Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 21, 2012/ 1 Tamuz, 5772

TV networks have some explaining to do

By Barry Koltnow




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) An open letter to the people in charge of programming for the major television networks from the people who watch that programming.

To whom it may concern: You stink.

Would you like a second opinion? OK, you really stink.

In fact, I am so incensed right now that I would like to inform you that you have been the object of an obscene gesture.

What could possibly have drawn such ire? What could have turned a passive viewer like me into an angry protester?

It was the announcement of the fall TV schedule, of course.

Each year, I must suffer through a betrayal at the hands of the bottom-line executives who run the networks. These people wouldn't recognize a broken promise if it slapped them across the face.

New dramas are introduced for the coming fall TV schedule that have interesting hooks or storylines. It could be the one-armed man that Richard Kimble is chasing in "The Fugitive," or the mysterious time-travel situation on "Alcatraz."

When a network puts that show on the schedule, there is an implicit agreement to deliver an ending to the viewers. The only thing that is not implied is a full seven-year run. Some shows last longer than others, but that doesn't absolve the network of its responsibility to the viewers it suckered into watching its show.

If you set up an unresolved plot device, you should be obligated to complete the story and answer all the questions you raised before you take the show off the air.

This wasn't as big a problem in the past, when networks gave new shows more time to find an audience. These days, if a show doesn't produce acceptable ratings immediately, it is in danger of being canceled.

Canceling a show, and putting hundreds of people out of work, is done without conscience by network executives. It is no different than any other business, in that respect.

But I maintain that a television show is different because it involves public airwaves. If you produce a show with a built-in mystery, and then cancel the show before the resolution of that mystery, the network has perpetrated a fraud on the viewing public.

Even worse is how this practice has changed the viewing habits of the television audience. Many experienced TV watchers understand how the medium works. We know to keep an eye on the weekly ratings. If a new show is having some difficulty in drawing big numbers, it is an easy leap in logic to assume that the show is doomed. As a result, we stop watching. Why get invested emotionally in a new show when you know it's going to be canceled?

Do you understand how insidious this is? It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The ratings are low, so we stop watching. We stop watching, so the network cancels the show.

But if there were some sort of penalty for premature cancellations, such as a seven-figure fine, it might be a deterrent from early withdrawal from the schedule.

Here are a few current examples of shows that have been yanked from the fall schedule. They should not have been canceled without first answering the questions raised in the series premieres. It's only right. The same executives who worry about declining audiences then go out of their way to turn off the very audiences they covet so much.

1. "Alcatraz" — Huh? Would you like to explain how all the inmates and guards disappeared from the prison in 1963, only to reappear in present-day San Francisco without any knowledge of how it was done? I'm starting to suspect that the show's creators set up a scenario that they couldn't resolve. Perhaps they thought they had seven years to come up with an explanation for their premise? If that is the case, I apologize to the network.

2. "Awake" — OK, which is the real reality? Is it the one in which his wife is alive, or the one in which he still has his son? Do I have to assume that he was really in a coma all along, and that both the wife and son are dead? I have no choice but to make assumptions.

3. "Missing" — I'm surprised that a movie star of Ashley Judd's standing could be enticed to do a TV series without a promise to keep it on the air for several seasons. They even made her a producer. Was she a producer in name only?

4. "The River" — Well, I guess we'll never know what happened to that guy on the earlier trip down that scary river. Thanks a lot.

5. "Unforgettable" — I wonder what really went on in her childhood. The star of the show was incapable of forgetting anything, but the people who ran that network apparently forgot the obligation to their viewers. I think I feel another obscene gesture coming on.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Comment on Barry Koltnow's column by clicking here.


Previously:

The night Johnny Depp made me a star
Summer movies: the dark horses
Lindsay, Ashton, Kim --- are they kidding?
Readers pick their favorite baseball movies
Our 10 favorite baseball movies
The most over-hyped movies of 2012
The 10 worst best pictures ever
The greatest Oscar acceptance speech NEVER given
The worst biopics ... ever
20 celebrity questions that must be answered in 2012
The Golden Globes are meaningless
The 10 Most Annoying Celebrities of 2011
The funniest comedy teams
Fake celebrities ignite real controversy
Hollywood: Stop spoiling our movies
Mob expert reveals his favorite gangster flicks
Good riddance, Harry Potter
The coolest car movies ever made
Our favorite teacher movies
Are women funny?
Our special snarky summer movie guide
The 10 most pressing show biz questions
Readers weigh in on the royal wedding
The royal wedding: I don't get it
Readers reach verdict on lawyer column
Our favorite lawyer movies ever
Readers pick their worst Oscar winners
The 10 worst best pictures ever
25 hit-man movies to die for
The 10 greatest sidekicks ever
The 10 biggest celebrity missteps of 2010
Who's cooler than Steve McQueen? (Answer: nobody)
The best revenge movies ever
The good old days, when celebrities weren't train wrecks
Making sport of celebrities
Youth will be served? Don't give me that trash!
A celebrity answer is no answer at all
Caution: geniuses at work



© 2010, The Orange County Register; Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles