See, this is why The Peacock is a fourth-place network and why you will be purchased by the Sheinhardt Wig Company someday. Two of the most acclaimed shows in what passes for your stable these days (since you own the Sci Fi Network, too), Friday Night Lights and Battlestar Galactica, return with new seasons tonight. You also have new episodes of successful shows on another of your cable arms, the USA Network. So what do you do to profit from all of this corporate synergy? You make it impossible for viewers to sample all of your products in a timely fashion by scheduling things in such a way that all of your shiny new toys overlap.
People who live on the East or West Coasts have it best, since they can watch Friday Night Lights at 9 and then switch over to catch the first showing of Battlestar at 10. Of course, this means they can’t catch new episodes of Monk or Psych until midnight and 1am, respectively. And since people on the coasts are apparently all young and hip and beautiful, don’t you think they’ll be out at fancy nightclubs by then? You may have a fair question as to whether people who go to fancy nightclubs watch Monk, I’ll give you that. However, with everyone who ever loved The West Wing wanting to tune in to see Bradley Whitford get his bicycle stolen, you get some additional complications. But some of don’t live in New York or Los Angeles, and as a result apparently don’t exist. For us, the initial showings of Friday Night Lights and Battlestar Galactica are at exactly the same time. We could watch Battlestar at 10, but that overlaps with the new Psych. So we could watch Psych‘s initial showing and see Battlestar Galactica at 7 Saturday morning. Monk? Guess we’ll catch that Saturday night, nearly 24 hours late for a Brad Whitford sighting.
Contrary to the Panthers’ pictured glee, that does not make us feel triumphant. I’m not sure if television has a new car smell, but some of the charm of TV is the way it is a shared experience, and if a chunk of viewers has to wait to watch until the new episode smell wears off, that removes them from the discussion and dulls the experience for them. I guess the schedule means we’ll eventually get to see everything, and we appreciate repeat showings that let us do that, we really do. And we appreciate additional platforms that let us catch episodes if we do miss them on TV, we really do. And I really appreciate the TiVo that helps keep track of all this and keeps things moving. But I WANT TO GIVE YOU MY MONEY, and you make it hard for me to hand it to you. Friend O’ Bacon Brayden joins the chorus of DirectTV viewers claiming the new FNL epsiodes are wonderful, and I’m dying to see the end of the Battlestar saga, so I’m willing to work pretty hard to hand you my money. But it seems very strange that you want to make consumers work to hand you their money. the fact that you don’t seem to want to take my money might explain why you’re in a position where you can’t afford to put scripted fare on NBC in either the first or third hour of programming and have handed the keys over to Howie Mandel and Jay Leno.
So enjoy your wigs–I guess I’ll be frying up some bacon for the Bacon at 6:45 tomorrow morning, because I’ll bet Battlestar is going to be great. Good luck tuning in, everyone!