The E-N-D of NBC??

Until recently, my television seemed to be permanently set to NBC or an NBC program being re-run on a cable channel.  The thought that I would begin a slow migration away from NBC to CBS was unimaginable.  Where was I going to go?  NBC was the station which brought us Cheers, Golden Girls, The Cosby Show, only to lead us into Mad About You, Friends, Frasier, Will & Grace, and Seinfeld.  The station known for it’s comedy seemed to be unstoppable, but lately even its few remaining strong comedies such as The Office and 30 Rock have slowly been losing what made them special.  Shows that actually have strong, creative, and witty writing, like Parks & Recreation and Community have either been canceled or are holding on by a thread.  Instead, we’ve been left with either very strange reality shows or Outsourced!

And it’s not just sitcoms, the dramas have fizzled as well.  NBC was the station which brought us Law & Order, one of the longest running dramas in television history!  NBC was the home of Homicide: Life on the Streets, Hill Street Blues, Las Vegas, L.A. Law, St. Elsewhere, ER, Ed, and, oh yeah, The West Wing.  These are just some of the many shows that ran for season after season, making NBC so great.  Now I’m left with disappointment as NBC promotes ridiculous shows such as Heroes (which is FINALLY over), Chuck (really?), The Event, Mercy, Chase, Undercovers (which, thankfully, just got the boot) and a recent, painful, re-vamp of Knight Rider.  What makes matters worse, shows that actually had a decent storyline and good writing like Life, The Black Donnellys, Mister Sterling, and other such shows were barely given a chance to pick up a following.  What’s with the ridiculous supernatural storyline that NBC seems to be in love with lately?  Are they hoping that the same mysterious powers that their Heroes were blessed with will save their station?  Harsh?  Maybe, but I love television, I love watching good acting and good dramas.  I love LOL’ing and I’m seriously worried that the shows that I do love are going to vanish soon.

So, yeah, I know, CBS!  I couldn’t really believe it either.  My sister-in-law introduced me to the hilarity that is How I Met Your Mother (or as my wife and I call it, HIMYIM).  BTW; we pronounce it out, it’s too much to try to get the letters right!  It wasn’t long after that when I fell in love with my favoritest (yes, I know that’s not a word) of shows in all the world, The Big Bang Theory.  Since then, I’ve come to enjoy Rules of Engagement, but I’m having difficulty getting into Two and a Half Men, though I know it has quite a following.  It’s not just the sitcoms either, the dramas have been great too.  CSI, in all it’s iterations, has always been the gift that keeps on giving.  The reality television that is Survivor and The Amazing Race has never failed to keep me interested, and new shows such as Blue Bloods have me DVR’ing even on Fridays.  So what is it that CBS has right now that NBC doesn’t; good writing.

You know when you are watching a show you love, when it is just flying by and you are so hooked into the story that you forget you are even watching a television program until that annoying commercial pops in?  You know when you laugh so loud that you get that slightly annoyed look from your mate?  That’s good television.  NBC doesn’t have it lately, and I totally understand that not every show is going to be a hit, but right now, very little is a hit.  I watch Outsourced and I might laugh here and there, but what is painfully obvious is the fact that I know I’m watching a television show, and some of me is even waiting for the next commercial break.  That’s not good.  CBS has it too, $h*! My Dad Says is just painful.  That is hard for me to say, being a diehard Trekkie and all.  However, CBS has something great going for them, and NBC has lost what they had, and I’m worried that in their desperation, they are going to scuttle the few good shows they have in some misguided attempt to re-vamp the station.  Please, NBC, please don’t!  There is a solution, I promise.

There are good writers out there, with good ideas that can help bring back good shows and with them, the coveted ratings.  I should know, I’m one of them.  No, I’m not a sitcom writer, but I know there have to be many great ones just waiting for a chance.  If I, as one person, can have many great plans for dramas, then there must be hundreds of great shows that fly right over the desks of NBC exec’s and creative directors, and don’t even get noticed.  Please, NBC, slow down for a moment.  Look at the good things you’ve got, and promote them.  Look back at what works, and draw from it.  I haven’t given up on NBC, I just hope NBC hasn’t given up on itself!

Until next time…

(P.S.-My love of television and movies has me branching my blog out into new areas.  Your input is always welcomed, and for this particular blog, it is desired greatly!  I’m always interested in other point’s of view, even if it is just to tell me that I’m wrong.  I’m always looking for new shows to DVR and new movies to watch so send me your thoughts and feedback!)

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About timothylassiter
I am a mystery/detective novel writer who has published two novels and I'm currently working on the third novel.

17 Responses to The E-N-D of NBC??

  1. Amanda says:

    NBC Thursdays used to be my nights for watching TV. I never really watched that much television in the first place, but I used to love Friends, Mad About You, and Will and Grace. I even liked Frasier because the humor in these shows was intelligent, real humor that we all could empathize with. I never got into The Office, I could never really understand the humor. Since then, I haven’t found any shows that capture my attention the way those older shows did. I’ll have to check out How I met you mother and Big Bang Theory. Thanks for the tip!

    • Hey Amanda,

      Those shows really were great, and I love it when I can catch some of them on other cable channels. It’s too bad that there aren’t more of them on cable. I would love to catch some old episodes of Mad About You.

      The problem with NBC sitcoms lately is that they all seem to be created by the same team of writers or under the same type of theme. That type of comedy only really works for one or two types of shows, and can’t be implemented across the board. Until NBC realizes this, I feel that they are destined to have shows that lack the hit comedy appeal that the shows we loved used to have.

      Definitely check out How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory. They’ll definitely get you laughing. Rules of Engagement is good too, though sometimes David Spade can be a bit much.

  2. Zod says:

    You mentioned Trek, are you into any other sci fi??

    • Hey,

      I’m definitely particular to Star Trek, though I have been a fan of Star Wars since my mother took me to the movies when I was a kid. Star Wars never had the cohesion that Star Trek had, which is probably why I fell more into Trek. However, I have experienced many of the seasons of Stargate SG-1, though I never watched any of the off-shoots. Do you have any suggestions for me? I’m always open to a good human vs. alien fight!

  3. Jennifer says:

    The Cosby Show was the GREATEST! They don’t make shows like that anymore. I never really thought about it until I was reading your blog, but those past sitcoms you mentioned have stood the test of time, they are even funny now. If you put on episodes of The Office in 20 years, would anyone think it was funny? If you put The Cosby Show on, even 20 years from now, it would still be as funny as the day it aired. Maybe even more so because there would be a feeling of nostalgia. There aren’t a lot, if any, sitcoms that revolve around the family and good family values. Can you even still find The Cosby Show?!?

    • Hey Jennifer,

      You are absolutely right, The Cosby Show was the greatest. My daughter and I love to watch the re-runs on TV land and the amazing thing is how relevant the show still is today. I can’t help but think that may be what the writing is missing in some of these sitcoms we’re seeing right now. We can’t connect, personally, with the characters of many of these shows. That’s what we loved about the Huxtables, Chandler and Monica, Will and Grace. Sorry, but I can’t connect personally with Todd on Outsourced who is so desperate for a date with a certain girl that he doesn’t realize that he is actually being insulting to another culture in the way he goes about things. It’s literally embarrassing to watch at times. Maybe that’s all we need; to connect with the characters.

  4. Sam says:

    You mentioned a lot of police dramas, is that because you write detective novels? I haven’t watched Blue Bloods yet, I’m afraid. I’m not sure I can handle Tom Selleck outside of Magnum P.I. (that should indicate how old I am!!) You should watch Chase on NBC. It’s actually really good and I’m hoping that NBC keeps it going. You are absolutely right about this mystery/magic theme they are promoting and I’m terrified that good shows like Chase are going to chopped in favor of another Heroes-type show. Try Chase, though, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    • LOVE POLICE DRAMAS!!!! Can’t get enough. There is nothing like a well-written drama that takes you from the crime through a list of suspects and still leaves you hanging on until the very end, and yet remains believable. I love it. I actually DVR’d several episodes of Chase but never got around to watching them. I’ll have to watch the show and see if it lives up to your hype!!

      As for the mystery/magic, I don’t know what’s going on. I can’t tell if The Event is trying to be a cross between Heroes and X-Files or something entirely its own, but whatever it is, it isn’t working. And Chuck; do they really expect me to believe that a man has downloaded into his brain all the secrets of the CIA. It’s like a bumbling, comedic version of the Matrix gone horribly wrong. Last year NBC decided to go medical in the wake of losing ER, and tried Mercy and Trauma. Well, we see where that went. I don’t know what’s next, but I feel like NBC is out of control on a slippery slide of bad decisions, as though they can’t stop themselves!

      Lastly, Blue Bloods. Definitely worth it! I think Donny Wahlberg is a tremendous talent who has yet to be fully appreciated. He was actually in a NBC police drama a few years ago which was outstanding (Boomtown on NBC 2002-2003), another one NBC dropped. As for Tom Selleck, I think he too has yet to be recognized for his great acting talent. Hopefully, CBS recognizes a good thing better than NBC and gives Blue Bloods a good run. Check it out, it’s definitely worth it. I’ll check out Chase and we’ll compare notes!

  5. Tamara says:

    NBC has also made some crazy decisions when it comes to it’s subsidiary cable stations, particularly Bravo. The worst decision NBC could have made through Bravo was not renewing Project Runway and letting it go to Lifetime!

    • Oh, you have just brought up a sore spot with me. You are absolutely right, one of the most bone-headed moves NBC made as a parent station was to lose Project Runway from Bravo. When I first found out that Project Runway was moving to Lifetime, I thought I was going to have to stop watching. However, I got over my childish male concerns about watching Lifetime, the channel for women, and enjoyed the next few seasons of Project Runway. That is, until this recent season, Season 8. I have some particular comments for Project Runway Season 8, but I’ve decided to keep everyone hanging and will make a blog about that another day!! Stay tuned for that one!

      However, as for NBC, they made a mistake losing Project Runway. The Fashion Show has never been able to fill the niche left by Project Runway.

  6. Tom says:

    I think I’ve become a reality television nut. I can barely watch sitcoms or dramas anymore. I think I’m becoming a reality drama junkie. I know you mentioned Survivor and The Amazing Race, but those are pretty PG. Are there any other reality shows that you watch?

    • Oh, I too am a fan of the reality show. With a limited area in which to discuss reality TV, I will have to reserve the majority of my comments for a blog post. However, there are many reality shows which I am addicted to, Survivor and The Amazing Race being just two of them. While I can understand your feelings on Survivor and The Amazing Race being PG, especially when compared to shows like Jersey Shore, what I like about these shows is the aspect of competition that they bring. However, I love the drama of Jersey Shore and even an occasional America’s Next Top Model.

      I’ll go over reality TV more in another post, but in the meantime, send me some ideas for other reality shows so I can broaden my reality horizon!

  7. Mark says:

    That’s so funny that you mentioned Community and Parks & Rec because I love those shows. Has Parks & Rec been cancelled?!? I liked the Office-style approach and humor that Parks & Rec adopted and I’d really be upset if it has been cancelled. Not to mention, Amy Poehler is HILARIOUS!!!

    • Don’t quote me on Parks & Recreation quite yet. I am just a little afraid as I have not seen it plugged in the fall line-up. I can only hope they are saving it as a little treat for after the holidays! As for Community, I have heard in some entertainment magazines (which shall remain only because I can’t remember which one it was, but I will) that because of dropping ratings it was under threat of cancellation. I certainly hope that isn’t the case, as Community has some great, witty writing with some really up-and-coming actors. I can only hope that the writers will find their voice with Chevy Chase, as I don’t think they quite get his humor, but this is really one of the best shows that NBC has going right now.

    • Hey Mark,

      Because I never want to post false information, I did some research on Parks and Recreation, and thus far, it is not listed as canceled. Both NBC.com and IMDB.com both list the show as active, though neither source has any information about when, or if, Season 4 might be headed our way. I’ll keep a look out and let you know if I find out anything different.

  8. nicole says:

    tim, i’m in your blog!! and i agree with you so much!!

  9. I know, and you are responsible for my transformation into a comedy loving CBS fan. Thank you Nicole Porpora, thank you!!!

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