We Are Now Taking Your Midseason Questions for the TV.com Mailbag

Hey there, how's it going? As a collective TV-viewing society, we survived the end-of-the-year madness, only to be welcomed by so many new shows here in early 2014. With the new year and the new glut of television upon us, we wanted to put out the call for questions, theories, comments, and more for the next edition of the TV.com mailbag. (Here's the previous one, from last fall, if you need a refresher). There are a number of ways to get your queries to us: You can send 'em via email (tvdotcom.mailbag@gmail.com), you can leave them here in the comments, you can tweet at me (@corybarker), or you can tweet the official TV.com account (@tvdotcom). 

Basically, if you have something burning (TV-related, of course; if you have something burning elsewhere, call your physician) that you'd like to discuss, hit me. Or, if you followed our coverage of the Television Critics Association Press Tour and have follow-up thoughts, that's fair game as well. Pretty much any topic having to do with the boob tube is on the table, from pilot development to the industry in general to ratings to— well, you get the idea. Ask away!


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Staff
QUICK, CORY: I NEED OPINIONS ABOUT CBS GETTING 8 WEEKS OF THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.
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Does NBC truly get anything valuable out of airing the Winter Olympics that isn't offset by the losses from losing audience momentum while not airing their regular series?
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They should merge the two together. I would watch a curling match between the casts of Community and Parks & Rec.
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Thanks for all the questions folks! Keep them coming. If you could, I'd love more questions about TV and the industry, not just about TV.com internal protocols. Those are great too, but those answers won't be that interesting!
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Why did you decide to quit reviewing Being Human, Big Bang Theory, and Psych when you are still reviewing dying shows (How I met your Mother) and shows like Revolution?
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Wow. I totally missed Mailbag #1. I don't know how that happened, since I check tv.com about 100 times a day. I'll try to think of another good question. Although I'm pretty sure I submitted 2 or 3 last time. Will you be going through the leftovers?
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Most likely yeah! I've kept them all.
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Also, why is Hannibal not getting any love from the critics and during awards season? Its amazing!!!
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Why do network television series follow the format of 20-24 episodes? I ask because I find that while the premise of some network series are really great (i.e. Revenge, White Collar, POI), by the 10-11th episode it starts to lose its momentum and direction (re-revenge, particularly season 2). Is there some kind of regulation that its following? Then you have programs like Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime and Hannibal that only last 13 episodes, so just curious what governs the number of episodes for any given TV show.
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Mike Kelley, you remember the creator of 'Revenge' ? He kept asking ABC the same question, why not just let me do 12 episode seasons? He asked once too many and ABC fired him. These imbeciles that are only good at shi!!y reality shows and selling Disney/Marvel (they can't even do that on the network) thought they were smarter. The first season numbers made them very greedy because they had been getting their ass completely handed to them on Sundays for a long time by CBS. Look at the 10pm Sunday slot of death. Lesson to be learned: Canning your creator and not listening to what he was saying and why he was saying it because of some stupid self imposed rule isn't very smart and nobody at ABC is looking very smart now a days anyway. All of their new shows bombed this year and they spent a lot of money, just like last year. Everyone else got at least 1 hit. If they cancel 'S.H.I.E.L.D.', which if it was any other show on this or any other network would already have been, heads are gonna be rolling. Its numbers are completely laughable.

Networks have just started breaking the 22-24 episode model for most dramas. Its because cable shows are starting to catch them and hurt their ratings and people are starting to see the storytelling improves.
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yeahh the rate audiences are veering towards cable shows should really make the networks sit up and take notice that some things have to change. Can't imagine how much better 'Revenge' would have been on a 12-ep format, a lot less superfluous arcs and characters that's for sure. A real shame.
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We'll never know. 'Revenge' just died after he left. Ratings have as well. How could 'somebody else' do a better job with his show in its infancy? . (He should do a show with Frank Darabont.) Kelley got screwed over by two networks with the two shows he created - both which had stellar first seasons in terms of leaving the viewer with the desire to return - "Swingtown" (12 episode summer show when CBS started kicking the idea around, leading to the pile of excrement that is 'Under the Dome' ) and "Revenge" - one got canceled, cause it didn't have enough murders in it for a CBS drama I assume (still bitter) , the other has just canceled itself since they fired Kelley.
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hahahaha!!! in the end television will just be dictated by the cable networks!
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How do you guys decide on a show that will get a weekly review? What happens if the said person to write the review stops liking the show all together?
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This is the question that has been on my mind for the longest time. It seems the popularity of the show has something to do with it and they judged that by looking at the comments section.

However some shows like Scandal had lots of comments and it is obviously popular but no review. Some then speculated because it was on ABC and yet True Detective which is on HBO gets reviews.

Its quite confusing and I suspect it is a question that the editors probably would not like to answer. If you do get an answer, please let me know.

I also would like to know how they chose who to review. Just like many readers here, I would very much prefer someone who actually enjoyed the show to review it. I am lucky The Good Wife gets review this season and Noel is doing it !
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They make them write it anyway. (see: Revenge)
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The Bones writers just made the really odd (in my opinion) decision to give the intern Wendell a rare form of cancer. Did I miss something? Is the actor leaving the show? That plotline just seemed to come out of nowhere; I thought maybe it was based on outside situations.
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I like wendell, i don't like the story
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Unless he's got another gig, I'm betting on them pulling a Grey's Anatomy and him making a miraculous recovery a la Katherine Heigl.
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Well, it is called "bones", so they weren't likely to give him brain cancer.
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How are the "trending shows" decided on the homepage of tv.com? I see Macguyver has been trending for weeks now, but when I go the page, I see no new, reviews or comments of forum posts since 2012. What gives?

Are Nielsen ratings still considered the Gold standard for determining a shows popularity? And therefore chances of survival? What's the explanation for the extreme drop in numbers of viewers from 10-15 years ago? Are we really to believe that less people are watching tv? Or is something off?
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As far as I can tell the Nielsens ratings are still the industry standard for determining advertising rates for shows and in effect the chances of survival for network shows.

I don't think the drop in numbers from 10-15 years ago is due to less people watching TV. Its with the arrival of the internet (online viewing/streaming) and the DVR (delayed viewing up to weeks or even months) and the abundance of cable channels (HBO, FX, USA, Sundance, AMC, Cinemax, NatGeo, ESPN). All of which bite into the number of total people who watch stuff live on the networks (which the Nielsens ratings measure).
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I've wondered the same thing!
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Do you know when ION will broadcast the Canadian series "The Listener"? (They have the rights to air the series in the U.S.) I'm impatiently looking forward to seeing more of the show (NBC tried to air the series before but canceled it during the first season). Thanks!
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I was wondering the same thing I'm hooked on this show and would love to see how they move forward from the last season
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Let's hope ION starts broadcasting the show soon! :)
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After years of shooting themselves in the foot with new series that fail to grab audiences, Fox recently stated they're eschewing the studio system notion of "pilot season" in favor of year-round development, with network honcho Kevin Reilly stating that Fox "couldn't do any worse" using the existing system. While a lot of cash is wasted on pilot season each year with shows that go nowhere and others that barely make it out of the gate before stumbling and having to be put down, Reilly likens this plan to the way top-tier cable networks develop their own series, but is that realistic of a broadcast network in this day and age where the cable business model is so much more niche than broadcast? And if Fox somehow survives with this plan past the first year, will other broadcast networks copy the idea or stick with their old-school approach?
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How important do you think is TV imaging these days? I mean TV imaging as the jingles and voice-overs and visual language of the bumps, that sort of thing that is often found in radio imaging. It seems like some networks take their imaging fairly seriously and use consistency, while others seem to wing it or even avoid it altogether in favor of the general flavor of their programming and logo. NBC's imaging, for example, they use the peacock and the chimes in a whimsical manner, and the "serious guy" voice overs for their dramas, do you think this sort of TV imaging can help - or even harm - a network in the eyes of its audience in this day and age?
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Have you heard whether "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" and "Almost Human" have been renewed for a second season, yet? I hope they'll both get another season. Thanks for your time and your help.
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Both are deserving but I can see your side. I like both
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Agents of Shield doesn't deserve a 2nd year. Almost Human does.
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i see it the other way around ;-) so give them both a second season!
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Can NBC get their act together post Olympics?
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Staff

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That screencap is shockingly prescient.
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"No" is probably too short, huh? ;-)
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Why do television networks still rely on such mediocre marketing? Bus benches with pictures of a show's star is generally the norm now, and not much else. Posters are a lost art, trailers are becoming a lost art, and actually figuring out ways to tell your audience what your show is and when it's on definitely seems to be a lost art. ABC and NBC are shockingly guilty of this, ABC's already quick-canceled several shows this month (January '14) that folks probably might have tuned into had they known they were there. So why can't they get their marketing together?
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Huh huh, "sack".

He said "bag", asswipe.

No way! Oh, uh... yeah he did. Uh huh huh huh huh, "bag".

So the question is, why did MTV toy with a single new season of Beavis & Butt-head then leave it under-marketed and banished to a bad timeslot, leaving it to wither and die? It was pretty good (minus the recycled, non-HD animation during the videos) and has cross-generational brand recognition, not to mention a '90s take on modern times that holds up surprisingly well.
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I wondered much the same about the recent revamp of Thundercats, and to a lesser degree the Tron: Uprising cartoon.
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Those two were tragically easier: Cartoon Network is entirely inept at marketing and believes adventure shows cannot draw diverse audiences so they bury them and move them and show no faith, while Disney XD simply doesn't have the clout to actually draw an audience. You could ask about Young Justice and even Green Lantern and Beware the Batman as well, it's always the same problem: adventure shows that execs see as "boy" shows always tank lately because of no faith by network management, sometimes because the product tie-ins don't work (generally the fault of the product, not the show).

The difference from Beavis & Butt-head is that it wasn't meant to be a more expensive production that might sell products. But all those shows deserve answers, I just thought B&BH might be a more interesting conversation since it doesn't have a built-in audience and isn't marketing to kids.
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That, and it came out at a time when Mtv was having quite a few successes with shows that weren't reality-based, too!
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Staff
1. Norwegian "Slow TV" is gradually making its way stateside. Thoughts?
2. Twitter has become the perfect companion for live TV watching. Users give instant feedback and participate in live polls. Will it only get more annoying? Too many programs are using it as a crutch.
3. Does the "show-runner" (executive producer) get too much blame when a show bombs? Or way too much praise when it succeeds? Seems like this is now the sexiest job to Hollywood.
4. Will you welcome our Netflix overlords? They are winning every major award and seem to have recovered from their Qwikster/Price Hike debacle. Certainly there is room for criticism.
5. Physical Media vs Digital Locker: Is buying DVDs a waste of time/money/plastic?
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Tweeting about a show while it's on strikes me as a nearly perfect way to miss out on important things being shown and said on the set while the drivel is being typed. Brains simply can't do two intensive, attention-demanding tasks simultaneously.
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Does tweeting take away eyeball time from commercials? Are the networks shooting themselves in the feet by asking their audience to tweet about their shows and hoping the audience will wait for a break, only to lower viewership in the ads that sponsor their shows? Does Nielsen track this yet, and if not, will Cory?
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So... many... opinions!!! Must... curb... responses!
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(digital is only purchasing a license and all end-user licenses can be cancelled at any time by the licensor, while purchasing physical media is legal ownership of a copy that cannot be taken away or kept from being shared or copied for legal use!) Sorry, couldn't help myself.
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