So CBS did not do so well on its post-Super Bowl slot, which got me thinking which show would have probably fared better. This then got me thinking on a whole snowball effect.
So for the fun that is TV, I’m going to ask the question: If the Super Bowl were on other networks, what would be that network’s post-show. Let’s have some fun.
Personally, I think it had more potential than Elementary. Elementary is more procedural and less serial than Vegas. People can drop into Elementary anytime. I know that’s what CBS wants. But it’s too procedural. The plot doesn’t stir us. Vegas would have people interested, and wanting to watch everything leading up to that episode afterwards too.
Full disclosure, I realistically think they’d probably do The Voice again, or decide to give Parks and Recreation the boost they heavily deserve (NO, seriously. Every bone in my body says Parks and Rec would be a better idea. Technically, yes it would.). But say I’m NBC. I get concerned every time I wake up Friday morning. You see, this is when I get the results from the previous night. Community has led the comedy block before, and it doesn’t carry very well. It’s also slowly becoming the comedy-version of Chuck (dying a slow, grueling death).
We want to get it into syndication (Comedy Central & TBS would buy the crap out of it), but the ratings keep falling. And every time we consider letting it go, we get destroyed by critics and devoted fans everywhere.
Ev. Very. Where.
So what do I? I say, forget it. Every other show doesn’t really have this crazy of a following, and if we put other shows in the post-SB slot, it probably won’t do too much for the show afterwards. Plus, most shows we like will have a decent following with The Voice preceding them later in the year (Mondays and Tuesdays). Community (Thursdays) doesn’t. So I put Community here. Plus (obviously, in hindsight), I’ll luck out because that delay doesn’t hurt me, since my show is only 30 minutes long. Get the boost, and there’s no way we go back down to 2 million an episode after showing it. Parks and Rec ain’t getting cancelled, but put it right after Community during primetime and we could see both of them rise up.
ABC: Any comedy minus The Neighbors
This is getting real concerning. All their comedies (minus Modern Family) is kind of…eh. The Middle, Suburgatory, Malibu Country, Last Man Standing, and Happy Endings are not performing up to par as of late. Don’t Trust the B is already out the door. ABC dramas are putting the team on their back this year, so it’s time to boost up the comedies again. Pick one, although I think Happy Endings is the closest single-camera Friends since…Friends. But it wouldn’t boost the Wednesday comedy line-up (since it’s on Tuesdays), so I’d understand putting The Middle or Suburgatory up there. Just don’t put Modern Family there. They’re already good. It may help the bottom line a tad since the show is the most expensive ad buy, but they don’t need the bump, and it won’t help the rest of the shows.
FOX: The Following
I guess that was a no-brainer. But seriously, no hotter show right now than that one. One could make the debate that the Tuesday comedies need to be revived. But Raising Hope is nearing the end of its storyline ideas (It’s funny, but realistically, how much more season do they have in them), New Girl is…well, not for everyone, and Ben and Kate (the most underrated series in my opinion) is out the door. The Mindy Project may work, but it probably would end up getting the Elementary effect.
If in some alternative universe in which CW has the money to get the rights to the Super Bowl, Arrow is right now their best option for the best demographics. Plus, since most of their shows are for girls barely below what’s considered key demographics, the Super Bowl (which has a low girls demographic already) may not be too effective. But Arrow could do it. Maybe. I could hear a debate for Supernatural, but it’s too old now (entering its 9th season). Perhaps if CW had the Puppy Bowl instead, they could premiere The Carrie Diaries. That’d be a fit.
This will happen one day, I’m sure, that a cable network will showcase the Super Bowl. And, of course, it’d be ESPN. But let’s be honest, they wouldn’t put anything else on afterwards: SportsCenter. Da-Da-Da, Da-Da-Da.
USA: Suits / Psych
This decision comes down, really, to what USA wants out of the Super Bowl. Psych is kind of the odd character out, compared to the rest of the programming. Most programming on USA is drama first, smart wit second, comedy third. Psych is comedy first, “smart” wit second, and drama third. Psych is the only “true” comedy on the network, so it depends here. If USA wants to flash the USA tradition of exemplary dramas: you turn to Suits. It’s the hottest show on the network right now (high ratings AND has people buzzing about it in the young key demos). Plus, it has enough fun and wit from all those amazing characters. But if USA wants to say, “hey, we know we have quality dramas, but we can be funny, too”, then Psych is the way (and kind of their only way) to go. Enough drama to get the USA-theme tacked in, but comedy for all ages to laugh about. Also, I think you’ll get a broader range of key demos. Suits will bring a young crowd, but that’s it. Psych will bring everyone, but you could get some older than 49. So, it just depends on what they want. My money, though, is on Suits. It’s younger (in its 2nd season), and it’ll be easier for people to get into. Psych is pretty established, and if people don’t understand the characters already, they could get lost.
HBO: Oh Boy… (The Newsroom)
Man, wouldn’t this be evil? Force people to PAY to watch the Super Bowl?
But I’m torn here. You have to remember, we have to think about average viewer, meaning that most viewers wouldn’t be able to handle too much gore or nudity. So even if you wanted to continue the whole “man-beating-up-man” connection with football and Game of Thrones, you couldn’t do it. Too much of both elements. Girls has a lot of sex and nudity too. Boardwalk Empire is the same way. But if I had a choice, I would choose The Newsroom. Yes, it’s kind of HBO’s weaker series. But it’s the safest bet, it’d be ridiculously talked about (controversy-wise, since it leans so left, I’m sure people would ask, “Wait, the guy who wrote The West Wing wrote this?”), and people would be intrigued by the multiple cast members. Veep comes really close, though. But it loses out because it’s not…really….”water cooler” material, at least for me.
TBS: Cougar Town
Honestly, I had to think about this. The rest of their original programming is…eh. So why not put a former broadcast network show on? Risky, but I think it’s all they have, assuming no person who has the power of the Super Bowl would ever want to broadcast a syndicated version of Big Bang Therory. But, mainly, I think that Bill Lawrence (the show’s EP) will make the show great. I mean, he did create Spin City and Scrubs AND wrote on Friends. So I think the guy can create some good television.
TNT: Monday Mornings
Seriously. Best hospital show since ER. No, seriously. So serious. Plus, having an Exec Producer like David E .Kelley would not only make the Super Bowl episode good, he would make it memorable.
AMC: Mad Men
Okay. I know what you’re thinking. But it’s a lot easier to convince viewers to watch advertising guys who smoke and have problems (Mad Men) than to convince viewers to watch people running away from zombies, with key characters dying left and right (The Walking Dead). Plus, while Walking Dead feels like it’s coming to a close eventually (how many storylines can continue here?), Mad Men is getting toward theirs too (with dignity), so it’d be a nice little push to get people on board before they close the doors completely.
FX: The League
I mean, you couldn’t set this up more perfectly. However, they have so many great programs, it’s hard! I’d put The Americans, Anger Management, Louie, and Always Sunny right there too. Maybe Archer. Sons of Anarchy and Justified isn’t for everyone, but I’d consider it. But to not put The League there?
Comedy Central: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart / A new comedy show
The Daily Show started the network’s success and it’s been amazing ever since. There is no Comedy Central without The Daily Show, so I think the show is more than deserving for this slot. But, that being said, I don’t think Comedy Central shows would provide for good, solid comedy for an average viewer to enjoy. So promote a new show. But my money’s on Daily Show. It’s the safer, and more popular, bet. And Jon Stewart would make for a fantastic set.
E!: Chelsea Lately
I mean, what else would you put here? And don’t say Ryan Seacrest. People will not want to watch E! News after a Super Bowl.
It’s (by far) the best scripted series on MTV. It’s not New Girl awkward…but it’s awkward. Guys and girls would like it, though I’d understand guys disliking the triangle romance. But they’d like the mom. Guys always like the mom. And the show’s funny. I know it’s MTV, but it’s actually really funny. No, seriously. You will. Yes, I know it’s MTV, but you’ll laugh. Seriously!
Disney Channel: Girl Meets World
Oh, come on! You know they would do this.
If you don’t know, if you ever watched ABC’s 90s classic Boy Meets World, Disney is making a spin-off series, with Cory (bottom left) and Topanga (mid-left) reprising their role as parents to a girl (who will be the subject of the show). So far, no Mr. Feeny (mid-right), Eric Matthews (top left), or Shawn Hunter (bottom right), but I’m sure they’d do something for the Super Bowl episode.
[Update: But since that’s too far into the future, the best show on Disney Channel right now is Shake It Up!]
Nickelodeon: All That Reunion
They would bring back everyone. Don’t lie. If it came back one last time, you wouldn’t watch this? Plus, guaranteed high key ratings. Those who watched during that era were 7-18, who are now 20-31. Perhaps if this was a year ago, I’d lay down iCarly or Victorious, but both series ended within the last 6 months.
ABC Family: Baby Daddy / Melissa and Joey
You choose one or the other.
1) Jean-Luc (top center) is retro ABC Family (Kyle XY), so it’d get the girls in. Chelsea Kane (bottom left) is slightly retro Disney (Jonas), so it’d get the college crowd (girls for Jonas, guys for…well, she is really pretty). Tahj Mowry (bottom right) will get people from retro Disney (Smart Guy, and notice the name synonymous to Tia and Tamera, retro ABC/Disney actresses from Sister, Sister). Melissa Peterman (top right) would get the older crowd from her previous show, Reba. Good demos all around. Plus, it’s pretty funny.
2) Melissa Joan Hart from retro Nickelodeon (Clarissa Explains it All/Sabrina the Teenage Witch) AND Joey Lawrence with retro Disney (Brotherly Love & at least 3 Disney Channel Original Movies with his brothers in the 90s). Plus, it’s funny (to other people than me).
Decisions, decisions. Why not play both? But then who’d lead in? Honestly, I’d go Baby Daddy. Unfortunately, that name by itself would have viewers run away uninterested.
Other Honorable mentions:
Starz: Da Vinci’s Demons
Showtime: (realistically) Inside the NFL
(Preferably): Homeland [but a family-friendly version]
A&E: The Glades
Syfy: Faceoff [I keep hearing how good it is, Warehouse 13 is old, and Eureka semi-recently ended. So…why not?]
OWN: Oprah’s Next Chapter [to explain the seriousness of NFL injuries; or talks to Adrian Peterson about his MVP season, overcoming injuries]
G4: They don’t want the Super Bowl right now. They’re transitioning to become a new channel called Esquire in a few months. Maybe next year.
History: Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy [I mean, what else would attract more people than this show for this network?]
Fuse: Billy on the Street [he's associated with Funny or Die, so he'd get views]
C-Span: Presidential Address [I mean, Obama would probably talk how great a job the SB did...and talk about alternative energy...you know...since the lights went out]
CNN: They don’t want the Super Bowl this year. But next year, it’ll be Rachel Nichols’-hosted sports show.
MSNBC/Fox News: They don’t want the Super Bowl. We don’t want the Super Bowl there. Win-win for everyone.
TeenNick: Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide / Drake & Josh / Zoey 101 Reunion [Because people would watch it without any hesitation...and nothing else looks appealing on this mainly-syndicated network]
ESPN Classic: Friday Night Lights [I mean, it’s sort of a classic now]
TVLand: White Shadow [classic show about a Bulls player’s career-ending injury landing him a basketball coaching job at a high school. The Friday-Night-Lights of basketball before Friday Night Lights]
CMT: Swamp Pond [new show, so it makes sense strategically]
Boomerang: Samurai Jack [the most promising show that ended way too soon a long time ago; plus it'd be great for following the Super Bowl]
Lifetime: The Client List [Jennifer Love Hewitt will get people watching it...since they didn't know where she was in the first place]
Discovery Channel: MythBusters [I dare you, I DARE you to program something else...and don't say Shark Week]
Spike TV: Slamball [bring that sport back on television right now, was previously on when the channel was known as TNN]
BET: Reed Between the Lines [I mean, it'd get people who miss Theo Huxtable-eh, i mean, Malcolm-Jamal Warner]
NFL Network: NFL Films Presents [wouldn’t it be cool if they instantly broadcasted an NFL Films Presents piece about the very Super Bowl winning team you watched almost 20 minutes after it ended? That’d be awesome…but highly unrealistic.]
Other networks I forgot?