in its final season last year. And speaking of Once Upon a Time, ABC’s fun, family-friendly hit has gone down in Season 2 (10% in viewers, 9% in 18 to 49). So has the comedy Suburgatory (down 12% in viewers, 7% in 18 to 49). And moving the Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing from Tuesdays to Fridays has really hurt the show: It has sunk by 20% in viewers and 36% among 18- to 49-year-olds. In general, ABC’s attempts to launch another Modern Family–scale hit have not come close: Don’t Trust the B—— in Apartment 23 is gone, things aren’t looking good for Happy Endings, and Malibu Country and The Neighbors are weak.

Given this ABC disarray, why is NBC always the story, begetting headlines like “NBC Ratings Sink Even Lower,” “In Turnabout, NBC Prime Time Lands in the Cellar,” and, most dramatically, “Has NBC Passed the Point of No Return?” Those stories are certainly right, by the way: NBC’s dive from first this past fall to now third has been swift — and frighteningly symbolic of the overall end-times instability of the business of network television in 2013. There’s no question that NBC has plummeted this winter; on its way down, ABC has beaten it six weeks in a row. I’ve written about NBC myself several times.

But it’s not the only somber story out there. To me, the most logical answer for the NBC fixation is that its failures have been going on for so many years now, and the network has seemed so flailing — because of Ben Silverman’s antics, Jeff Zucker’s future-of-media pronouncements that were often seen as arrogant, and the Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien catastrophe — that it’s an ongoing soap opera that reporters love. Its flops are also crazily low-rated, like the recent disaster Do No Harm and the shockingly weak return of the revamped Smash.

ABC’s ups and downs, on the other hand, have been less insane-seeming. (Though that characterization does not apply to the firing of ABC’s former entertainment president, Steve McPherson, in the summer of 2010 for, as Bill Carter phrased it then in the New York Times, “a delicate personnel matter,” the full truth of which has never been reported.) That incident aside, in recent years, ABC has had some smaller successes (Castle, The Middle), a ton of cancellations, a few real embarrassments (the offensive cross-dressing “comedy” Work It last year), and one huge hit in Modern Family.

Yet ABC projects more stability: Its vicissitudes just aren’t as easy or fun to write about as the telenovela-like swoonings at NBC. Which, by the way, fell from second place to third after last week’s ratings. As you can see from the rankings at the top, Fox has recovered from its horrible fall, and is now in second, and, unless something unforeseen happens, will stay there for the rest of the season behind the dominant monolith CBS.

NBC’s biggest draw, Sunday Night Football, is gone until next fall. But we’ll see what happens when The Voice comes back. If the audience likes the new panel of judges, NBC’s ratings will stabilize, since The Voice will again lift shows like Go On and perhaps even the woeful Smash. I’m also curious if Revolution, also back on March 25, will return strong.

No network wants to be fighting for third place. But since first and second are set, this is where the real contest is.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:42 PM   #45
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I think...ABC's biggest mess-up was...having it be Disney-owned!

By 1997, ABC lost "Family Matters" and "Step by Step", but favored less successful shows for TGIF. Then for SatAM...ABC had "One Saturday Morning" which I felt was a Monopoly after 2000 when "Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show" ended its run on ABC. And somewhere in the 2000's, "Wonderful World of Disney" ended since I think it was on a Saturday which it should've been on Sunday.

That...and losing MNF!

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/02/...abc-univision/

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Instead of cutting its losses on ABC by exploring a spinoff of the dragging network, Disney is reportedly doubling down in a deal with Univision. None of it makes sense.

By Cyrus Sanati, contributor

FORTUNE -- Is it time for Disney to finally banish ABC from the Magic Kingdom? The media conglomerate's broadcast division was yet again the only real bruise in what would have been a relatively blemish-free quarter. ABC's anemic growth rate, coupled with its earnings cyclicality, has been a drag on Disney's stock for years, and its future doesn't look positive given the way people consume media in the 21st century.

But instead of cutting its losses and selling ABC, Disney executives are reportedly gearing up to double down on the dying brand by forming a partnership with Spanish-language powerhouse Univision to create yet another 24-hour cable news network – in English. Looking beyond the odd premise of such a network, the cost to get such a venture up and going in an already crowded field of cable news stations may not be worth the headache and could become yet another albatross around Disney's neck.

Disney's broadcast division, which includes the ABC network and its eight ABC-owned affiliates, reported yesterday a 7% decline in revenue and a whopping 23% decline in operating income for its fiscal first quarter, compared with the same time last year. The rest of the company, which includes its cable networks, like ABC Family and ESPN, as well as its theme parks and movie studios, met or beat revenue and profit expectations.

Disney (DIS) blamed the poor showing at ABC on lower affiliate revenue following the end of Oprah Winfrey's popular talk show and a decrease in political ad spending, as it was not an election year. While both may explain a decrease in revenue, it doesn't make up for the huge decrease in profits. ABC has the fewest owned and operated affiliate stations, so the decrease in revenues from losing Oprah and the political ads shouldn't have moved the needle as much as it was moved.

ABC's entertainment division and its news division, which is looking increasingly like an entertainment outlet, continues to suffer from a fall in viewership, making its ad space worth less today than in the past. ABC ended the fall season dead last among the four networks among 18 to 49 year olds, down 1% in viewership from last year. That compares to the 2% and 14% increase in viewership at Fox and CBS, respectively, in this key marketing demographic.

The company was reportedly close to selling off ABC in the spring of 2010 to a consortium of private equity firms, but that deal never materialized. Since then, Disney has been chopping costs and slashing employees at ABC in what appeared to many in the industry to be an attempt by management to make the division look as lean and as profitable as possible to attract new buyers. But ABC's poor performance may have scared off would-be suitors.

Another news network?

So instead of just cutting its losses and ejecting the division through some sort of tax-free spinoff or fire sale, Disney appears set to invest even more money in ABC. There is now talk that ABC is close to announcing the formation of its own 24-hour cable news network in partnership with Univision. It would meld its gutted ABC news division with Univision's news division to create a station catering to the Hispanic market. Sounds like an interesting idea, but what is odd is that instead of the station being in Spanish, it would be in English. The thinking at ABC is that the growing number of Hispanic Americans who speak English will want to watch a network news channel that is geared to issues affecting "their community" and that advertisers will then have a direct link to this increasingly affluent ethnic group.

That seems like a risky bet built on a false premise. All the other 24-hour cable news networks are divided across the ideological spectrum, with News Corp's (NWS) Fox News catering to conservatives, Time Warner's CNN catering to moderates and Comcast and Microsoft's MSNBC appealing to liberals (Fortune is owned by Time Warner (TWX)). It is unclear why a Hispanic-American, who speaks English, would care about elections back in their grandparent's homeland or about other Hispanic-Americans in other parts of the country.

When asked about the reported Univision deal, Disney CEO Bob Iger declined to comment during a call with shareholders. "I've said before that ABC is a platform that we continue to invest in from a content perspective, and ABC News is a very important part of that platform," he said. "And we have an interest in seeing that ABC News continues to flourish and giving it an opportunity to look for and create some growth opportunities on its own."

ABC News is but a shell of what it used to be and its ratings have plummeted as more Americans get their news from other mediums, like the internet (viewership of flagship shows Good Morning America, Nightline and World News improved during the 2010-2011 season, but ratings are down significantly from where they were 15 years ago). Executives inside ABC News are being shuffled around in an attempt to breathe "new life" into the news division. The answer, unfortunately, has been to appeal to the lowest common denominator in a cheap attempt to lure in viewers. So stories like "how male porn stars are trying to cater to women," are more likely to lead the network's iconic news daily Nightline than a hard news topic considered "boring." The end seems near.

Disney would be smart to just cut the cord before it is too late. It derives very little, if any, synergies from ABC and ad revenue is expected to fall going forward as viewership continues to drop off. Attempts to cut costs while maintaining quality programming that people want to watch has eluded ABC entertainment and ABC News executives for a decade, and there is no reason to believe that they will ever get it right.

The old mainline broadcast giants simply cannot capture the viewership they once could due to the plethora of information and entertainment choices now available to consumers. If Disney cannot find a buyer, it could always spinoff ABC to its shareholders in a tax-free spinoff. That would give shareholders the opportunity to decide whether they want to keep ABC as part of their portfolios or dump it. At the right valuation, ABC could be worth owning. But for now, it seems to be dragging Disney's valuation down - preventing shareholders from having their dreams of strong profits come true.
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