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Dear Network TV Marketing Executives…

October 9, 2013

I have some advice for those of you complaining that it’s hard to get any attention for your network’s new shows.  STOP IT!  I don’t just mean the marketing; I mean the entire concept of rolling out the red carpet and sounding the trumpets just because it’s September.

Clearly it isn’t working for you.  No one could have gone to greater lengths to get the word out about a new show than the promoters of Sleepy Hollow on FOX.  Commercials began airing way back in May.  Buses were plastered with images of Ichabod Crane, who apparently spent part of the last 200 years at Crunch Fitness.  Headless Horsemen roamed shopping malls and public squares in the weeks leading up to the first airing.  The result?  A third place finish by its second week.  Yeah, those ratings were higher than FOX has  achieved with anything since 24.  But that’s a lot of time and money thrown at a passable 3.0.

Honestly, this isn’t working for us either.  Eleven other premiers aired that first week of the so-called broadcast season.  I am an admitted TV fanatic and I’d have trouble telling you what eight of them were.  Maybe three or four of them are right up my alley.  I’ll let you know when they’re made available for streaming.  For now, my DVR is as full as I like it to be (partly because none of my alleged friends got around to telling me how utterly addictive Orphan Black is until I’d missed too many episodes and Netflix only has it on disc so I’m letting Season 1 reruns pile up on TiVO until I have enough to binge watch over a stormy weekend with a bag of Cheetos – the puffy kind).

Look, Mr/Ms Marketing Executive, you and I both know what comes next.  Series that your bosses spent tons of money developing and producing will be canceled.  True, some of them like the sappy and much reviled Lucky 7 will be mercy killings.  But history suggests that a few entires would have lived on happily in homes and offices across the country if they hadn’t had to share the spotlight with so many others.

Imagine if Kellogg, Post and General Mills all put out new cereal once a year at the same time.  Would we have chocolate Frosted Flakes?  Your cable brethren have learned to stagger their season so they are only promoting one new night at a time.  And in case you hadn’t noticed, they are not only stealing buzz, but awards as well.  So go ahead.  Be the first of the big 4 (or are we counting the CW?) to break away from the pack.  Admit that the season as you’ve known it is dead and move on.

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