How NBC Can Save Itself

NBC garnered around 111 million viewers for the Superbowl. They have the London 2012 Olympics, sure to draw record viewership. They should be sitting pretty, right? Not really. NBC is mired in last place, often falling below Univision in the coveted 18-34 demographic. Only by drastic measures can NBC save itself. Should ordinary conservatives care? In a word, yes. Because while NBC is currently mired in PC idiocy, it was not always so. And there is nothing to replace NBC or broadcast television in terms of breadth of viewership, national impact, and culture changing. America’s culture has gotten rotten, mostly because the elites are out of touch, living lives vastly removed and different from most Americans. The way back is not through revolutionary change, but the hard work of evolutionary renewal.

Focus on Men

NBC is currently fighting over the 18-34 female demo with every other network. How’s that going? The Voice, and a zillion other junk reality shows, either the competition variety or celebrity genealogy, or what have you, has little appeal. Even ABC is trying to gain male viewers, for “the River.” Recognizing that women alone are not enough:

ABC describes “The River” as “an experiment.” Channing Dungey, senior vice president of network dramas, said the show’s creators were careful to avoid an overdose of shaky video and skewed angles that might be “off-putting” to a mainstream audience. She said the network hopes “The River” will lure more young viewers, especially males, to its existing female-skewing audience.

Yes, it is marketing dogma that women influence up to 85% of all consumer purchases. Everyone else is chasing them too. So what? Unless the network can magically recast itself as a low-low cost netlet like CW, there is no use in chasing the young female demographic. Even if successful, NBC will have to share them with everyone else. Meanwhile men are under-served. The Superbowl got 111 million viewers or so, far in excess of the Oscar Telecasts. Because the broadcast is male-appealing. NBC can’t get that every day. Or even most days. But there is no reason to suppose that with effort and commitment, at least 20 million viewers would not tune in weekly to top shows oriented towards men.

And this fits right in with NBC’s heritage. Miami Vice, the A-Team, Hunter, the Rockford Files, were all shows aimed primarily at men. Not the 18-34 demo. NBC has created and broadcast shows like this, before, and could do so again.

Build a Brand

NBC has to build a brand. Most networks today have little identity. You know only that they’ll have the same mix of heavily female-skewing slop: reality competitions, talent competitions, celebrities, soap operas in various forms, and tired morality plays masquerading as crime dramas. Once upon a time, NBC was known for action and adventure appealing to men: Miami Vice, Hunter, the A-Team, Stingray, Private Eye, and Crime Story. Action, style, and intense performances by charismatic leads: Don Johnson, George Peppard, Dennis Farina, and Fred Dryer. That was what NBC was known for, primarily, and could be again.

That means, NBC has to decide what it will be, promote it heavily, and deliver. All the marketing in the world won’t help if the shows themselves are made into female-appealing soaps. Building a brand means at the fundamental level, asking and answering who the audience is, and building a show around that audience. Delivering a consistent, style and content across all NBC shows, even if it takes years to develop an audience and burns cash.

No More Chucks

This particularly means, no more “Chucks.” While “Chuck” debuted to decent ratings of 8.6 million viewers the first season and 7.36 million the second, the show epitomizes what is wrong with NBC: taking a good show, aimed primarily at men, and ruining it. By remaking it into a female-oriented show catering to online female fans. The show was also incredibly cheap, and it showed. Cheap in a bad way, that is, showing constant budget cuts on screen.

The premise of the show: downwardly mobile nerdy guy becomes a secret super-spy with a hot CIA agent and growly NSA officer looking over him, was right out of the old NBC playbook. The late Stephen J. Cannell would have been proud. Particuarly amusing was the hijinks involving the retail staff at the Best Buy parody: the “Buy More.” Anyone who has ever worked a retail job will recognize it and the characters. Hilarious. And quite accurate on the guys that had “given up” and worked only for a paycheck.

NBC and the show’s producers, no doubt responding to feedback from the almost universally female fans on forums such as, proceeded to ruin the show: de-emphasizing the retail hell environment, the massively talented comedians (Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky) who portrayed the show’s loser characters (Lester and Jeffrey). Meanwhile amping up female-friendly love triangles (something repellent to the male audience) and making the lead character into an ever-more traditional Alpha male. [Which was beside the point, the show was about a guy who wasn’t that Traditional kick-ass Alpha guy.] Comedy was pushed to the wayside and soap-opera drama emphasized.

This move did not pay off. Male viewers left in droves, and women did not embrace the show enough to make up for the male losses. The Wiki article shows clear losses, each season (though Season Two briefly outshone strike-shortened Season One) with growing unhappiness at the end of each season, ever greater losses as the show became more and more a soap opera fulfilling the female fans wishes.

The show also suffered losses in the budget, with action sequences shot on the cheap in soundstages, and looking sad and tired. Even worse, the most talented writers of Season One and Two left, as the uncertainty over the show’s renewal led in-demand writers find another, higher paying and more certain job elsewhere.

Give Writers an Investment

This is the Achilles heel of NBC. Because they broadcast shows which face renewal uncertainty every May, the best writers migrate from their shows to other networks. Thus they have quality problems. Anyone looking at the writing of “Chuck” over the years can see how sharply the writing went downhill, after the first two seasons. NBC, to combat this, must at least for in-house produced shows, give writers an investment. A guarantee of working on a show for at least four years. If the show is canceled, early, the network is on the hook, paying for the writers, even if they find employment elsewhere. Only this guarantee of security will enable the network to attract the very best writers for its shows. Yes it means that the network would be on the hook for writer salaries, this can be offset by a mechanism like Silicon Valley’s stock options. Since no writer will trust anyone in management after a century of dirty dealing and underhanded accounting, this would amount to something like a contractually agreed lump-sum payment at the end of Seasons Two and Four. Writers could be free to leave, but they’d give up the payment, and the guaranteed four years. Thus they’d have an incentive to stick around for four years.

There are only a few good writers who can produce winning scripts. They often make the difference between success and failure. For NBC to have a competitive advantage, it must have better writers. Simple as that.

Try Out on SyFy and Bravo and USA … and the Web

NBC needs to experiment with new writers, producers, along with show concepts, and the like. The pilot process, winnowing hundreds of pitches to dozens of pilots to a few green-lit shows, is clearly broken. About 85% of all new shows fail, season to season. There is no reason for this. Almost no MLB player comes up directly to the Big Leagues, that is what the minors are for. Same with the NHL. College provides that function for the NFL. SyFy and Bravo have low ratings, why not try out a limited, six episode series there? USA is more of a premiere network, but even they have dead spots. Programming hours to fill. And the Web …. well a limited two or three episode mini-series, can draw viewers to NBC’s site, increasing its pull with advertisers. It is fine to run old A-Team episodes on, yes they’re paid for, but what about new content? Designed to draw in viewers, and more importantly see what sort of producer, writer, concept, and the like works with viewers and what does not? All under less budgetary pressure.

NBC clearly needs to try out new producing/writing talent, in low-risk environments. There are people they could work with, easily, by simply making a few shows for a lesser budget. This is how sensible sports leagues develop talent, and NBC is in the same boat. They ought to copy success. Not continue the failure of the current model.

Save Money Wisely

Consider the Miami Vice opener done years ago, shown below on Youtube:

Now, that shot probably cost in today’s money at least $200,000. Maybe even $300,000. Requiring a helicopter, and speed-boat rental. Today, that could be done for far, far less. Technology, specifically the UAVs outfitted with cameras, allow for that sort of “helicopter shot” to be done far cheaper. The Red Digital Cameras allow cheaper shooting than traditional film or tape, and at various price-points different performance. The show “Sanctuary” used the Red One cameras exclusively.

LA is beautiful. There are many local landmarks, scenic locations, and beautiful places that don’t cost that much to film outside, particularly with the Red One cameras, and new UAV technology replacing booms and cranes and helicopter tracking shots. There is no reason lower cost has to look “cheap” like a crummy soundstage. NBC shows should be shot on location whenever possible. Trying to save money while making the screen look beautiful. After all, many viewers have HD sets by now. Why wouldn’t you want a beautiful picture, instead of a recognizable sound-stage?

Stay With It For Five Years

Speaking of money, NBC will have to stay with their plan for five years. It will take years of losses to return to profitability. It is true that Comcast has far shallower pockets than say, former owner GE. But that’s just the way it is. Continuing down the same path with “the Voice” and various shows where people get dumped into trapdoors or fat people get screamed at won’t make money. That will still lose money. At least making a sustained effort to get male viewers has a hope of succeeding. Continuing on with the current strategy is a recipe for simply managing defeat.

NBC has such a toxic reputation, that it will have to endure at least two and more likely three years of viewer skepticism and refusal to commit, which means a willingness to stick with shows it believes in beyond the usual one and done season. This means a strong budget aimed directly at covering operating losses as NBC seeks to rebuild an audience, one drawn in by unique male-oriented programming. This means paying for action-adventure series it will likely not see an immediate profit on, banking that succeeding series will make large profits, and that the initial loss-makers will at least be profitable when sold to someone like Netflix for streaming.

NBC can’t turn around the better part of twenty years of bad programming in one season. They must be ready to endure losses if they want to turn things around.

Promote, Promote, Promote: Cross-overs

NBC ought to realize much of its problem is that each show exists in its own silo. A unique creative world that doesn’t partake of the advantages of the network itself and sister shows. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why NBC did not have a cross-over early with “Life” and “Chuck,” in the first season, and the season finales of both that season. Or certainly the second season. That might have been enough to keep “Life” around for another season.

Superman shows up regularly in other DC Comics titles. If say, the Flash is struggling against a real terrible villain (low sales), the Man of Steel is there to help save (the sales figures) day. The same with Batman, and fans love it. The Superman-Batman team-up is one that fans regularly love, and is offered almost every year. That’s part of a comic-book universe. Characters on the same side, that don’t always get along, teaming up. Sales generally go up quite a bit during these “events.”

NBC currently has one show that has even a smidgen of appeal to men: “Grimm.” That show ought to be paired up with whatever new show they can come up with that has any male appeal. Promotion is more than just advertising “the Voice” during the Superbowl. It means getting fans of one show to sample another. The best way is to have characters from one show suddenly appear on another. CBS has already done so with CSI and the now canceled “Without a Trace.” Why they have not leveraged their “Crime Time” and had a massive cross-over involving most of their Crime Dramas: Blue Bloods, CSI, CSI New York, CSI Miami, the Mentalist, and Person of Interest I’ll never know. Talk about a Sweeps event. Yes, writing a series of comic books is easier than coming up with a story line progressing from series to series, and tying up loose ends neatly (so if you are a fan of say, the Mentalist, you’ll watch the other shows to see what happens). But there you have it.

Content, Content, Content: Heroes and Villains

What makes TV very tired and derivative, is PC stillness and the crushing burden of “diversity” which mandates that no non-White person ever look bad, for fear of offending … the female White viewer. Well, not aiming for that viewer, NBC could find more interesting, and challenging villains, for heroes to come up against. Not the same tired “White corporate bad guys” or “evil racists” or “militia members” or such-like. But real, topical, and challenging villains. Miami Vice got made off it’s signature villain, Calderone. A ruthless and fabulously wealthy drug lord who could order up hits from the world’s finest hitmen, and scurry off to foreign locales immune from police prosecution or extradition.

Consider this scene:

[Yes, ignore the Italian or Spanish dubbing.]

The scene looks utterly bizarre. From the little shirtless boy dancing, the tension filled background music, the cocaine in a shape of an “M” (for Morales) and the various bad guys with automatic weapons hanging around. The menace and threat of violence is strong. It is an arresting scene worthy of a first class movie. Right there on your TV screen. No one had seen anything like it.

Because finally, non-Whites were not simply moral props to be used in fights among White people over who was more moral. They were independent agents. They had the self-realization, the independence of action, to be … villains. Bad guys. And not cardboard, simplistic, Law and Order “bad White guy” bad guys. But rather real bad guys. Bad guys who were genuine threats, a real challenge. Not just for the heroes, but society at large. Bad guys who enjoyed killing, and were good at it. Who laughed at drug laws. Who ruled by fear and intimidation and wealth.

Every great hero needs a villain, or two. Worthy of defeating. Beowulf did not defeat Puff the Magic Dragon or Barney, nor Arthur take on “mean kids.” Part of the fascination with anti-heroes, or outright villains (looking at you Tony Soprano) is that the cardboard “Evil Upper Class Corporate White guy” is just no threat. Menace is absent, and thus any real male energy against the villain is impossible. Instead we get a moral lecture.

Calderone, and characters like him, are great because the regular workings of government are useless against him. It TAKES the hero, and no one else, to defeat him. He’s worthy of defeat. He’s intelligent, ruthless, cruel, and causes great misery. That’s the mark of a true villain, not the dreck that TV and NBC shows in particular dole out today.

NBC needs to make a special effort to create both heroes and villains the male audience will respond to. That means the hero has to be tough, willing to do things that ordinary, PC-driven and rule-following bureaucrats won’t, but within moral limits. He’s not the villain, he’s not Tony Soprano. Or the lead character Walter White from Breaking Bad. But he is tough, resourceful, and surprising.

The villain ought to be one of the following: a master terrorist (and not a semi-sympathetic one either as in Homeland). Or a drug lord in Mexico or Latin America. Or Chinese gangster. Or a PLA Master Spy. Or anything along those lines: a man with money, power, ruthlessness, who has to be stopped. That the audience wants stopped.

Will NBC Ever Return?

Will NBC ever return from the dead? Reclaim its Miami Vice, A-Team glory? My view is likely, no. Everyone in entertainment is agog at the purchasing power and enthusiasm of the female audience, and in particular the teen female audience. Suddenly it is as if those Star Wars nerds didn’t exist. They didn’t camp out, just the Twihard Tweens (and their moms). Barnes and Noble’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy section, formerly male nerd city, is over-run with books featuring sultry red-heads (predominant, for some strange reason) and brunettes (only a few blondes, weirdly) in “Teen Paranormal Romance” and the like. Complete with angsty looks and lurid come-ons out of romance novels. Everyone is chasing the next Twilight. It is as if Harry Potter never existed. Or the Star Wars films (dreadful but minting money). Or the Lord of the Rings films.

Everything runs in fashions, and NBC is no stranger to this. Its execs are mostly folks who have spent decades in the business ruthlessly chasing after the same thing: women age 18-34. Even if that is not the solution, it is likely that is their answer.

It does not have to be this way.

Personally, I would prefer a renewal at NBC to crash. The culture is rotten, and a dose of traditional male heroism is not a fix, but a step in the right direction. America would be better off, on balance, if NBC started cranking out Miami Vice type shows, than if it went under going full junk-female-reality like “Fattest Loser” and “Celebrity Roots” or whatever its called.

About whiskeysplace

Conservative blogger focusing on culture, business, technology, and how they intersect.
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24 Responses to How NBC Can Save Itself

  1. beta_plus says:

    After the failure of Human Target, especially after them introducing 2 gratuitous female leads, the TV action show looks like it is permanently broken.

    • Anonymous says:

      Burn notice is probably the closest thing you will find on an NBC owned network to classic 80’s action TV.

  2. bob says:

    Think Newsweek.

    By the way, “The River” may be the most appalling bad pilot I have ever seen, and my TV viewing goes back to the 50s. I simply turned it off after a hour.

    As far as “Chuck” is concerned, you are right. It degenerated rapidly after the first season or so. Cleaning up Lester and Jeffrey was simply stupid. The characters weren’t in the least bit interesting after that.

    But, at least there was the strikingly beautiful Yvonne Strahovsky. Just turn off the sound.

  3. I notice that some Feminists have sainted the Liz Lemon character, and are in serious love with whatserface on Parks And Recreation, too. I’ve only ever seen one epsidoe of 30 Rock, and that was on a flight.
    I must say, I’m surprised you dislike the Celebrity Geneaology show. I view it as a history show, which I would think would skew male, if very many men even knew about it, which I doubt. I really enjoy it, myself.

    I stopped watching network sitcoms altogether once my family got cable in 1995 when I was 16. The only network drama I’ve watched since then has been Lost, which was amazing when it was mystery/sci-fi, then degenerated into an incoherent mess.

    The only sitcoms I’ve paid any attention to at all in the last 10 years have been the ones aimed at the black audience on the WB/UPN,CW. I have been a big fan of a bunch of the HBO dramas and comedies, with the exception of 6 Feet Under, Big Love, and the Vampire Show (I forget the name).

    But since I got a Macbook about 6 months ago, I find myself nmot even turning the TV on some nights and sometimes all day Saturday, choosing instead to surf the web, listen to music or read until I go to sleep.

  4. Chris W. says:

    I’m surprised nobody charted the demise of 24 and Prison Break properly in Hollywoodland. Both shows were destroyed by too many injections of female-skewing nonsense, particularly 24 (Prison Break died because they couldn’t morph it into anything coherent once they escaped prison and had the on-the-run storyline for Season Two.)

    “Tell me where the bomb is or I will kill your son!” says crazy Jack Bauer, then he fucking DOES IT. This brought mega-ratings that Fox had never seen before yet none of the networks including Fox had the brains to go back to that well properly. It’s not ripping-off 24 to produce shows with mega badassery, it’s just smart and gives the people what they want.

  5. Matt Strictland says:

    I say let T.V. and its propaganda engine go dark if it can’t adapt. America will probably be better without it.

    That being said T.V. has a few good shows, Sons of Anarchy and Southland are great and NCIS+NCIS L.A. while military agit-prop and occasionally overly feminised are still worth a watch as they actually “Get” American values more often than not.

  6. ray says:

    Once upon a time, NBC was known for action and adventure appealing to men: Miami Vice, Hunter, the A-Team, Stingray, Private Eye, and Crime Story. Action, style, and intense performances by charismatic leads: Don Johnson, George Peppard, Dennis Farina, and Fred Dryer. That was what NBC was known for, primarily, and could be again.

    crime drama/cop shows exist to re-inforce in the minds of the american/western female that her totalitarian matriarchy is actually The Good Guy, and that the millions of resultant policies and “laws” and mancages are justified (nay! necessary!) to keep Those Evil Male Things permanently disenfranchised, dispossessed, psychologically crippled, morally accused, and criminalized

    over the past half-century, tv has been the primary tool for disseminating and rationalizing the despicable gyno-police-state now extant across the west. . . and NBC has been right at the forefront of that evil, in so many ways it’d take a trilogy to cover it

    tv exists to manipulate the vanity, greed and vengeance of the average Amerikan female for translation into the collective consent necessary in demonocracy to rationalize whatever new hate-measures the fems and male (pseudo)elite wish to trot out next (VAWA, Positive Discrimination, Three Strikes, Prison Construction, ad infinitum)

    tv cannot, should not, and will not be “reformed” b/c propaganda, being based on the lies that people wish to hear (instead of the truth that is) remains false no matter how (or whether) it’s papered-over to be more “male appealing”

    satan, divided against himself, cannot stand, and neither can his queendoms

    • Here’s where we differ. I think TV CAN be reformed, and should be. Nothing else has the reach: sheer numbers of people watching all at once, nothing else has the time: 17 hours and change in a 22 episode season, to focus on a character, theme, and issues.

      More importantly, nothing else promises to replace it. I am a Burkean conservative, in that I believe that organically formed institutions, traditions, and culture even if it contains negative influences (as Twain criticized Catholic Europe and titles and trappings of nobility/royalty), restrains the worst impulses. It creates a thicket of civil society, that absolute tyrants get tripped up by. Underbrush or chaparral, in a sense, that perform two critical functions: the first to mediate society, and teach appropriate lessons, and the second to prevent any would be tyrant from getting too big.

      If TV goes away, what replaces it? Basically, Obama 24/7 (or his replacement), a “Big State” getting even bigger. And women are capable of making intelligent choices, if only given the real truth, straight no chaser. No other medium exists that can deliver the straight truth, no chaser, to women, who need it desperately than TV.

  7. Jules says:

    Chris, Joel Surnow himself has said that CBS did not want a prominent conservative to be a showrunner on their platform during the 2006 elections so they kicked him out. And down went 24 with Janeane Garafolo & that “strong” & “wise” redhead who knew what Jack Bauer was all about.

  8. Mike says:

    Great observation about Chuck. I really liked the show but lost interest so completely that I dropped out halfway through last season and never once clicked it on for it’s final season which completed a few weeks ago.

    I’d like to think a return to the man market would be enough to bounce NBC up from crapland, but given how the TV audience has changed I’m not sure that’s such a sure bet. Aren’t these shows test marketed to death long before they even air? We might be seeing the best we can expect.

  9. Lawful Neutral says:

    Come on Whiskey, “Fattest Loser?” We all know you know the name of the show. There’s no shame in knowing it. Watching it, on the other hand…

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  11. Cowboy says:

    GIven all the great analysis that you’ve done on this site, much of it backed up with hard numbers you’ve researched, I don’t know why an alert, aspiring TV executive doesn’t take heed to what you say, Whiskey. Have you ever tried to make a pitch to them?

  12. Anonymous says:

    The problem may be with the ad buyers. Retail studies show that the 18-34 demographic is wrong. cf “Why we buy” , etc. Department stores buy the wrong sizes for their customers, the ad buyers buy the wrong demographic. The common feature is that the buyers tend to be 22-34 yo girls/gays. They buy what they and their friends want, not what the company needs. The networks respond to them. Also, as you have pointed out, the networks buy what gets them laid by the execs target demographic or what they want to see. As long as the networks are part of a larger corporation they will probably not reform. Only when they are spun off and have to survive on current product will they change. Even GE couldn’t stand NBCs losses eventually. Comcast bought it to help a failing business model. ABC/CBS are part of much larger corporations which currently don’t care/hide the actual losses/loss of business from shareholders.

  13. Hidden Author says:

    What do you think about the SyFy series Merlin?

  14. Conquistador says:

    The networks might be in decline but the premium channels have put out great male oriented programming; The Borgias, Game of Thrones, and Spartacus, to name a few. .

  15. Worm says:

    I’ve been a cop for almost 20 years now and so I have to disagree with Mr. Strickland, Southland is stupid. I don’t watch much TV anymore, but I caught part of a Southland episode the other day.

    One of the cops accidentally shot a dog in an alley and proceeded to take of his uniform shirt and t-shirt and then used his t-shirt to bandage the dog. I like dogs, most cops I know like dogs and feel bad if we have to shoot them, but that was fucking absurd.

    In the same episode a mental (that’s what we call crazy people) runs up to the patrol car and starts getting aggressive. The female asian cop is on her cell phone and continues to stay on her cell while her partner deals with the mental. Yakking on your cell and failing to help your partner during a potentially violent and deadly encounter would get you ostracized by the entire department if not punched out in the locker room.

    This is a glaring example of why so many men tune out from TV. Even when they make male-oriented shows, they are either cliche, phony or just plain stupid.

    Oh, and then there’s the hot-female-supercop fantasy (CSI, NCIS, Mentalist, Castle, etc). Are there good female cops? Yes, but not many. Are there hot female cops? Yes, but not many. Are there any super-hot, fearless, genius, aikido master, sharpshooter female cops? The laws of probability say there must be but I’ve never seen one, and I don’t know anyone who has, or know anyone who knows anyone who has. You have better luck hunting unicorns.

    Homicide (the book was awesome) started out as a decent cop show but then devolved into another soap opera about the characters personal lives, ‘yawn’. Third Watch also had potential but quickly went the same route.

    Detroit 187, let me start with WTF, over? First, I worked for DPD and we don’t use the term ‘187’ that’s LA shit. Second, at the end of the first episode the main character, whatshisname from Soprano’s, goes in alone on a barricaded gunman to talk him down AFTER the perp shoots at his partner. We do not leave our guns behind and go into ‘talk down’ armed and barricade suspects, NEVER. Needless to say that was my last viewing of that stupid show.

    One more thing about the female super-cop fantasy: the one-shot spinning roundhouse kick knockout or the fast immobilizing wrist-lock on a perp that outweighs her by 100lbs? You gotta be fucking kidding me.

    • Bitter Truth says:

      Have you watched The Wire?

    • Matt Strictland says:

      Fair enough. I’m not a cop so I wouldn’t see the details. I’ll concede that part about bad procedure It doesn’t really show conscientious police work or good cops but thats what Cops or Alaska State Troopers is for Having seen every show I think its intentional. Southland is a show about dramatic cops and that means a higher than realistic degree of dysfunction. As examples.

      The character in the dog bandaging episode is not a good cop or well , his partner is a rookie, the Asian cop is a screwup and her partner is a pain pill junkie

      The show reminds me of Joesph Wambaugh and thats a good thing.

      On the upside, no one on that show is a superman or ugh superwoman, in fact the women get their butt kicked when they take on big guys most times.

      Also to argue for NCIS, the female Ziva in NCIS was a Mossad Agent, she is a little borderline Uber though and her skills should have deteriorated a bit . The other female in NCIS Kenzie is a nothing special, having a high IQ, mechanical aptitude and being able to shoot well is realistic. I know women like this. However it does suffer from magic bullets and mooks syndromes. However its values are good , Its not realistic but its fun

      However no arguing matters of taste

  16. Cowboy, anon above nailed it, much of the problem is with the ad buyers, which Steve Sailer also noted: mostly gays and young single White women in their early twenties in big cities. Programming heads are not stupid, but they also face the reality, that if they institute changes, they are likely to be fired (in a year) before they pay out (maybe five years). It took after all, 3 years for Seinfeld to emerge from the depths of the TV ratings to a top 25 show. And a good part of the problem with NBC is Jeff Zucker, who left the executive ranks shorn of talent and convinced that his way (he used to produce the Today Show and wanted basically everything at NBC to look like that show) was the only way.

    Comcast will have to of course eventually do something, USA is sort of what the NBC network could look like already, as anon points out they bought NBC to get content, and reality shows and cheap stuff they have won’t cut it. I would not be shocked to see someone at USA move to NBC’s executive suite.

    Worm’s comments above stand on their own as the fantasy of current TV. Anything not female oriented gets shifted that way to try and get female viewers, who never show up to offset the fleeing male ones. Eventually people will learn, but heck the Moneyball revolution (i.e. hey conventional wisdom is wrong) took decades despite ample evidence of the competitive advantage. Sometimes it just takes a Billy Beane.

  17. a cave dwelling male tv watcher says:

    I don’t get why they aren’t chasing dollars. With more and more men getting married later and living on their own, they are purchasing their own products. Women aren’t purchasing those items for them.

    Shows like Top Gear USA should attract a large male following, if viewed on a mainstream network.

    [i]Shows such as Fox’s animated comedies The Simpsons and Family Guy — which averaged a middling 7.3 million and 7.8 million total viewers last season, respectively — can charge more than $250,000 for a 30-second spot. That’s 14 percent more than the female-skewing ABC drama Grey’s Anatomy, which averaged nearly 12 million viewers and charged about $220,000 for a 30-second commercial last season. “If you’re designing a show and you want to make a lot of money, you want to bring in young men,” says Gordon.
    Of course, live sports programming is where buyers go to reach the most overall viewers and the most men. And top-rated shows like Fox’s American Idol still reach the big, broad audiences advertisers crave most. But smaller-scale hits like FX pair Justified and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as well as Comedy Central’s guy-humor lineup including current “It” boy Daniel Tosh’s Tosh.0, can deliver big profits without huge ratings — if men tune in regularly.
    In addition to being priced differently, men and women exhibit distinct emotional motivations behind their media consumption, according to psychology experts. Women tend to look for empowerment, which is why Oprah Winfrey is such a potent brand. Underscoring traditional Venus and Mars stereotypes, many male motivations don’t stray far from the prehistoric cave. According to ad-buying firm Starcom, men consume media for four reasons: to prepare themselves for battle; to feel rebellious; to connect to a passion (mostly sports, music or cars); and to be mentally challenged. Starcom measured 600 media outlets, including TV, digital and print properties, and polled 20,000 people to arrive at a proprietary “emotional index” for planning and buying purposes.
    “It’s kind of funny and a little bit cliché,” says Kathy Kline, Starcom senior vp and human experience director. “But there’s a whole emotional territory of media that men engage in to gain a competitive edge.”
    Thus, they “arm themselves for battle” with the Weather Channel or CNBC’s Mad Money, says Kline. They use MTV (Jersey Shore) and VH1 (Basketball Wives) to feel rebellious and “a little bit like an outlaw.” ESPN and NASCAR programming hit passion levers and reinforce male aspirations to be athletic and powerful. And programs like Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report and History’s Pawn Stars provide a mental challenge.[/i]

  18. anon says:

    I think NBC’s Community is pretty damn funny and inoffensive and male friendly way. Just droppin that in there… glass half full and all that.

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