I watch Friends and happen to like it. I enjoyed the first Survivor immensely even though I didn’t start watching until seventh episode and find the second one just as riveting. And it just so happens that my family has two VCRs, each hooked up to a TV (for some, it’s luxury automobiles or dream vacations; for us, it’s home electronics), so both shows being shown at the same time isn’t a concern for me. For anyone else who wants to watch both but isn’t able to, there’s a problem.
I remember Fox “challenging” The Cosby Show with The Simpsons way back. Of course, The Simpsons was just getting revved up and Cosby was already on its way out, but it still generated quite a bit of buzz. There was actually a good reason for the move; Fox was still fairly new, and they wanted something that would generate a lot of publicity for them, preferably involving their flagship program.
CBS is not in this position or anything like it, and I find this ludicrious peeing contest just plain irritating.
What’s the point? Both shows are proven hits. Whatever meager reward CBS could gain from this move (assuming there’s any at all) should be far more than offset by lost viewership and resentment from viewers who do not have blind network loyalty. In my experience, most Americans despise having to choose between two good things. We really want it all. And judging from our reaction to the recent postelection tug-of-war and nearly every pro sports labor dispute, we’re not big fans of stupid, useless, pointless, asinine challenges, either.
Am I missing something? Is there a tiny chance that CBS is actaully going to gain something out of this?