NBC to cut back on scripted television

NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker announced today that the network will stop spending money on scripted shows in the first hour of primetime (8PM to 9PM) as part of a 750 million dollar budget cutback. Zucker told the Wall Street Journal that advertising interest isn’t high enough to justify spending so much on scripted shows, so the network will air gameshows such as DEAL OR NO DEAL which cost far less to produce.

Since the MUST SEE TV heyday of the early to late 90’s, television viewers have been subjected to an endless list of FRIENDS and SEINFELD clones. THE SINGLE GUY, STARK RAVING MAD, COUPLING, VERONICA’S CLOSET, UNION SQUARE, BOSTON COMMON to name a few. Can you really blame the audience for disappearing? Here’s an idea Zucker – Why not produce quality television, and you’ll attract an audience — regardless of the time.

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  • Sam

    I guess tvaddict. It’s just American’s seem to love familiarity nowadays thus the endless clones and sequels rather than fresh original ideas that have ample room to take off.

  • starbase135

    Personally, I think that this is the beginning of the end of network TV. Obviously the networks failed in launching successful (non-crime) shows at 8/7c. But as you already mentioned they didn’t managed to launch new shows being as good as Friends or The Cosby Show. That in combination with increasing competition by cable, internet and DVDs resulted in less viewers in that hour. As a result the Big Four scheduled more and more reality/game shows at 8/7c. The new NBC policy implies that they are going to waste more 8/7c-slots with shows like that. But eventually the competition between those shows will be enormous and the reality/game hype will wear off which will result in poor ratings. Due to the weak lead-ins the ratings of the 9/8c + 10/9c-shows will also decline and at the end network television will be dead. So NBC (and your fellow broadcast networks), please develop some unique and amazing shows, promote them like hell and your dominance over the competing networks, cable and internet shouldn’t be a problem after all.

  • ||—TheTVAddictAddict—||

    nice reference to “The Single Guy.” I’m surprised anyone remembers that one.

  • Dude, I’ve earned my TVaddict stripes! I watched at least an episode of each and everyone one of those painfully awful shows.

  • Sam

    Do we get a half a stripe if we at least remember all of the shows, lol?

  • Bob Jones

    This is a network self-imploding.

    Viewers/Profits are not disppearing, ABC can make a profit with Lost and Desperate Housewives. Fox with House, CBS with CSI and their comedies.

    What we have is networks putting crap on the air and expecting people to flock to it.

  • Sam – NO! You don’t get anything. I had to endure Boston Common AND Union Square. Two shows that you could literally watch for hours and not laugh.

  • Common Sense

    I watch a grand total of ONE show per week on NBC…”The Office.” Frankly, I’m stunned they didn’t cancel it after a few episodes. It’s hilarious, offbeat, fresh…just the kind of show NBC and most networks loathe. You know, the smaller but upscale cult-viewer audiences—loyal and always there. But no, they want the massive OLD PEOPLE ratings that game shows & reality crap bring. Hopefully advertisers will see thru this ploy and re-direct their cash to the networks who still choose to compete and produce quality scripted shows.

  • Galactica

    Why not produce quality television, and you’ll attract an audience — regardless of the time

    Well if that would work, Veronica mars and Battlestar Galactica would have way more then 3 million viewers, but lots of people like to watch bad tv.

  • Sam

    Too bad tvaddict, I’d rather jave no stripes than have to sit through bad shows like you unfortunately seem to have done.

    And I wish somone could create a network compiled of the best shows on tv all in one place (BEST shows, CW). Now that network I’d watch!

  • We HEROES to save the network 😉

  • Kate

    The problem with all of this is that everyone who like reality tv have ADD and that population is growing. Shows like Arrested Development that had the critical acclaim get slaughtered because no one wants to take the time to get invested anymore. Also the writers who know they trying for the same formula force it and it is obvious. NBC has great shows they just bury them with the reality tv and need to dial down the mind numbing bullshit so people have scripted good quality tv as the best option. Hopefully the option they do not pick is turn off the tv.