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  1. #1
    TMC1982 is offline Senior Member
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    How ABC Became the New NBC

    Like This Thread!

    And this isn't at all a positive statement in case you're wondering:
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...Angeles_acouch

    ABC's dramas are down double digits, its lone fall hit slipping,
    "Modern Family" with no friends -- so why is the Peacock's punching-bag status not threatened?
    To further add to this perspective regarding ABC's ratings issues, here's some intriguing "food for thought":
    62% of ABC viewers are female

  2. #2
    Aquadementia's Avatar
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    It should have been a warning that the network was in trouble because I started watching more.

    Like NBC Thursday which always tried to cram in one sticker, ABC had a solid Wednesday, which tried to cram in one stinker. But I get the feeling I’m horribly out of step about what I’m calling stickers. Thing is I don’t think the incredibly predictable wine cooler comedies are doing better then the shows I’ve been calling original and clever. It’s the cleavage coms of CBS they want to beat, but ABC isn’t demographiced to go that low cut.
    As a result of trying to fix themselves they are both dissolving into mediocrity.

    I’m surprised to see Once Upon a Time being called family friendly. It doesn’t look that way to me.

    Did ABC lose Monday Night Football? It looks like it was moved to ESPN in favor of Dancing with the Stars. I don’t know if it’s worse off on ESPN because if it was on ABC it would have been retooled at least twice since then, but I haven’t been crazy about the move.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquadementia View Post
    Did ABC lose Monday Night Football? It looks like it was moved to ESPN in favor of Dancing with the Stars. I don’t know if it’s worse off on ESPN because if it was on ABC it would have been retooled at least twice since then, but I haven’t been crazy about the move.
    Monday Night Football has been on ESPN for years. ABC slipping in the ratings is not because of losing MNF, trust tme.
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    Aquadementia's Avatar
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    The article says they lost MNF. I don't think they wanted it. The network was going after women viewers hard and threw away anything didn't fit the bill. Now I think they regret that.

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    reflection is offline Member
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    They've been moving sports to ESPN for years. Makes sense to make the leading cable channel more valuable and more expensive for the cable companies.

    They didn't necessarily lose MNF but they did lose the marquee game to NBC. What was MNF on ABC became SNF on NBC and the weaker matchup on Sunday night ESPN moved to MNF on ESPN. ESPN also lost the rights to their Sunday night highlights show.

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    TMC1982 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by reflection View Post
    They've been moving sports to ESPN for years. Makes sense to make the leading cable channel more valuable and more expensive for the cable companies.

    They didn't necessarily lose MNF but they did lose the marquee game to NBC. What was MNF on ABC became SNF on NBC and the weaker matchup on Sunday night ESPN moved to MNF on ESPN. ESPN also lost the rights to their Sunday night highlights show.
    Unfortunately, it in the long run also hurt/limited/crippled ABC's ability to promote new programming as well as train young younger audiences to tune into ABC's stations.

    Much about what happened when ABC lost the NFL package (it should be noted that Michael Eisner wanted Monday Night Football off of ABC because he felt that it cost Disney too much money) is detailed in here:
    Rivalry with NBC has a starring role in new book on ESPN - SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal | SportsBusiness Daily Global

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    Basically all network TV not named CBS is doing horrible. This is shocking how again???
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    Even CBS is doing pretty lousy this year. They feel the same pressures as the other networks, but get hit by the effects a few years later.

    Cable was always a growing threat, but it's only just recently that we've finally seen cable shows surpass network TV shows as massive hits. The Walking Dead led that charge and it's now the top-rated scripted show on TV, but there's also Sons of Anarchy, the final season of Breaking Bad, and even shows like American Horror Story that are beating broadcast competition. Cable competition is finally legitimate and now broadcast networks will have to try and stay afloat amid that ocean.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mumbo View Post
    Even CBS is doing pretty lousy this year. They feel the same pressures as the other networks, but get hit by the effects a few years later.

    Cable was always a growing threat, but it's only just recently that we've finally seen cable shows surpass network TV shows as massive hits. The Walking Dead led that charge and it's now the top-rated scripted show on TV, but there's also Sons of Anarchy, the final season of Breaking Bad, and even shows like American Horror Story that are beating broadcast competition. Cable competition is finally legitimate and now broadcast networks will have to try and stay afloat amid that ocean.
    This. Nowadays, with the rise of cable and premium in both quality and availability, networks now must compete against them and websites like Blip, Netflix, Hulu, etc. And nowadays, all the networks are either have shows that do, great, mediocre, or bomb. And this also causing all networks sans NBC and CW to decline down.

    But as for ABC, the network losing MNF isn't the reason for the decline. Rather, it's simply their scheduling and fading of programming; if you look at the 2011-12 schedule, they were able to create several hits, such as Once, Revenge, Last Man Standing, Scandal, Suburgatory, and Apt. 23; however, the only other renewals since were The Neighbors and Nashville. And if you look at the schedule, and the programs, Once and Revenge were hit in season 2 with both scheduling and creative issues, Suburgatory and Apt. 23 were both hit with poor scheduling, causing them to decline, with the latter's episodes only available online, Last Man Standing's doing all right, Lucky 7 and Back in the Game are cancelled, Betrayal, Wonderland, and The Neighbors are dead, all of the other new comedies are doing alright (Goldbergs), to mediocre (Super Fun Night), to dreadful (Trophy Wife), and SHIELD, the series ABC was banking on to be a monster hit, has been declining to around the low 2's. The only hits are Modern Family, The Middle, Grey's Anatomy, Castle, and Scandal.

    And don't get me started at midseason plans; while I like Revenge and Suburgatory in their new time slots, I can't say for the others; Resurrection might do okay in the Sunday 9 PM, but it will face Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, Killer Women and Mind Games will have a lead-in that averages a 1.2, Mixology will do well, but probably tank on its own, very much like Cougar Town, Happy Endings, and Apt. 23 before it, and it seems interesting that ABC is giving hiatuses to almost all of their dramas, but while Once and Scandal will face no competition in Jan-March, Revenge will compete against both the AFC Championship and the Golden Globes. Huh. Okay, mini-rant over.
    Thinking of something to write down.

  10. #10
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    In the end, Alvin Toffler's warning about the de-massification of the media he warned about 33 years ago in The Third Wave is now coming home to roost.

    With both cable channels--not the premium channels, either!--and now Netflix, Amazon and even Hulu getting into creating a lot of original programming, no wonder the over-air networks are suffering. And it won't be getting any better, either.

  11. #11
    TMC1982 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolEric158 View Post
    This. Nowadays, with the rise of cable and premium in both quality and availability, networks now must compete against them and websites like Blip, Netflix, Hulu, etc. And nowadays, all the networks are either have shows that do, great, mediocre, or bomb. And this also causing all networks sans NBC and CW to decline down.

    But as for ABC, the network losing MNF isn't the reason for the decline. Rather, it's simply their scheduling and fading of programming; if you look at the 2011-12 schedule, they were able to create several hits, such as Once, Revenge, Last Man Standing, Scandal, Suburgatory, and Apt. 23; however, the only other renewals since were The Neighbors and Nashville. And if you look at the schedule, and the programs, Once and Revenge were hit in season 2 with both scheduling and creative issues, Suburgatory and Apt. 23 were both hit with poor scheduling, causing them to decline, with the latter's episodes only available online, Last Man Standing's doing all right, Lucky 7 and Back in the Game are cancelled, Betrayal, Wonderland, and The Neighbors are dead, all of the other new comedies are doing alright (Goldbergs), to mediocre (Super Fun Night), to dreadful (Trophy Wife), and SHIELD, the series ABC was banking on to be a monster hit, has been declining to around the low 2's. The only hits are Modern Family, The Middle, Grey's Anatomy, Castle, and Scandal.

    And don't get me started at midseason plans; while I like Revenge and Suburgatory in their new time slots, I can't say for the others; Resurrection might do okay in the Sunday 9 PM, but it will face Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, Killer Women and Mind Games will have a lead-in that averages a 1.2, Mixology will do well, but probably tank on its own, very much like Cougar Town, Happy Endings, and Apt. 23 before it, and it seems interesting that ABC is giving hiatuses to almost all of their dramas, but while Once and Scandal will face no competition in Jan-March, Revenge will compete against both the AFC Championship and the Golden Globes. Huh. Okay, mini-rant over.
    I do agree that the lack of sports programming (whatever sports that ABC has now a days, is basically non-union/time-buy influenced lip service from ESPN) isn't the biggest problem, but it certainly doesn't help in regards to ABC's ability to promote their shows. I think ABC's real problem is (and I don't mean to repeat what others have said) is their otherwise non-cohesive or slapdash scheduling (more importantly, their handling of sitcoms). For example, ABC moved Happy Endings around until it ensured it's death by the final move to Friday. They did pretty much, the the same thing to The Neighbors by moving it to Fridays in only its second season. Stuff like this does not really allow a show to establish any rapport with audiences. More to the point did not renew Suburgatory until very late, and only gave it a half season.

    I also don't understand why ABC won't put The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife (two family oriented sitcoms) w/ The Middle and Modern Family on Wednesday nights. Instead, ABC tends to schedule two "weird" sitcoms (e.g. Super Fun Night, which for the most part, is terrible from what I've heard) to follow The Middle and Modern Family respectively. ABC also for some strange reason, likes broadcast shows (e.g. Don't Trust the B...) out of order.
    Last edited by TMC1982; 12-30-2013 at 04:43 AM.

  12. #12
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    Recently I've seen ABC serve as more of a promotional piece than an actual network. Where Disney is just using it to promote their cable networks.

    ABC Kids was decade old repeats of Disney channel originals. It felt like it offered a taste of what Disney Channel is so that those who were interested would check out Disney Channel.

    Renaming ABC Sports "ESPN on ABC" may have seemed like the right branding move for Disney as a whole, but combine that with ESPN Sports Saturday makes it just feel like a promotional platform to give viewers a taste of ESPN and not programming it for its own sake. Sports Saturday itself just feels like an infomercial to replace the sports that would've been there.

    They're also not terribly great at naming their shows. They seem to try and name them in the most provocative ways instead of something more inviting. Cougar Town, Don't Trust the B, Happy Endings, Super Fun Night and Trophy Wife don't really seem like names of shows that might attract the Modern Family crowd. The Middle would be a good fit after it, but then you have problems at the beginning of the night. Maybe they shouldn't have been so eager to make two nights of comedy instead of working on the one they already have.

    And as already mentioned, the scheduling for shows like Happy Endings has been terrible. I thought Happy Endings was one of the best comedies on TV.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquadementia View Post
    The network was going after women viewers hard and threw away anything didn't fit the bill. Now I think they regret that.
    I think this is right. They need to start going after a broader audience. Why ignore half of your audience right from the start?

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    reflection is offline Member
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    Great point about naming the shows. I didn't get into Don't Trust the B and Happy Endings until later and both were hilarious. Cougar Town reflects the early direction of the show before they figured it out.

  14. #14
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    This. Nowadays, with the rise of cable and premium in both quality and availability, networks now must compete against them and websites like Blip, Netflix, Hulu, etc. And nowadays, all the networks are either have shows that do, great, mediocre, or bomb. And this also causing all networks sans NBC and CW to decline down.
    The biggest issue here: Cable has been very creator-friendly; I've heard tell that a lot of talent in Hollywood flat-out refuses to work with the demographic-focused, meddling network machine anymore. On a lot of those cable stations you survival is based on the quality of your show, not how many cakes of deoderant you're theoretically selling. The buzz has been steadily rising for years and now everybody talks about cable dramas much more than they talk about network dramas. Notice how no network has tried to clone Breaking Bad. They have no idea how to even start.

    Network TV was built to be heavily run by the business side of the factory, and the industry has changed from that standard.
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    TMC1982 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnydee View Post
    Recently I've seen ABC serve as more of a promotional piece than an actual network. Where Disney is just using it to promote their cable networks.

    ABC Kids was decade old repeats of Disney channel originals. It felt like it offered a taste of what Disney Channel is so that those who were interested would check out Disney Channel.

    Renaming ABC Sports "ESPN on ABC" may have seemed like the right branding move for Disney as a whole, but combine that with ESPN Sports Saturday makes it just feel like a promotional platform to give viewers a taste of ESPN and not programming it for its own sake. Sports Saturday itself just feels like an infomercial to replace the sports that would've been there.

    They're also not terribly great at naming their shows. They seem to try and name them in the most provocative ways instead of something more inviting. Cougar Town, Don't Trust the B, Happy Endings, Super Fun Night and Trophy Wife don't really seem like names of shows that might attract the Modern Family crowd. The Middle would be a good fit after it, but then you have problems at the beginning of the night. Maybe they shouldn't have been so eager to make two nights of comedy instead of working on the one they already have.

    And as already mentioned, the scheduling for shows like Happy Endings has been terrible. I thought Happy Endings was one of the best comedies on TV.



    I think this is right. They need to start going after a broader audience. Why ignore half of your audience right from the start?
    I think part of ABC's problem in regards to coming off as more of a promotional piece for Disney's cable networks is that they have people from cable backgrounds (e.g. Anne Sweeney, George Bodenheimer from ESPN, and Paul Lee from ABC Family) first and foremost in charge. These sorts of people you can argue, don't really understand the creation of prime time programming or the unique relationship with affiliate stations (it's especially apparent w/ the ESPN branded coverage on ABC for the past few years). In a nutshell, from this sort of perspective, cable and satellite MSO's are called loosely called "affiliates". This sort of relationship is when you get right down to it, dramatically different and less synergistic than that between a broadcast network and an affiliated station. More to the point, both create content, have unique brands and specific relationships with viewers. ESPN Sports Saturday (which I guess is meant to be kind of a modern day Wide Sports of Sports) was basically quickly created to get ABC's affiliates off of Disney's back, who kept complaining about the gradual migration of major, live-sporting events from ABC to ESPN.

  16. #16
    mumbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Paltridge View Post
    The biggest issue here: Cable has been very creator-friendly; I've heard tell that a lot of talent in Hollywood flat-out refuses to work with the demographic-focused, meddling network machine anymore. On a lot of those cable stations you survival is based on the quality of your show, not how many cakes of deoderant you're theoretically selling. The buzz has been steadily rising for years and now everybody talks about cable dramas much more than they talk about network dramas. Notice how no network has tried to clone Breaking Bad. They have no idea how to even start.

    Network TV was built to be heavily run by the business side of the factory, and the industry has changed from that standard.
    Well...AMC isn't really all that creator-friendly. They slash budgets during second seasons and they meddle as well. It's actually kind of amazing AMC has been able to put out such quality dramas because they've done their best at driving away talent, like how The Walking Dead keeps changing showrunners.

    But I agree to a point. It's especially true for premium cable like HBO. They don't follow the same ad revenue model, so ratings themselves aren't as important. HBO gains money from subscription fees, and they can raise those fees based on the value of their programming - and so it behooves them to have critically acclaimed dramas like The Sopranos and Game of Thrones, rather than just whatever brings in numbers.

    But basic cable is still fairly ratings-driven. If a show tanks in the ratings they're going to cancel it. It's just because the model is different they can afford to be more patient and take bigger risks. And of course they can be more lenient in content, which always allows creative staff to stretch their legs more. And now you've got the advent of Netflix original programming, who isn't even restricted to having episodes follow specific runtimes, allowing even more stretching room, and you can see how network TV is getting left more and more in the dust.

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    TMC1982 is offline Senior Member
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    Here's some more info about the transition of Monday Night Football from ABC to ESPN:
    Reconciling the Dream: 2005172008

    One thing that really grabbed me was the comment from Steve Bornstein (the former president of the ABC Network as well as ABC Sports and ESPN) that there comes a point in time in which broadcast TV networks really need a strong "male delivery system". Since a large percentage of ABC's viewers these days are female, the particular analysis now seems awfully prophetic.

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    There has been some talk in the past about the NFL possibly selling the "Thursday Night Football" package of games. I'm not a fan of TNF. As a football fan I think the NFL should get rid of it. That would be one way for ABC to cancel out the loss of Monday Night Football to some extent.

    It's not Monday Night Football by a long shot. The games are rarely any good and the players are mostly exhausted from the previous week, but in ABC's case it could be better than nothing...unless of course they want to keep trying their hand at 8 pm shows to open the night. There hasn't been a reliable performer there in what feels like forever.

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