Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ABC not at fault for FlashForward's collapse (semi-rant)

With rumors swirling that Starz wishes to pick up ABC's now-defunct FlashForward, there's been a common narrative bothering me: It's ABC's fault and if it had been on another network that "knows how to handle a show," it would have succeeded.

I've already covered this, but because people are bringing it up again, I'd like to address it.

First, the ratings. Look at the facts. The numbers are out there, published and ready to be read. And they're pretty clear. From September 24 to November 19, 2009--BEFORE any break whatsoever--the 18-49 demo dropped from 4.0 to 2.4. The next time the show aired--on December 3, only two days later--it went down to 2.1. On March 18, after the long hiatus, it was 1.9. Surely no one can point to the hiatus as the reason for the ratings drop.

Second. ABC promoted the hell out of the show. Don't give me any bullcrap about ABC giving up on the show. It was promoted to the limit--almost to annoyance--from the NBC finals all through summer and even after. This was ABC's next Lost. This was their next megahit, bringing in the millions. The cast was stacked, the writing team was stacked... okay, this is a bit of a stretch, but they do have nice pedigrees. ABC made sure everyone who touched their network knew what it was. Everyone blacked out, etc, etc. People tuned in, but they didn't come back.

Third, the show sucked. Let me spell it out. S-U-C-K-E-D. Honestly, when I see Lost fanboys giving love to FlashForward, it completely baffles me. Do they not understand what makes their favorite show so good? Apparently not... After the initial flashfoward, the writers ran out of ideas and their dialogue was beyond ludicrous. First and foremost, the quality of the show defines its success, with a couple anomalies, of course.

Fourth, Flashforward was given a chance. Name shows which had dismal ratings and came back to become a hit. Everyone points to Cheers and M*A*S*H. Now name a few more. Name shows which had great ratings from the beginning and continued for several years. Yeah, big difference. To their credit, ABC ran all FlashForward episodes. The only tampering was the reduction from 25 episodes, after the first boost, to the initial 22 episodes. If ratings keep dropping, there is one indication--the show isn't good and will never succeed (one reason why I think renewing V was as big mistake).

Sorry for the late night rants, but I was reading comments over the interwebs it was irritating.
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