Is ABC Dead?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Hanson, Mar 19, 2002.

  1. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    I have a Replay TV, a Tivo, and 2 SVHS VCR’s at my disposal, and yet I record not one single show on ABC. And this is not a recent development – I only realized it last week, but I can’t even remember the last show I recorded off of ABC. Meanwhile, I record at least two shows off of UPN. That’s right, UPN.
    What the hell happened to ABC? I hear NYPD Blue and Once and Again are good, and Alias is a critical favorite. But that’s 3 out of 21 hours (22 if you include Sun 7 to 8 pm). I do remember watching Dharma & Greg, Drew Carey, and Spin City a long time ago. I stopped watching them because they went way downhill.
    Did Millionaire totally ruin this network? Any theories as to why the American Broadcasting Corporation is now the Always Boring Channel?
     
  2. Alan Benson

    Alan Benson Stunt Coordinator

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    Not dead, perhaps, but barely breathing...
    Last Week's Ratings
    And this was a good week for them, with 2 shows in the top 20...
    I think Millionaire has something to do with it. They certainly stopped developing new shows there for a while...
     
  3. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Hanson,

    Former Bayonne-ite here! I was just there on Sunday to visit the folks and see the parade.

    About the only shows I watch on ABC are NYPD Blue and Philly. But now The Osbournes premiers on Tuesdays at 10:30 on MTV so there goes Philly! (Gotta see Ozzy!).
     
  4. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    For one thing, they have been known to mistreat their talent. Koppel has been made to look a fool because of the Letterman thing, and they almost (and still probably will) cancel Maher's show because of some nonsense complaints coming from a Texas radio DJ. When you treat your talent like crap, they will not perform as well as they can.

    It is also possible that they are just not keeping up with the state of television. In true Disney fashion, all of their programming is safe. This doesn't necessarily make it bad, but it doesn't garner the kund of attention other networks are getting. Things like Survivor and Celebrity Boxing become news events and attract viewers- even ones that don't like those particular programs. For example, while Fox turns heads with Glutton Bowls and Marrying Millionaires, they are advertising their regular programming, getting viewers they would not have otherwise.

    And what is ABC's response? Nothing, because that would require breaking from the Disney doctrine.

    I just don't think they can compete in this market.
     
  5. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    NYPD Blue, The Job, and Philly are the only ABC shows I watch, other than the occasional sports event. Maybe ABC needs to do some more NYPD spinoffs (Philly stars Kim Delaney, after all), the way NBC has with Law & Order.
    Let's bring back Jimmie Smits!!!
    If you haven't watched it The Job is hilarious.
     
  6. gregstaten

    gregstaten Supporting Actor

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    The only two ABC shows I watch are ALIAS and THE JOB. Other than that, I'd be hard pressed to even name an ABC show.

    -greg
     
  7. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I basically watch "Alias", and will probably start watching "Wednesday, 9:30 (8:30 Central)" when it starts tomorrow (liked Ivan Sergei on "Jack & Jill", promos have a "SportsNight" vibe, and, hey, John Cleese!). But, then again, all I watch on CBS is "The Agency" and "The Amazing Race", so ABC's not that far behind for me.

    I think their problems are twofold - they tried to ride "Millionaire" too long without a backup plan, and they've got no identity. Fox stole their position as TV's risk-taker - ABC really hasn't taken a risk since "NYPD Blue" or "Roseanne" - and they let their later identity based on family programming slip away. They used to have shows like "Home Improvement" and the TGIF lineup, which, even if I wasn't interested in them, was something they could bank on. Now, WB has cornered that market (although ABC has had some success with "According to Jim" and "My Wife and Kids") and ABC's flailing to re-establish themselves as a brand.

    I think that's ABC's biggest problem, now - in the cable age, even broadcast stations need an identity - NBC is star-oriented and high-gloss, CBS is grown-up but not edgy, UPN is fast-paced and in-your-face, WB is generally family-friendly, Fox is almost experimental. There are exceptions to all of these, of course, but what's ABC? Basically, filler - lots of "Millionaire", "Funniest Home Videos", "Bloopers", etc. They've got a few decent shows, scattered around, but they appeal to such disparate audiences that they can't really use them to promote each other.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The only prime time ABC show I watch is NYPD Blue, and I doubt that I would watch that if it wasn't in HD. However, I'm not a good measuring stick, since "Blue" is the only prime time show I watch from any network. If there's not a sporting event on that interests me, I watch a movie.
     
  9. John_Lee

    John_Lee Supporting Actor

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    Even if 'NYPD Blue' is the only thing on there, that is a darn good show. Loved this most recent episode with Eddie Gibson. Love how the full measure of a character plays out over the course of a season. Detective Gibson plays initially as an annoying guy whose skills have deteriorated while on night shift. Then, bit by bit, we see that his concern for his health, as a provider, for his family, etc., has led him to assume his chipper, flippant, personality.

    Then we get to see the size of his heart, with the poor teenager whose mom molested him, taking him in like that. What used to be annoying mannerisms are transformed into the self-depricating exterior of a wonderful man.

    In case you can't tell, I was moved to tears by the ending to this episode.
     
  10. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

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    I'm an avid TV watcher, to put it mildly. My TiVos tuned into ABC for 8 shows this season (Alias, The Practice, Once and Again, Philly, The Job, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Thieves, and Monday Night Football).

    - They cancelled Thieves (mmmm, Melissa George)

    - I'll drop The Job starting next week in favor of Greg the Bunny.

    - I'm giving The Court one or two episodes to draw me in, but I'm not optimistic.

    - I gave up on The Drew Carey Show and NYPD Blue about four years ago.

    - I quit watching Dharma and Greg when it went head to head with Buffy and Gilmore Girls.

    - The Practice is wearing thin... I may give up on it at the end of the season.

    - Philly should be renamed Philler - if I missed an episode or two it wouldn't bother me at all.

    - The NFL needs to allow dynamic rescheduling of the games so that marquee matchups are on Monday Night, not like the Redskins - Cowboys crapfest they showed last year.

    What's left? Alias (Outstanding show), Once and Again (great characters, but it's resembling Party of Five due to the fact that nothing good ever seems to happen to anyone), and Whose Line... (too frequent reruns).

    The moral of the story is that the limited amount of quality content that ABC has is either growing stale or is being ignored. I don't believe the answer is game shows or reality programming, however. I think they need to capitalize on their Disney ownership a bit more for family programming (and stop showing the Funniest Videos, Craziest Commercials, Wackiest Bloopers crap). I wouldn't watch much of the Disney themed stuff, but it might get more eyeballs on the network.

    Brad
     
  11. Brett Jason

    Brett Jason Stunt Coordinator

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    Alias, Philly and NYPD for me on ABC (not including Monday Night Football). CBS is the big loser for me, Survivor is the only show I ever watch on CBS, though I know I would like CSI, there's just so many hours per week.
     
  12. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    I stopped watching NYPD Blue a few seasons ago, sometime after they killed off Bobby Simone and Sylvia Costas. But I started watching again when I caught a commercial with Denise Crosby coming in as a new lieutenant -- had to see what she was up to -- that's when I first noticed Charlotte Ross. And the recent addition of Jacqueline Obradors has certainly helped too.

    I also watch Alias. Too bad about Thieves (same reason as Brad). Like most David E. Kelley shows, The Practice is now on the downward side of the arc.

    The only thing I watch regularly on CBS is 60 Minutes.

    //Ken
     
  13. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    I used to watch ABC alot myself. Regular viewings of Home Improvement, Rossane, and a few others like Spin City, Whose Line, and Millionaire.
    I stopped watching Millionaire after I just got bored with it. Even though Ben Steins money only gives away 5,000, it's far more interesting [​IMG]. I watched Rossane and Home Improvement to the end, when repeats moved off ABC, so did I. Spin City I stopped watching after Michael J. Fox left. While I like Charlie Sheen, he's no Michael J.Fox. Good thing I got to see it taped in NY, and with Christopher Loyd as a guest star, no less.. [​IMG]
     
  14. Amy Tippin

    Amy Tippin Auditioning

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    The only show i watch on ABC is Alias, cuz it's my favourite show. I was trying to catch the Wednesday premiere, (I loved Ivan Sergei in Jack & Jill as well w/ Amanda peet.. too bad they cancelled it!!)but i guess i missed it yesterday. Has anyone seen it? can u tell me if it was good or not?
     
  15. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Actually, it's apparently not till next week, and it's going to make that timeslot almost Tuesday-esque in terms of being crowded - I want to watch "Amazing Race" and "Greg The Bunny" as well.
     
  16. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    Since they cancelled Thieves the only ABC show I watch/tape is Politically Incorrect (and that's getting cancelled soon).
     
  17. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    I don't watch network TV at all, mostly because the networks aren't available on satellite in my area therefore I can't record them with my DirecTiVo. However, I heard good things about Alias, and I started TiVoing it when ABC Family Channel started showing it on Friday nights.

    For some TV shows I like to "save up" several episodes and then view them all at once as a mini-marathon. Alias is one show that is very enjoyable that way.
     
  18. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    ABC also messed up royally by not commemorating the 25th Anniversary of "Roots." They have quickly forgotten that this program kept them at #1 25 years ago this season.
     
  19. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I saw an ad for something called "The bachelor", which seemed to be some kind of "Chains of love" meets "Blind date" or something. So I guess ABC is trying to get into the Fox sleaze business. [​IMG]
    /Mike
     

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