TV Show Canceled?
The Passage. The Fix. Santa Clarita Diet. Star. Lethal Weapon. Speechless. Salvation. Travelers. Marlon.
Just a few of the many recent cancellations in the glorious TV world. There’s many more – and even still more to come… There’s so much anticipation for television fans – Will my show get renewed? Will that big mean network cancel my favorite show?
TV is an emotional roller coaster. We get attached to the stories, characters, and everything that happens week to week. (or binge to binge…)
It hurts when a show is canceled. Perhaps you were left with a cliffhanger needing another season… Maybe your favorite character will forever be stuck in time with whatever dilemma they faced. You’ll never know if the bad guy gets away with it – or eventually gets caught. Answers are quickly taken from TV viewers – and even with the strongest “SAVE MY SHOW” campaigns – they’ll never be found.
And then comes…
The tweets. The Facebook rants and the “i’m never gonna watch XYZ network ever again…” statements. Sometimes I see a ton of hostility towards the network that made the tough decision. (A lot of bad words, too!)
And the cute acronyms, too. ABC = Always Be Canceling NBC = Nothing But Cancellations
Stop it already. It wasn’t the network and it wasn’t the cast, crew, or creatives.
The viewer(s). You’re to blame. Networks make giant investments into these TV shows. They allowed it to come to life in the first place.
They need YOU to watch that show – and to watch it live.
If you don’t show up in droves – if there’s no incentive for an advertiser to be part of a show, or there’s not enough initial viewers to one day sell international or streaming rights… There will be no show.
It’s a business…
Yes, TV shows are created to entertain you… But it’s not for free. Networks need their ROI (Return On Investment) to allow shows to continue. They’re a for-profit business.
Believe it or not – You aren’t the customer of the network. You’re ultimately a marketing tool for their customers to see value in the network. The “customers” are the advertisers, the services that may one day stream the show or air a show internationally.
Do the networks need you? Absolutely. Without you, their product’s value goes down significantly – This is why it’s so important to show up in those ratings numbers.
Take The Passage… A show FOX was proud of and did a pretty good job of hyping the show as well. (And we all know some networks don’t do a great job at marketing the shows to new viewers…)
FOX expected big numbers from The Passage. Let’s say their target goal was 8M live viewers – they now use this number to sell advertising based on 8M.
Except… It premieres – with only 5.3M live viewers.
Now They Owe
What do you think happens when an advertiser expected their ads to reach 3 million more people? The networks now owe them – there goes the money expected to be made from the show.
Oh, and by the time the series ends the first season? Viewership drops even more – a lot – down another 40%.
So, why give this show a second season? Was it produced well? Was the story compelling? Were the actors top-notch in their performance?
The Passage certainly passes those tests – BUT – what happens to ratings in subsequent seasons? They typically take a drop from the previous year’s numbers right off the bat. (People don’t have as much time, too much time has gone by, other shows have their attention, etc…)
It has to make financial sense…
In the situation with The Passage – they’ve already taken a loss. And will continue to take a loss if the show continued. Sure, they could cut production costs, perhaps alter the casting to save some money – a few things could be done to try and recoup some of that money…
But that means the show suffers. It’s not as good. It’s not done as well as the inaugural season. And then you lose more of your hardcore viewers… Meaning more lost revenue.
To be clear: The above example isn’t just about The Passage… It’s about all your favorite shows.
There’s a method to the TV madness – only you can
Put it down!
Technology is also partially to blame – there’s SO many ways to watch with so many different devices to watch TV. Put that DVR remote down for your favorite shows and make it a point to…
Don’t wait until next week to catch up. Because one day – there won’t be a show to catch up on…
Wrapping it up…
There are a few hundred people employed for every television show. They’re counting on you to watch and show the financial viability of it continuing.
Without you, we all lose and end up having to say goodbye to some really great programming.
It’s all about the money. If it doesn’t make financial sense, the show won’t go on…
Oh, and one final note: You should continue to love TV, even after your heartbreak – because it’s worth it.
What do you think? Are you angry I’m blaming viewers? Am I right? Something I missed? Let me know in the comment section below or tweet me – I love healthy discussion!
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