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28 Septembre 2020

NBC Execs Offer Postmortems for 'Dreams,' 'Jury'
Publié par Daniel Fienberg dans Zap2It le 16/05/05.

When you've fallen from first place to fourth as quickly as NBC has, there will inevitably be casualties. Discussing the new fall schedule with reporters on Monday (May 16), NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly and NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker took some time to mourn the passing of several beloved and high profile failures.

Perhaps no show departing the airwaves will be as mourned by its fans as "American Dreams." Unfortunately, after three seasons of good faith from NBC, "Dreams" was only averaging 7.3 million viewers, an audience that didn't improve when the network temporarily moved it from Sunday to Wednesday. Even though Zucker was one of the period drama's most outspoken supporters, there just wasn't room for "Dreams" on a network trying to change directions.

"It just becomes, unfortunately, the contradiction of America, I guess," Reilly says. "People say they want quality, family-friendly shows at 8:00 and yet you put them on and what they really want to watch is 'Desperate Housewives.' Ultimately, we are in a business here. We love the show... It just was not pulling the ratings to really justify the cost of the show or to justify another year on the schedule."

As badly as "American Dreams" performed on Sundays, the heavily hyped "The Contender" drew an even smaller audience (which explains why NBC has transplanted Emmy-winning institution "The West Wing" to Sundays next fall). The boxing series, from industry heavyweights Mark Burnett and Jeffrey Katzenberg, weathered numerous delays and the tragic death of one of its contestants, but it was probably just knocked out by its subject matter.

"I think that at the end of the day, it was about boxing and that was a pretty high bar to get over," Zucker says.

Although its weekly audience has been sub-"Dreams," "The Contender" delivered stronger demographic numbers than its time slot predecessor and also produced a fervent base of young, male viewers.

"I think it was a damn good show," Reilly says. "I think they delivered on the show they pitched and the fans that watched it were very passionate about it and thought it was fantastic. I make no apologies for the quality of the show."

Another NBC show that wilted under the weight of high expectations was "Law & Order: Trial by Jury," the fourth permutation in the reliable Dick Wolf franchise. Averaging 11.2 million viewers in a slow Friday time period, "Trial by Jury" was one of the network's most surprisingly cancellations, but its departure reflects on the network's diminished status.

"'Law & Order: Trial By Jury' was ordered last year while we were still the No. 1 network," Reilly explains. "In that kind of environment, it felt like we could sustain four 'Law & Orders.' This spring, we find ourselves in a different situation and it really looked like we needed to open up some more time periods for some new shows."

Readers will have to check back next May to see if those new shows -- including "Inconceivable" and "Fathom" -- have fared any better.

Article issu de Zap2It et
initialement publié le 16/05/05.

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