Tuesday, September 20, 2011

RATINGS IN FOR THE START OF NEW TV SEASON: SHEEN-LESS "MEN" PREVAILS

As you may have noticed from watching your local TV channels, the rerun season is over and the new TV season is on with fresh new shows.

One of them was the much-anticipated season premiere of Two and a Half Men, sans Charlie Sheen but with Ashton Kutcher, which started out at his funeral packed with all of Charlie's jilted exes. Ratings for the premiere episode were through the roof -- apparently 28 million tuned in.

ABC ended up winning the night thanks to good ratings from Dancing With the Stars - in spite of the controversy surrounding the inclusion of Chaz Bono in the cast. Only in America would this be controversial -- though come to think of it, it might also be contoversial in Middle Eastern countries and parts of Asia and Africa, too. So maybe I shouldn't be so hard on the USA.

But really, these Americans who watch that show are so uptight these days. Their priorities seem to be misplaced -- they'd rather get upset over transgendered folks dancing on a television show than get around to solving their nation's problems.

Fans of the show were all threatening to boycott the season, just because someone with a sex change was on it. This seems common with viewers of that particular show -- I remember they also got mad when contestant Joanna Krupa posed for Playboy. Boy, are the viewers ever uptight.

Speaking of uptight --

Am I alone in thinking we aren't going to see The Playboy Club stick around NBC for very much longer? Ratings for the first episode were in the sink. You'd think, given all these boycotts and protests for months on end from the feminists and religious folks before even a single episode aired, that the controversies would have led to more curiosity from viewers, but no. No doubt, those stories simply turned off the boring folks at home, instead, in the States.

Too bad, but I just never thought it would do well on NBC on Monday night anyway, especially given what the competition was throwing at it. The women who might watch the show are all tuned to Castle on ABC at that hour, while guys who might otherwise be interested in seeing gorgeous Laura Benanti sing in a bunny suit on TV are instead all watching Monday Night Football on ESPN  -- or alternatively, if the game is a blowout, Hawaii Five-O. Hopefully it might get moved to another night -- that'll be the only hope to save the show now.

I think the real issue is that folks at NBC tried too hard to copy Mad Men, completely forgetting that Mad Men has also been a washout in the ratings pretty much ever since it began. Mad Men may be the coolest show on TV and the Sixties the coolest decade ever, but a sure-fire ratings winner it is not.

Trying to copy the 1961 vibe elsewhere might just not be the answer to a network's ratings woes. If it were we'd be seeing a lot more reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show on TV than we do now. (Whatever became of that show, anyway? It's nowhere to be seen these days.) That's all for now.

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