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5 WAYS TO IMPROVE NETWORK TELEVISION

It seems that most of the big water cooler television shows are taking place on cable channels these days and it’s becoming harder for shows to survive on network television. I would like to take a network and rebuild in a baseball rebuilding way. This makes no sense right now, but it will, I promise.

Rebuilding can take a couple of years, but the payoff will be a perennial contender (for the playoffs) for the highest ratings. If I were in charge…

1. The first thing I would tackle is to rebuild the trust of the audience. Much of this idea is taken form an earlier post of mine, https://thehollywoodrant.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/tv-shows-trust/

Investing time in a show, especially a serialized show, that gets cancelled at some point during or after the season, leaves all the viewers with an unresolved cliffhanger. Repeated infractions like this has destroyed my trust. I’m to the point that I won’t even watch a new show until I know it’s successful and will return for a second season. To rebuild the trust, I will promise the audience a 1 or 2 hour movie to wrap up the hanging plot threads of all cancelled shows.

2. Many AMC, cable-type shows divide their seasons in half. While this does give us a long break in the middle that we might not want, it gives us fewer reruns. Some shows even go straight through the half season with no reruns. This is great for me because reruns ruin the momentum of a show. Having a mid-season finale and a mid-season premier gives the viewer more “holy shit” episodes per season. So here I would put all shows on this format and have no in-season reruns.

3. Instead of in-season reruns, I would build in four live episodes. These would be placed one week before the season premier, mid-season premier, and 1 to 3 episodes before the season and mid-season finale. These episodes will be like the Talking Dead. Almost a complete ripoff. There will be a live audience and a panel of actors from the show, as well as a host. They will recap what has happened so far, answer questions from callers and the audience as well as tease what is to come. There will be behind-the-scenes information, stories, and clips. This will give current viewers something more exciting than a rerun as well as bring newer viewers up to speed.

4. Fear the Walking Dead bridges the gap between seasons of Walking Dead. More of this! Obviously this can’t be done for every show, or even a few of them, but doing it for the network’s biggest shows (1 or 2 max) is a good idea.

5. Finally, the reason this should compare with a baseball team’s rebuild: patience. Give a few years to slowly build back that audience. Look at the Chicago Cubs, whose rebuild began four years before their Wold Series Championship. You have to allow time for the audience’s trust to grow. Allow the good ideas to build an audience, and give them more seasons.Don’t be so quick to cancel a show that shows promise. Give shows like this a bit more time to grow. Even Seinfeld wasn’t a big hit in its first season. The Grinder was a good idea, and a funny, unique sitcom. There was a cult audience out there that loved this show. It was not the next Seinfeld, but it could’ve definitely grown bigger.

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2013 MOVIE WRAPUP

As I rant about my least favorite movies of the year, I won’t poke fun at The Lone Ranger, because I knew it would suck long before it came out, so I decided not to watch it. I also won’t bash R.I.P.D. because even though I agree with what most of the haters say about it, I still found it an enjoyable movie. I know this somehow makes me less of a person; I mean who could like R.I.P.D., right?

I still feel like all of the robots and monsters in Pacific Rim were walking on water; it still doesn’t make sense to me that the government would halt production of the robots before they knew the wall would work; and I still cant figure out why the robots waited so long to use the truly devastating sword.

I honestly can’t say too much bad about Man of Steel. Superman is a hard movie to pull off in this day and age and I think they did a fine job. Did I love it? No, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I like how they didn’t mess around with Louis Lane not knowing that Clark Kent was Superman and the part of the movie that took place on Krypton was visually cool.

I wanted to like The Hangover 3 so badly. I just didn’t.

While I have yet to see Carrie, I’m looking forward to it. It confounds me that this movie didn’t make more money. It came out in October and had no horror competition. I mean seriously, Carrie was the ONLY big horror movie to come out in October! How did it not make at least $50 to $75 million?

The original Red Dawn was one of my all-time favorite movies, so I was skeptical of a remake. But I did enjoy Tomorrow, When The War Began, so I did reserve some hope. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. They made it new enough to feel relevant and fresh, but paid enough homage to the original to not piss me off.

I still have the DVD of Alex Cross that I borrowed from my neighbor 5 months ago. Even though he has since moved out, I still haven’t gotten around to watching it. I’m just not excited for it at all. And no, I don’t feel bad about not returning it because that guy broke my lawn mower.

World War Z was the only movie that actually got me into the theaters this year, and it didn’t disappoint one bit…but The Walking Dead still does zombies the best. Some might say The Walking Dead has an unfair advantage because it’s not a story contained in a two hour time frame, but I disagree. The longer story arcs of television, give the show a lot of time to mess up and be boring. Somehow, with the exception of the first half of season 2, The Walking Dead has been perfect.

But the absolute worst movie of the year, and maybe the worst movie of all time, was Spring Breakers. I was so excited about this one. Spring break, hot girls with guns and ample bikini time, how could this fail? It did. I wasn’t expecting much from this movie; I was going to give it a lot of leeway from the start, but this plot was so thin. One third of the movie was girls leaving voice-mails for their family, one third of the movie was a bad MTV video that never ended and one third of the movie was Alien yelling “SPRING BREAK Y’ALL!”