Nobody Knows Anything Dept.

Big NBC slate may hurt new shows’ chance to score
By Liana B. Baker and Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) – NBC plans to premiere 16 new shows in prime time starting this fall, by far the biggest crop of launches for any network for the next TV season and one of the biggest new slates in recent years.

The large number of new shows is a function of the network’s status as the ratings cellar-dweller among the big four broadcast networks – the others are CBS, News Corp’s Fox, and Walt Disney Co’s ABC. But the amount of new shows also has the potential to overwhelm viewers.

“You are dividing your attention so many more ways. It’s like having 10 children instead of two. How do they all get attention?” said media industry consultant Adam Armbruster of Eckstein, Summers, Armbruster & Co.

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We love Reuters because it’s like the last remnant of Genuine Old Media. You know, when major news gathering organizations had serious cred. Reuters never gets emotional. Never overtly displays any agenda but reportage…and yet, here we have an excellently written and researched article that’s entirely conjecture.

Or, to be more precise (as Reuters would be), an article that’s fair and balanced reportage of other people’s conjectures.

It’s an interesting and in its way informative look into the minds of media buyers and sellers, but we’re not sure we accept the conclusion, summed up by the writers as, “While NBC will face a challenge to make new shows stand out from the pack, media buyers say it had few other options but to order so many shows, throw money at them and then hope something sticks.”

What we conclude from the info at hand is more like this: “It’s showbiz, Jake. Nobody knows anything. Still.”

(Our thanks to special guest quotees Robert Towne and William Goldman.)