Wednesday, July 06, 2005


What's with the FOX Network anyway? No, not the news channel, that other network that has American Idol.

Everyone wants to talk about the news channel and rant and rave about that, as if news were more important than entertainment, but more people are actually watching the main FOX network, which was Number One the last time I checked. Thanks largely to Simon Cowell.

Unfortunately not every show on FOX is Number One, and that network has a brutal record for pulling shows in record time, in large part because the race for Number One with CBS and ABC is so close. One wrong move and you can end up in the ratings tank like NBC, and no one wants to be NBC right now. And if you screw up completely you can go the way of the DuMont Network and go right out of business; that's what basically happened to the PAX network last week. They changed their name to "i" (?) (!) and they are getting right out of the original-series business. There are lots of rumors flying that they're about to go all-infomercial. That's what I call a really sad ending. So it's important to stay Number One, and to stay Number One you need to cancel some shows.

Word is that FOX has given up on The Inside already after just a few episodes. Tim Minear is the brains behind this show and basically said the show is dust. His fans are outraged. They're blaming the network for scheduling the show right after Stacked reruns. This is what fans always do: the show gets cancelled, so the network that gave the show a shot in the first place is the one that gets all the heat when the show gets yanked. They blame the network for not giving good shows a chance, conveniently forgeting that FOX decided to save Arrested Development this year from the trash can, despite its lousy ratings. Only so many good shows with lousy ratings that a network can rescue.

Check out that web page I linked to and you can tell the fans are ticked that FOX cancelled yet another drama by Tim Minnear: he also did Wonderfalls and a few other ones that got booted quickly.

You know, it really is terrible when you really start to get into a show and then they yank it off the air for no reason. I remember when The Street, a show about Wall Street, was on FOX a few years back, and they yanked that one off the air, too, before it had much of a chance to make it. But then you see some shows on the WB and UPN get some really low ratings, and yet their shows seem to stay on much longer and get more of a chance. Look at Veronica Mars, the ratings for that show are the lowest ever, but that show is getting another chance from UPN. But there are lots of good shows out there that don't get much of a chance to find an audience and it seems like they're all on FOX, and their fans are frustrated. A few years ago they booted Family Guy off the air but the fans bought the DVDs by the truckload and got the show reinstated. But that's a rare case and I think they actually gave that show a chance to survive. Baywatch was another show that got booted from the networks, then David Hasselhoff decided to keep the show going and syndicate it, and it became a huge hit. But that was also an unusual case.

Well, that's TV for you. Very competitive these days. Makes no sense that The Inside is being shut down while Beauty and the Geek gets to survive, but that's the business.

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