TERMINATOR Annihilates the Competition

Forget saving the world, Sarah Connor may have just saved television.

Last night, TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES delivered a staggering 18.4 million viewers, netting FOX its best opening night demo rating of any new show in three years. Hasta La Vista, Competition! And frankly, not a moment to soon.

The NY Times’ Bill Carter is already claiming that “Reality TV Is No Lightweight in the Battle to Outlast Strikers” and worse, throughout January, network’s have been pleasantly surprised by the performances of their non-scripted reality fare like DANCE WARS, WIFE SWAP, SUPERNANNY and THE APPRENTICE. NBC President Ben Silverman even went as far to say that “Time periods may be lost to scripted shows,” adding that, “CBS can fill three hours a week with ‘Big Brother’ for about five bucks.”

Well Mr. Silverman. The audience has spoken.

Sure reality TV costs far less to create. But it also generates far less future revenue opportunities. While audiences may passively tune into mediocre fare like THE APPRENTICE and THE BIGGEST LOSER. It is scripted shows they fall in love with.

Still not getting it? Take a moment and calculate the amount of dollars a successful scripted drama like the TERMINATOR is going to generate. Think of the ad revenue! The merchandise! The spin-off! The possibilities are endless. A quality scripted show is a cash cow (I mean hello!? How many Dwight Schrute Bobble-Head dolls has your production company Reveille sold?)

So go ahead Mr. Silverman, continue destroying the house that Carson built [NBC] with the likes of The Donald. This TV Addict will be watching FOX.

  • Stef

    Preach it!

  • Leo

    Well, I am pretty sure the rating will drop soon. Did anyone notice the acting and the effects were awful?

  • http://TVoholic.com fred

    You know, as much as I agree with you, and don’t watch unscripted shows, and – really – hate Ben Silverman more & more every day, you can’t forget that Terminator had a hell of a lead-in : 37.3 million viewers watching the playoffs !

    My point being : if you love good television, make sure to watch Fox, tomorrow at 9.00 !
    (And to never watch unscripted shows as long as the strike goes on)

  • http://www.chrispian.com chrispian

    Reality TV seems pretty scripted to me. It’s just non-union scribes doing “setups”. I seem to remember the writers for Top Model walking out a year or two ago. It’s all rigged, just ask Professional Wrestling.

    I think people like their “snacks” (reality tv) between meals (seaons), but when you give us a diet for non-stop carbs, well, this is what happens!

  • http://blog.jeevesatplay.com Rajeev Iyer

    All Hail Skynet

  • http://www.movdot.com Pit

    I am totally agree with christian and I also usually don’t watch unscripted TV shows…

  • Hil

    It is scripted tv shows or no tv for me.

    Or maybe I’ll continue to watch stuff from overseas and forget American tv. Out of American TV to watch? Look up the shows ‘Charlie Jade’ or ‘Regenesis’ or “Wire in the Blood’. Don’t settle on reality tv when the rest of the world has good scripted shows to watch.

    Fact of the matter is that I will not watch realty tv or game show and they will lose me. And I am the type that gets involved in tv, spend money on DVDs and merch, etc. I

  • tdot

    Im so glad that it did so well, i really like it, not loved it.
    But it was good.
    I thought it was gonna be this year’s Drive…

  • Hater

    How in the world did people like this?

    It had some of the worst acting ever.

    “Class dismissed” What in the world, who wrote this crap.

    I watched it because I really wanted it to be a good series but it was a complete let down.

  • shanna

    I thought it was pretty good and I’ll definitely tune in tonight; If only because there’s nothing else on for me on Mondays.

    But I’m definitely with the TvA. Although I enjoy some unscripted fare (Amazing Race, Project Runway) I’m not so in love that I set them as my season passes or buy merchandise associated with them. I do have some Grey’s Anatomy scrub pants though.

    And Ben Silverman can say what he wants because overall NBC’s stock is falling hard.

  • Hil

    I liked it tonight, though I must admit I like robots and Summer so I can forgive a lot. Also, the cheesy lines were in the movies too. If anything that is a nod back to the originals. Hopefully it won’t happen all the time though.

  • Matt

    You have to admit, the Terminator kid is hot. Remember him as the little boy in the hospital that Kramer had to make a Yankee deal with to get the framed card back? Hit two homeruns!

    Remember, folks, when the networks fail us (and they ARE failing us), WE have the power. Just click off the tube and rent a season of Felicity or Buffy or Arrested. Better TV, you’ll never find.

  • http://dresdencity.org Zarina

    YES and well put, too!

    People may watch ‘reality’ TV, but there’s no loyalty to it. How many people have you heard say ‘I have to get home in time to see “Biggest Loser”‘?? (Possible exception: American Idol)

    No, the shows that people record, TiVo, download from iTunes, and watch compulsively, are scripted series.

    An excellent scripted series can run for years – some have run for a decade! That means less money must be spent developing new series. That means loyal viewers. That means advertising dollars!

    Ratings have been dropping for the Networks because the quality of programming has been dropping. ‘Reality’ TV and series full of pretty faces and no substance are always looking for the ‘shock factor’ because it’s all they have and without it their viewers get bored. Bored viewers don’t watch commercials. Problem is, even the shock factor gets boring after a while. Then what do you have?

    So keep up the short-sightedness Mr. Silverman, and may you reap the consequences. The question is, will you finish off NBC in the process…