After reading this thread and thinking about Babylon 5 and other sci-fi shows in this other thread, and realized that there seems to be some real head-scratcher decisions being made with regard to television programming in terms of what is shown, when it’s shown and how often.
Part of me wants to believe that they have a huge database of viewer information, and use sophisticated data mining techniques and statistical modeling programs to optimize the channel’s lineup for maximum advertising revenue, and that the seemingly strange programming decisions we see sometimes are a consequence of that.
The cynical part of me thinks that there are a bunch of Hummer-driving douchebags with slicked-back hair and serious tans in March in a room somewhere deciding where shows should go based on faulty logic and bandwagon thinking.
I mean, counterprogramming seems like a somewhat retarded idea to me- too frequently they take a good show that’s doing halfway decently against some behemoth on another network, and move it to the TV horse latitudes where it is becalmed until they cancel it, so they can show some idiotic reality show opposite the behemoth in hopes of stealing some of the other network’s thunder.
It’s almost like they don’t understand market segmentation that well, or the advertisers’ market segmentation is totally driving everything (which is cart-before-the-horse, IMO).
Then, you have network “execs” deciding that a show needs things… despite whoever the writers / visionaries are probably knowing their audience better than these chumps do. (see Babylon 5 & Firefly for examples). I sort of doubt that some suited goon at Fox really knew what was better for Firefly than Whedon did.
Is this the case, or am I just ignorant about how this works?