Could a network possibly make worse decisions than this one? It hasn't just been recently. For years, NBC has been coming to the fork in the road and taking the wrong path.
Saturday was the last straw. There is much better comiplaining here, but I'l recap. Sabres and Senators, Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals, game goes into overtime at 5pm. Coincidentally, 5pm is the exact time that NBC was supposed to switch to their coverage of the Preakness, one leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing. Now, the race itself didn't start for two hours, yet NBC dropped the coverage and switched it over to the Versus channel, which is hard to get in many markets. So what did they show instead of overtime playoff hockey?
Fucking horse racing pregame. Are you kidding me?
NBC, you used to have the world on a string. You once dominated the airwaves like no one else. What in God's name is your problem?
Why did you ruin the unsinkable Must-See Thursday Lineup by stubbornly inserting The Apprentice into the 9-10 slot? There was a place for the apprentice, but Thursday had been holy ground for 20 years, from The Cosby Show to Friends. The formula is very simple: two straight hours of comedy (Friends at 8:00, Seinfeld or Will & Grace at 9:00, with mediocre or struggling series-es at the :30s), then E.R. Simple. But noooo, you had to jump on the stupid reality-TV bandwagon and kowtow to that preening schmuck Donald Trump, who is a "first-class, world-class" asshole. You have only just recovered from that colossal misstep, but you did it by blowing your entire sitcom wad, putting all four of your good shows on one night, and even resorting to bloated "super-sized" episodes. You aren't fooling me, NBC, I know it's just more commercials.
Where did your journalistic ethics go when you gave wall-to-wall coverage of that greasy-faced piece of garbage who shot up the Virginia Tech campus? Did you not realize that you played right into his hands by giving him the credence that he so desperately wanted? And it wasn't just the fact that you played it, or that you made a knee-jerk reaction to show the footage. You made sure you ran the footage through your machines to put the "NBC News" logo on every last frame of the videotape. Do you have any idea how many copycat killers you likely inspired by making this guy into a celebrity? Was the bump in ratings worth it? No wonder they're calling you the "Al-Jazeera of Psychotic Killers."
Why do you cancel promising shows like "Committed" and "Four Kings" and "Andy Barker, P.I." and then replace it with crappy (and I'm sure cheap) reality programming? Is your research and development so bad that you can't even bring yourself to find ONE new sitcom for the new schedule? How many times can you show "Deal or No Deal"? Why are the other networks swimming in good sitcoms? And all yours are smushed into Thursday?
Why did you take "The Black Donnellys" off the air before it even had a chance to develop any kind of following. You let that overrated, bloated "Studio 60" show go for months because it had Aaron Sorkin's name attached to it. But "Donnellys" -- an infinitely better show if you ask me -- was relegated to NBC.com so the network could "decide if enough people watched it before they put it back on the air." Jackasses!
Do you even realize that you have completely ruined the "Dateline: To Catch a Predator" series by overexposure? That used to be the best reality program on TV, but you got greedy and started showing it too much. Now it's just sad and not even fun anymore. That's right: you made the topic of child molestation no fun anymore.
And why, oh why, couldn't you figure out that hockey is a magnificent game, and that there are more teams than the Rangers, Penguins and Capitals playing on any given day. Did you realize that it might be good to expose more than just the "stars" of the game (Crosby, Ovechkin) and maybe emphasize some of the good teams out there? (COUGHsabressenatorspredatorsCOUGH). Has the way you ruined the NBA -- by turning it into a glorified one-on-one sport -- taught you nothing about how the game should be marketed? Of course, your contempt for hockey fans is clear enough.
I don't normally care about TV ratings and how they factor into decisions networks make. I care about art, not commerce. If there was any justice in this world, "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" would be competing against "How I Met Your Mother" for the number one rating on TV. Jay Leno would have been off the air 8 years ago and John Madden would never have been allowed near a microphone again.
But there is no justice. We live in a world where if a TV executive happens to come across a good idea, it's a goddamn miracle. In fact I would say that most good shows probably happen today in spite of execs, not because of them. NBC just happens to currently be the worst of them. I considered boycotting the entire network, but then I remembered they still do have "The Office" and "30 Rock" so I'll just wait until they cancel those two first.