Monday, October 12, 2009

NBC Cancels Critically Acclaimed Police Drama SOUTHLAND

NBC is using the excuse that the new season of SOUTHLAND which was originally scheduled to start on Friday October 23, was simply too "dark" and "gritty". But that explanation seems to sort of pale when compared to the gritty sexual themed murders on the popular LAW & ORDER: SVU program. Likely, with the big cost-cutting moves over at NBC, the network was looking to cut costs by axing a perfectly good drama. The fact of the matter is that NBC is partly running in fourth place because they want to run the network too cheaply.

The fact of the matter is that THE JAY LENO SHOW has slipped into a sort of ratings hell only days after it debuted. In too many ways the new show just hasn't seemed as good as his old TONIGHT SHOW gig. Part of this is because the other networks have banned their stars from the show, but allow them on the later talk shows. Leno has been able to draw stars who are out to promo a film. But without more stars to choose from, his celebrity selections are noticeably more limited than the other late night talk shows. Further, many viewers still prefer the higher budget quality 10pm dramas aired on CBS and ABC, leaving NBC with the smallest slice of the ratings pie for THE JAY LENO SHOW. Leno also looks older and more grey as well. This older look seems to set a tone that his show is a little like a tired version of his old TONIGHT SHOW.

Further, some critics suggest that the ratings failure of THE JAY LENO SHOW might be producing a sort of reverse domino effect of hurting the other NBC shows instead of pulling them up as NBC had hoped. Airing a ratings drag five night a week with noticeably less viewers than the program airing right before it isn't helping the NBC line-up very much at all. And no doubt NBC is paying Leno a huge salary as well. Leno might earn over $30 million a year. Yet NBC might consider this to still be a bargain because quality dramas cost around $3 million or more an episode to produce by comparison. With mostly new and original programs 5 nights a week, despite the terrible ratings NBC might consider THE JAY LENO SHOW a sort of devil's bargain.

But sadly, quality shows like SOUTHLAND seem to suffer in this mix. NBC is too concerned about cost-cutting and now seems to airing less quality for this reason. And this might be alienating some viewers.

SOUTHLAND seemed like way too good of a show to lose out in this murky stew of NBC cost-cutting madness. And the viewer is worst off as well.


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