This morning I was reading over the season average ratings for the networks. I noticed that UPN’s top-rated show (America’s Next Top Model) and WB’s top-rated show (Gilmore Girls) were still in the 80’s, and fell below ALL of CBS/Fox/ABC/NBC’s programs, with the exception of a couple of shows that were doomed from the beginning (did ANYONE watch Jonny Zero?). It makes me wonder a couple of things, like is the reason that UPN & WB are having such low ratings because most Americans have still not accepted them as legitamite networks, and refuse to watch anything that they broadcast? I remember it was like this with Fox for the first couple of years, and it wasn’t until they began broadcasting football that most people I knew, aside from the other Married with Children and Simpsons fans, began watching that channel at all. Not because there wasn’t anything worth watching, but because they wouldn’t take it seriously, accusing it of “trying to compete with the big 3”. Almost 20 years down the road, Fox now has the #1 and #3 highest rated shows on the air! What are WB and UPN doing wrong?
I don’t have cable, so I don’t get those channels terribly well. (Fox either, so I rarely watch anything on Fox.)
Believe it or not, there are still a few of us luddites huddling in our caves out here…
Their programming appears to be a bit more niche-oriented than the big 4. They aren’t exactly aiming for my demographic (the viagara and bran nuts crowd). Lack of a big time sports contract and a mega hit television show is going to keep them below most people’s radar.
They don’t have programming every day and they aren’t carried in every area. That might be enough to doom them right now.
Fox didn’t have programming every day, nor was it carried in every area, when it started up, and Fox seems to be doing all right for itself. Which isn’t to say that lack of programming and limited viewing area aren’t problems, but they aren’t insurmountable.
Not insurmountable, no. But it seems like it’s only very recently that Fox caught up, and there weren’t even as many options then as now.
I’d wager that Fox benefitted from being first to the new network game. They generally ended up on the strongest, most-watched independent station in each TV market. The WB and UPN tend to be on stations that are barely on the air, both in terms of signal quality and budget.
Fox had a distinctive brand and sense of identity right from the start, and it launched unusual new programming aggressively.
Fox also threw a lot of money at the network, while Paramount and Warner Brothers stepped in a little more timidly.
I would watch some UPN shows, but it’s not shown where I live. And while we do get WB, it’s on a Fox/WB channel, so the WB shows come on after the Fox shows. And while I am perfectly happy to watch Gilmore Girls at 9:00 instead of 7:00, I’m sure it throws other people off.
So I would definitely agree that a big thing that is hurting them is not being carried everywhere.
Most of their programming seems to ba aimed at the younger and lower-end demographics. The sitcoms are so cliched and predictable that they are not worth watching.
Some of them with an “urban” setting are so bad they are borderline racist in my opinion.
Me and Twicks are two peas in a pod: no cable, no plans to get any (once in a while the thought flitters across my mind), and poor reception. I get UPN and WB, but only when they showing Seinfeld reruns do I even consider watching.
Of course FOX is now close to 20 years old. I don’t think that WB and UPN are more than 10.
I do want to plug one show on UPN. “Veronica Mars” is super.
Next season it’ll be up against “Lost.” sob
Please tell me Lost is moving to Tuesdays, and VM isn’t moving to Wednesdays.
Wish I could, but no. Both will be on Wednesdays at 9.
Damn UPN. Damn UPN to hell. VM is the only UPN show I watch, and I have a standing engagement on Wednesday nights which dates back over a decade. If they were both on Tuesdays I could watch one and tape the other. What the hell are they thinking? Lost is one of the two biggest shows from ABC this past season. Do they really think VM is going to survive up against it? Fuckers.
I read this and thought “Well, that’s gotta be the last word in get up and go” but I decided not to say it out loud…
I’ll bet that’s true and that makes a heck of a lot of difference. What percent of the TV market is still based on over-the-air broacasting? If it is still 10-20%, and the WB/UPN stations are usually UHF stations with bad reception then that might account for large bit of the ratings disparity right there, I’m guessing.
(TMI: I watch “Half& Half” on UPN on Mondays at 9:30 just because I’ve got the hots for Rachel True, but that’s just me. )
Thanks for sharing.
I honestly don’t know what they’re thinking.
I’d choose VM over Lost, but I’m not precisely normal.
I’m still hoping they blink. It’s a possibility, right?