Sunday, March 30, 2008

Knight Rider and more

Variety has a good article that acts as kind of a preview for NBCs planned upfronts to occur this coming Wednesday. In it, we learn the next announced series from the network as well. Sure it was expected after the big numbers drawn in to the pretty awful backdoor pilot this past season, but the updated Knight Rider series has been granted a season pass by NBC. And yes I said season. According to Variety NBC has plans to air as much original programming as possible next season. They don't want to air repeats unless they have to, and although they reserve the right to change their minds of course, they are expected to grant tentative season pickups for a slew of freshman shows this week.

In the article, NBC exec Marc Graboff says that the network is moving to a system of selling not the shows, but selling adspace in general. By letting their advertising partners know that they can count on an hour of original programming: that is action adventure themed, or dramatic, or whatever is called for. Regardless of the show, the hour will be what was paid for no matter what. That way they can be assured a satisfied client. Apparently advertisers these days don't actually care as much specifically what the show is they are advertising on, but more that the knowledge that the right demographic is tuning in. Sounds like a smart move for them if you ask me.

And despite NBCs focus on pleasing advertisers more than the viewers, it sounds like we might make out alright with this new system too. We will be given more original programming than usual, and shows will have a chance to last longer, even if maybe they get shuffled a bit more. The important thing is we're going to have more new tv overall because NBC doesn't want to run out.

Besides Knight Rider, NBC is developing the new, already announced, shows My Own Worst Enemy, which is the title of the Christian Slater spy show I mentioned a few days ago, Robinson Crusoe, the Canadian show about the psychic paramedic The Listener, Kings, which is a loose retelling of the story of King David and set to star Deadwood's Ian McShane, and something called The Philanthropist.

A number of other shows are in play as well, but let's just chill until we hear what NBC has to actually say on Wednesday before jumping the gun. It's definitely interesting to see this new strategy. I hope it succeeds, and we get a few cool new shows out of it. Well that and I hope that the commitment to more shows with the same amount of money doesn't come back to bite us all in the ass with just a lot more crappy tv.

I'll just be twiddling my thumbs until Wednesday. I'm hoping for the best.

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