The Coast-to-Coast Kiss of Death


Thanks to attractive tax incentives and high-quality studio facilities, New York is now host to a record-breaking 23 primetime TV shows–everything from returning favorites like NBC’s 30 Rock and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire to new kids on the block like ABC’s Pan Am and NBC’s Smash.

NYC is also a trusty go-to if you’re looking to inject some fun and energy into an existing show that perhaps is struggling to keep things fresh. The most obvious recent example of that would be Curb Your Enthusiasm, which has transposed Larry David and the gang to the Big Apple in its 8th season, and Glee, which set its season finale there.

But neither show is switching coasts permanently–a decision that can be the kiss of death, regardless of which direction you’re going. Consider these previous failed transplants:

Ugly Betty

This NYC-based show actually shot its pilot in New York, but seasons one and two were shot on sound stages in L.A. When the show moved to New York in season three in order to take advantage of tax incentives and offer the opportunity for more location shooting, ratings immediately began to dip. The show never recovered, and was cancelled the following season.

Conan O’Brien

By now, there is no man, woman or child who doesn’t know The Ballad of Conan O’Brien. Successful, college-favorite very-late-night talk-show host is promised the ultimate post–The Tonight Show–years earlier. He brings his entire production from NYC to L.A., the network moves his predecessor to 10 p.m., and both shows prove to be ratings kryptonite. Conan is asked to move back to 12:30 a.m., and quits in a face-saving (and very lucrative) move. There’s still another stanza to come–the one where he meets his maker at the TBS Corral–but one theme is constant: L.A. and Conan are not the greatest combination.

All My Children

From 1970 to 2009, ABC’s All My Children taped in New York City. But in December of 2009, the show relocated to L.A. Ratings declined steadily, and ABC announced the show would be cancelled on April 14, 2011, after 41 years on air. The show was sold to a third party, who plan to continue it in webisode form online. It will be replaced by food-based talk show The Chew this September.

The Tyra Banks Show

The dippy America’s Next Top Model star’s talk show started in L.A. in 2005, but two years later relocated to New York, where it filmed in the same studio that once was home to Ricky Lake's chatter. The move seemed to actually help for a while–it won a 2008 Emmy (!) for “Outstanding Talk Show Informative”–but a move from syndication to The CW proved its death knell. It was cancelled in 2010, in its fifth season.

Which coast do you prefer your television filmed on?

Like on Facebook