Remember When?

Remember when you just watched television and movies? Maybe this is just an LA thing that happens, but at some point, I stopped being just a viewer and became an analyst (hazards of my day job, maybe?). Now I know the ratings. I know the demographics. I know if a TV show has won its time slot. I know the box office for movies. I know what a movie needs to make in order to be considered a success, and I know what their advertising budget is going to be based on their production budget—which somehow I also know.

Is that just living here? Is that an example of LA industry-based osmosis? Do you guys do this, too?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t make me any better at guessing what networks are going to do, or what movie ideas will sell (and conversely, which ones won’t). For instance, I don’t really understand CW’s seeming disinterest in picking up Moonlight. Obviously, I’m a recent fan of the show, so there is a bias there, but I don’t get how CW doesn’t benefit. Even if only half of Moonlight’s CBS fanbase migrates to the CW, they’ll outscore all of the CW’s current shows. It’s not like they don’t do genre programming.

What really worries me is the persistent rumor that the reason CW doesn’t want any portion of the 7.5/8 million Moonlight viewers is that the fanbase is too old—that the lead (at 31 years of age) is too old. It’s not that I don’t comprehend wanting to build a tween/teen network—Nickelodeon has done the even younger demographics for years. But I don’t understand not wanting to grow your network beyond a certain age range. If you only market to 12-22 year olds, then what happens when your current viewers age? I guess they don’t care about holding on to them, and assume they’ll pick up the kids entering their age range.

So, they are targeting tween/teens, and a 31 year old male isn’t appealing? Let’s forget for a second that when I was in my mid-teens I was absolutely head over heels in school girl infatuation for Pierce Brosnan’s Remington Steele and Richard Chamberlain’s Father Ralph. What about Alex’s primary co-stars who are all under the age of 30?

As you know, I love Gossip Girl. It is just a little horrifying to realize that they aren’t in their mid-30’s, but actually portraying school age kids. And now the new 90210 2.0 is coming out, and from the early photos/info it is going to be every bit as sexualized. As much as I want to once again yell out “Donna Martin Graduates,” the whole movement is starting to make me cringe. Perhaps the reason that they haven’t picked up Moonlight isn’t because the lead and the fanbase are too old, but rather the series itself is too chaste: not a lot of drug use, very little naked-time, and no random let’s-try-being-a-lesbian-for-a-week scenes. If it helps at all, I’m perfectly willing to sit through a few nearly naked Mick and Beth sex scenes. No really… I’m a giver that way.

At any rate, let’s hope the Sci-Fi Channel decides that they would like a several million more people watching their programming and that the licensing fees aren’t too high for the show. And if you are a spirited fan who wants to get involved in the Moonlight campaign, head over to for information on how you can help keep the “old folks” employed.



4 comments on “Remember When?”

  1. danielletbd

    Actually (especially with the CW), they hope to rope them in as a teenager and keep them through the reign of the show, which is why they let the shows go on for so much longer than they’re still good, like “Gilmore Girls,” or why they choose to flash forward, like with “One Tree Hill.” They know taste changes dramatically between the ages of 15 and 25, for example, but if they can keep you for a good seven or eight years and then start over with a new show, they figure maybe you’ll stick around and watch the new stuff anyway. I have 30+ year old friends who started up with “Gossip Girl” because “Veronica Mars” wasn’t on anymore. I’m sure they’re betting on the same thing with the new “90210.”

  2. Helen

    I love Moonlight and hope someone will pick it up! How does anyone NOT love Alex O’Loughlin? I remember hating Fox for so long when they used to pull the plug on new shows after like two episodes. I don’t know if it is a factor of living in LA or just because my shows are always the ones getting canceled, but I’m very aware of the numbers…and what I really want to know is who are these freaking Nielsen families anyway? I’ve never met one. Do they even exist or is it just some lunatic with a Ouija board and a Magic 8 Ball telling the networks what to do? Actually I’m pretty sure the lunatic would do a better job.

  3. Kate, Dating in LA

    danielletbd–Those Veronica Mars fans should have been watching Jason on Moonlight! 🙂 I saw something today from MRC that specifically mentioned not picking up Moonlight because they wanted to grow their own (essentially).

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