Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Why Do Networks Like To Kill Good Shows?

I know little about the business of TV networks. I do know when I start to enjoy a good show, and it’s suddenly killed. I also know when I think a show is totally moronic (Friends?) and it seems to last forever.
Somewhere shortly after Sep 24, 2009, my wife (Christina) DVR’ed a show called “Flash Forward”. She insisted we watch it together. I love my wife. It’s been 10 1/2 years since we married on Feb 3, 2001. Yet we have so few shows we enjoy together. I like shows like Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch, Ghost Hunters, Cities of the Underworld, Stargate: Universe, Kitchen Nightmares, and Hell’s Kitchen. She likes Big Brother, True Blood, whatever that teen vampire show is called, and Young and the Restless. So in Sep 2009, she somehow talked me into watching a new show on ABC called “Flash Forward”. It took me a couple of episodes to really get into it. By the time I realized I liked it, the show went into a 6+ month hiatus. Somehow, our DVR caught it when it started back up, and the first season finished. Although the show had a great initial viewership, since ABC put it on hiatus for so long, and didn’t promote the last half of the season properly, the season ended with a HUMONGUS cliffhanger and silently died. The freaking deadbeat loser network moved nights, didn’t promote it, and seemingly did everything possible to kill a loyal viewership, and let the series die. Bastards.
I considered this an isolated incident until I ran into Syfy doing the same thing to Stargate: Universe. My friend introduced me to the show. I got hooked quickly, even though I haven’t seen the original movie or series. I’ve since watched the entire 1st and 2nd season, and recently found there will be no 3rd season. Stargate: Universe (otherwise known among nerd fans, which I am one, as SGU) ended like this:
Seriously, is that a cliffhanger, or what? Eli, smiling. The crew, in stasis. Eli’s outcome, unknown. And Syfy simply killed it. Bastards.
Like Flash Forward, SGU went on hiatus halfway through the season. It’s return wasn’t promoted. Then, Syfy started moving nights randomly, making it hard for all but the largest nerds to keep up with. Even our DVR’s couldn’t keep up with Syfy moving the series around. I started downloading episodes. At least that way, I could keep track of it.
Syfy, which used to be Sci-fi, as in, Science Fiction, seems to be more interested in promoting wrestling. Isn’t that what we have 30 ESPN channels for? What the hell is so science fiction about wrestling? With apologies to former governor Jesse Ventura, a man I highly respect, wrestling is fake and fictional, but not SCIENCE-FICTIONAL.
It’s too late for Flash Forward, but there’s a Facebook group for “Save SGU”. I thought it was a great show. Sure, a couple of episode were sub-par, but it had a good cast, great stories, good acting, great production values, and a good future.
Maybe it’s time for TV networks to go away. It’s 2011. Why do we need to remain held hostage to networks that seem to enjoy killing good shows while somehow leaving crap on? Why would a “science fiction” network give up a great show like SGU for wrestling?
Maybe it’s time for true Internet TV. TV that’s free from the BS space and time continuum. Why can’t SGU be produced and released over the Internet with advertising support?
Hell, why can’t Flash Forward be brought back? Why do we remain at the mercy of television networks, even the so called cable networks?
Save SGU. And bring back Flash Forward.
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