April 16, 2010

For Fun: TV Draft

The TV as Sports analogies continue as tvbythenumbers.com introduced the idea of a Primetime TV Draft where each of the Big Four can pick one show from its competitors to add to its lineup. It's a fun idea that I wanted to explore on my own little piece of the Internet.

Based on the rules, each network's highest rated series are off the market which means House, The Office, The Big Bang Theory, Lost, and The Vampire Diaries will be staying put. Every other show is fair game, and this is where the fun begins.

A popular pick that commenters have explored on the website is ABC picking up Bones to pair up with Castle. On paper this could make sense since both shows are very similar, but they might be too similar. When putting together a team, you don't want two identical quarterbacks because you want to have some options based on the teams needs.

If I were picking for the Alphabet, I'd go with Fringe. The sci-fi vehicle makes a little more sense to me because it could fill the void left by Lost (since FlashForward looks like a dud, and V is barely hanging on). Plus, J.J. Abrams has a history with ABC (Alias and Lost), and Fringe could do well on ABC's schedule if it's put on an easier night.

CBS does two things well: comedy and crime dramas. Logic would dictate that CBS would stay within its comfort zone and take a show that fits the status quo. Again, a show like Castle would probably mesh well with The Mentalist or one of its other 20 cop shows, but things need to be shaken up.

The Eye has also put together a relatively successful night of scripted TV for Friday nights, and with Numbers on its last leg, a suitable replacement might be in order. Here is where Bones could fit in. I know that the FOX show is strong enough to survive on a more competitive night, but adding a crime show with a strong female lead to a lineup with The Ghost Whisperer and Medium could work. Plus, it would fill in for the procedural predecessor.

The CW
Now, I know that I'm biased, but I still think The CW should pick up Chuck if NBC decides to axe it. The CW has the young woman market cornered, and it hasn't had a great track record of guy oriented shows since it cancelled Reaper (although it was given a second season), but Chuck on The CW makes some sense.

From a business standpoint, Warner Bros. benefits from the corporate synergy of having one of its cult shows on the network it co-owns. Chuck gets more episodes, The CW might get more viewers, and WB gets more money. Seems to work, right? Plus, The CW is already in the Josh Scwartz game (Gossip Girl), and is expanding its young spy line up with Nikita and Nomads, so Chuck could fit in well.

Like the other networks, FOX has its strengths which includes animated sitcoms, edgier procedurals like House and Bones, and reality junk. One area that it hasn't been able to be successful in is live-action comedy. At least not since Malcolm in the Middle (I doubt FOX considers 'Til Death to be a success despite its continuous renewals).

One suggestion that was made on tvbythenumbers.com that I thought was brilliant involves bringing How I Met Your Mother over from CBS. HIMYM is running out of steam creatively, but it's still a ratings winner, and it could be the cornerstone of a comedy block on FOX. Also, Mother is a 20th Century Fox product, which could be also be beneficial from a business standpoint. As an aside, if FOX could get a second pick, Better Off Ted (another Fox show) could be picked up a paired with HIMYM.

FOX might not be strong when it comes to live-action comedy, but that is one of the few areas where NBC does things right. Thursday nights have become synonymous with 30-minute comedies, at least for NBC, for decades now, so why muck up a good thing.

ABC is making a run at the family comedy, but NBC should stay in its wheelhouse and go for a workplace related comedy to complement The Office, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation. Again, Better Off Ted could fit in nicely although it might be too similar to The Office. I'd even go as far to say that BoT could outshine the rest, if anyone bothered to watch it.

So, it I was a TV God, that's how I'd shuffle around network TV. For the most part, I stayed away from coveted demographics, and took more an approach that relied more on fit than numbers, but I still think these moves could work. Then again, why wouldn't I think that?


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