NBC Kills the 8:00 TV Hour or “Less to Watch on NBC Next Year”

NBC just announced that starting next season the network is going to stop airing scripted shows at 8:00.  Instead they’re going to milk the ratings success of shows like “Deal no Deal”, “1 vs. 100” and other game show and reality crap that has been successful for the network.  I appreciate the financial realities of the network and that this is a business decision so I get it.  Still, what this means to me is that next year there will be fewer shows on NBC that I care about.  I’d get upset about it except the truth is that this is what America wants.  NBC wouldn’t make such a radical change if these shows didn’t get high ratings and complex shows that require weekly viewer attention isn’t what America wants.

The upside of this announcement is that creators who have great shows to air won’t waste their time taking their creations to networks that at the end of the day won’t support them.  Instead maybe they’ll go to FX, USA, SciFi, HBO, Showtime or even ABC.  This means that good shows may actually have a chance to succeed away from the business realities of the big networks.

I could be wrong but I think long term this is a bad decision for NBC.  I don’t know enough about the economics of the TV business but I would guess that focusing on shows like these means less future, perpetual revenues from DVD sales, syndication or even downloads since once the individual fads wear off no one will care about these shows.  Still, good luck NBC.  It’s been good having you over from 8:00 – 9:00 the past 35 years.

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