Tag Archives: Olympics

The Olympic Myth: NBC’s Failure Overshadows Parenthood’s Potential Success

The Olympic Myth

March 3rd, 2010

I really should have written this post in advance so I could post it as soon as the headlines started to hit, but alas I held out hope that perhaps we could disconnect ourselves from that particular response to solid, but unspectacular, ratings for NBC’s Parenthood.

This myth that the Olympics are some sort of magical promotional tool is not without some merit, in that NBC used a lot of their airtime with a huge captive audience in order to promote the arrival of this new series, but the intense expectation it places on a show is honestly not worth the trouble. The Olympics promotion is not only supposed to increase a show’s chances at success, but it is also expected to create an audience which may not actually exist, whitewashing any of the other problems that the show might face (whether it be timeslot competition, the lack of a compatible lead-in, etc.).

It’s a situation where you have to wonder: would the show have been better off debuting to lower numbers without the hype, just so that the show might have been seen as a mild disappointment instead of another failure of NBC’s network strategy?

Since Josef Adalain has already posted an analysis of the various potential scenarios for Parenthood at The Wrap, I’m going to add this little wrinkle to the mix: in Canada, it “worked.” CTV’s new comedy series Hiccups and Dan for Mayor debuted to huge numbers (1.9 Million viewers) on Monday night after heavy Olympics promotion, which could be seen as proof that with the right show Olympics promotion can result in big numbers.

Except that people tend to focus on the “Olympic Promotion” rather than “Right Show” part of that equation.

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Hot Tubs and Hot Topics: CTV’s First Night as Canada’s Olympic Broadcaster

Hot Tubs and Hot Topics

February 13, 2010

As Donald Sutherland has been telling me for weeks now, through the ubiquitous and overexposed commercials CTV has been pummelling us with, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games are Canada’s, in more ways than one. While there is always a sense of pride surrounding the honour of hosting the games, it seems as if the games organizers are intent to engage the entire nation (rather than just those on the West Coast) in the excitement surrounding the games.

This is, clearly, an honourable discourse, and of course those of us on the opposite end of the country want to feel as if these games belong to us to some degree. However, I can’t resist pointing out that these efforts exist to drive viewership more than national pride, and in some ways I’m more interested in how the media is covering these games than in the games themselves (if only because I have serious issues with suspense during sporting events, and the focus on Canadian athletes makes my heart race involuntarily).

This is likely fairly niche for most of you, and I promise to talk a bit about the Opening Ceremonies to keep non-Canadians from being too detached, but I want to take a look at CTV’s coverage leading into the ceremonies, and what it tells me about how the network is handling its takeover of the games from the nation’s public broadcaster, CBC.

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Chuck Season 3 Premiere Date Set: 2-Night Event on January 10th/11th, 2010

Chuck Season 3 Premiere Details

November 19th, 2009

Just an hour after the news breaks about Lost’s sixth season premiere, another internet criticism favourite breaks similar news. After rumours of the show gaining an order for six additional episodes broke about a month ago, it was expected that the show would be moved up from its schedule March premiere date, and today’s news of a two-night, three-hour premiere event of sorts confirms those expectations.

And yes, you read that correctly: in the spirit of 24 (and launching around the same time, really), Chuck will be airing a two-hour season premiere (which is actually two episodes, as they had not planned for a lengthy premiere) on Sunday, January 10th, at 9pm before moving to their regular timeslot with a third new episode on Monday, January 11th, at 8pm. Now, there’s something to be said about this strategy: it creates more of an “event” style premiere to capture people’s attention, which is why 24 has been doing them for a while, and it also ensures that the show gets some plot momentum going into the Olympics break in February.

However, there’s enough concerns surrounding this move for my excitement to be tempered by at least a little bit of concern, as I’ll discuss after the break.

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