Have you ever seen a preview for a new show on TV and decided to tune in to check it out.
You watch the premiere and really enjoy it.
You watch the next week and you’re hooked.
But then a few weeks later, you hear that the show got the axe, cancelled. Just like that, and never to be seen again.
We can all name a show or two that has suffered that fate. When a network sees its ratings are down, it pulls the plug on the show.
It’s been happening more and more every year.
So this week, I will give my remedies that I think could help the networks suffering from “premature cancellation”.
Ah yes, the dreaded “premature cancellation.” It happens to the best of networks, but they can get help.
Tip 1: Know your competition
Scheduling is vital to a show’s success, especially for a new show.
A network has to be careful with what timeslot they put their new program.
They don’t want to put a new show up against a ratings hit. Starting off in a timeslot that isn’t as competitive could be the key to attract new viewers.
Another good strategy is putting a new show following the network’s hit show. For example, FOX’s top rated shows are American Idol and House, meaning the timeslot after those shows would be the best.
Tip 2: Promote
A few weeks ago, NBC premiered Kings. It’s a show about a modern day monarch, in a New York City-like setting. It’s based on the biblical story of David and Goliath, and it has a great cast.
But how many of you reading have seen or even heard of Kings? If the ratings are any indication, there are not many.
The main reason is because the marketing for this show before the premiere was horrible. They failed to promote what makes this show original and intriguing, so not many tuned in.
A network’s job is to promote their show before the premiere. Kings is the most original new show, but with ratings tanking, it looks like it will be dethroned very soon.
Tip 3: Stay the course
Once a network commits to a timeslot, it is crucial for them to stay at that timeslot. What networks tend to do with a show not getting the number is they switch its timeslot, hoping they perform better.
But they do this all of sudden and without warning.
To the viewers who were actually watching, they are left confused because they don’t know when their show plays anymore. The audience will get annoyed and quit on the show.
Tip 4: Don’t panic
One of my pet-peeves with the networks is when they cancel a show at the first sign of trouble. Hence the phrase “premature cancellation” (This writer copyrights this term, so hands off people!).
It happens, and it happens often. As I mentioned, we can all name a show that has suffered from it.
The networks have to be less trigger-happy.
They spend all that money investing in this new show, why not give it time. People need time to get into a new show.
Remember, the best way to get the word out is to let the people talk about the show. And that takes time.
So next time you see a preview for a new show, give it a shot. But be careful not to get too attached to it. The axe might drop soon enough
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