Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I would be able to say "I Told You So"

If I weren't so damned lazy that I never wrote the post about Paula Deen that I thought of writing a couple of days ago.  Now comes this story from MarketWatch:

"Today in The Wall Street Journal, Keach Hagey raises another point that may have worked against Deen: Ratings for her show, “Paula’s Best Dishes,” had been sliding steadily since 2011—particularly among the younger demographic groups that advertisers covet.

Hagey’s sources note that Deen’s show, “Paula’s Best Dishes,” falls into the category of “’dump and stir’ instructional food shows” that trace their lineage through Emeril Lagasse all the way back to Julia Child. But that format has been falling out of fashion among younger viewers, who have gravitated toward competitions and reality-show formats. Ratings for “Best Dishes” were down 22% among viewers in the 18-to-49-year-old group, and Hagey reports that Deen’s agent had been bogged down in contract negotiations with the Food Network for several weeks before the racism controversy emerged."

After all the TV shows I've worked on over the years, how could I have ignored the most basic rule of TV:  It's never about the story or the show or artistic expression or common decency- It's always about the money.  The minute I heard that Paula Deen's show was cancelled, supposedly because of some racist comments she made, my first thought was, "Man, her ratings must have gone into the tank."  Why didn't I trust my vast knowledge (heh) of TV and write that post?  Now, everyone would know that Green Eagle is a media genius. Instead, I'm just reduced to squawking away after the fact.


(O)CT(O)PUS said...

The Reverend Jesse Jackson weighed in a few days ago on this story. While her racist remark was reprehensible, he said, this shouldn't be a "gotcha" moment and perhaps a little Christian forgiveness was in order.

Something odd about the nature of PR: It can cut two ways and redeem those in need of redemption ... or at least those in need of a lift in ratings ... and what better way to raise a loser from certain Nielson death but national headlines and a heartfelt "awe shucks."

Cynical ... but it works.

Green Eagle said...

I didn't mean that. I mean that, as soon as her ratings plunged, they were looking for an excuse to dump her, and they found it. That's the way the TV business works. I can't tell you how many regular characters I've seen disappear from a series, with people talking about why it happened and how it is related to the plot or something- in virtually every case I can think of it was a contract dispute or something like that. TV is a cutthroat business, and it doesn't tolerate failure for long. Incompetence, yes- they love that. But failure- no way.