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YouTube Revives Failed Sitcom Pilot 128

Vary Krishna writes ""Nobody's Watching", a pilot made for last year's upfronts that was never picked up, is being put back into development by NBC after gaining attention on YouTube. From the ZapTV article: "I love the spirit of the experimentation," NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly says. "And I think if we can actually have something find an audience on the web, gravitate over to the network, continue with a web presence and have them feed each other, that could end up being a really cool thing." Where was this guy last year?"
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YouTube Revives Failed Sitcom Pilot

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  • SBTBTCY (Score:5, Funny)

    by crazyjeremy ( 857410 ) * on Saturday July 22, 2006 @12:22AM (#15761933) Homepage Journal
    Hopefully this same tactic will also revive the highly acclaimed but cancelled "Saved by the Bell: The College Years"... and Baywatch Nights.
    • I think that's screech's [getdshirts.com] last hope.
    • Joking aside, there are a few shows that have fizzled due to poor timing more than anything else. Slashdot should run a poll on what pilot or short-run show should be revived. There was a family comedy/drama of sorts called "The Days", and of course what ever happened to "Sports Night"? And, of course, "Firefly". Oh, for more Firefly...
    • But that show had the best. line. ever.

      You thawed Vikings frozen in a glacier? You fools, when will science learn!

      Said Vikings proceed to run Amok(tm).
    • I'm still waiting for Fox Force Five to become a reality. "Fox because we're a bunch of foxes, Five because there's five of us, and Force because we're a force to be reckoned with!"

  • by Umbral Blot ( 737704 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @12:25AM (#15761937) Homepage
    When YouTube revives Firefly maybe then I'll have some respect for it. You hear me YoutTube? Sitcoms don't cut it, we need our Firefly!
  • Perhaps... (Score:5, Funny)

    by SCPRedMage ( 838040 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @12:29AM (#15761947)
    ...the execs finally realized that "Nobody's Watching" is the title and not the ratings?
  • Missing something? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheFlamingoKing ( 603674 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @12:30AM (#15761948)
    I think what this dude is forgetting is that I can watch YouTube at 4:30 am Friday or 12:23pm Monday, it doesn't matter to the internet.

    NBC wants to revive the show, put it on some usual primetime weeknight time slot, move it around a few times so everyone is completely confused, and expect it to make ratings as good as Friends or My Name is Earl. Then they sue the crap out of people that distribute it over the internet, which is how it got revived in the first place.

    Then when it fails they will use that as an excuse as to why they shouldn't be distributing episodes on the internet. Sheesh...
    • by adam ( 1231 ) * on Saturday July 22, 2006 @01:08AM (#15762022)
      your post has a lot of insight. i'm on a working vacation in Seattle right now, and i'm amazed that even though i have probably 10x as much free time to watch television, without a DVR here i'm watching basically none, because nothing I enjoy is available at the right time.

      it will be interesting to see if this show does well on NBC (certainly the PR from the situation under which it was purchased by NBC will help its ratings), but I would imagine your assesment is at least partly correct. Certainly a chunk of its audience will be youtube viewers, who are probably very likely to have DVRs, so they may be able to watch it in much the same fashion as on youtube (i.e. on-demand).. but I wouldn't imagine this chunk would amount to more than a minority of the show's viewers.

      what's really interesting are the business models [2929entertainment.com] that Mark Cuban and others are developing.. in the case of the linked press release above, basically Steven Soderbergh [imdb.com] shooting a number of films for simultaneous theatrical / dvd / hdtv / download release, so that all marketing dollars are used effectively, and the audience ultimately decides which form of content delivery works best for them. I don't know that the model initially includes download release (i.e. itunes style), but I can imagine that's something Cuban is working on now (probably the DRM issues are a bit of a snag).

      So even if NBC blows their opportunity at transferring to primetime tv the collective attention of viewers from the internet, there are other (potentially better) business models in the works that will better appeal to viewers who want to watch on their own terms.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Or what they could do is, in realizing the popularity of the pilot on the internet, *stream* their episodes. No set schedule, and advertising included (just like TV). ABC is doing this and it works quite well.
    • True. I've been using a dusty VCR to record and watch the shows I like. Then I watch the good ones when there's nothing but crap on. It seems the major TV networks aren't realizing how many people time-shift the shows. Now it's harder to find good shows because of the million channels of crap. Then the networks bury the good shows after a year or two so you've gotta scour the guide for them. The internet has allowed me to find quality shows that I otherwise would have missed.

      Maybe less crap would be produ
    • Haven't you heard? Network TV execs, despite their multi-million-dollar annual salaries, can only gaurantee "up to" a certain level of competence. Everything in between is fair game.
    • Full length episodes of the above mentioned "Saved by the Bell: The College Years", "Firefly", and "Sports Night" were all on YouTube at one point. They have since been removed over copyright concerns. I think YouTube is missing out; there's a huge market for full length TV Shows, Cartoons, and Movies online. The image quality isn't great, but the convenience is. Here's an index of 500 full length cartoons on YouTube [blogspot.com] (all links are still active). From that page you can also find 3,800 other full length
  • QEWL (Score:5, Funny)

    by riff420 ( 810435 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @12:31AM (#15761949)
    So, the next time a woman tells me to "put YouTube in MySpace", at least I'll have a new show to watch.
  • Its about time! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zaphod2016 ( 971897 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @12:45AM (#15761973) Homepage
    I have held a grudge against the Nielson ratings [wikipedia.org] for quite some time. Why? Because every time I find a show I like, it gets cancelled a few weeks later. I'm not sure if I have bad taste, unique taste, or if the sample space of Nielson is composed mainly of dangerously stupid shaved apes. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I tend to assume the latter.

    I think this a wonderful turn of events. If they are smart, the other networks will be paying very close attention to this. I know this sounds radical, but why not ask the people who watch your show directly? If I ran a network, I would make sure to post an episode of every "failing" show on YouTube, Google Video, et all a.s.a.p. Not only would this put me in direct contact with my audiance, it might also help boost ratings for a still unknown show.
    • Once a show caters to people above a certain level of intelligence, they don't fall for the ads/marketing.. sponsors refuse to pay for the airtime.

      Basic story.. "fake it" by buying the products or at least inquiring.. and if enough people fake it theyll continue paying for the ads.. the show stays on the air =)
      • by Zaphod2016 ( 971897 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @01:34AM (#15762077) Homepage
        I'd like to think I'm "too smart for ads", but in truth, I'm not.

        True story: I had a psychology teacher who challenged me to compare my consumer habits to those of my siblings, even though we all live in different states these days. The results were very werid. My brother, sister and I all used the same brand of toothpaste, and preferred the same brand of soda, but were completely unique in fashion, electronics, etc, purchases. My prof.'s theory was that, as children, we all shared these basic consumer goods, and so, we all associated them with positive feelings. This intrigued me, so I checked and sure enough, both of my granparents (both sides!) enjoyed many of these same staples.

        Apparently, I've been enslaved to Pepsi, Colgate and Chef-Boy-R-Dee for generations now. Ok, ok, I admit it! Take my money! Take every last cent I have if you must, but please, please can I have some new Futurama?

        And suddenly, the $30 cost for a DVD set doesn't seem so expensive to me.
        • I'd say that's less about ads and more about imprinted brand loyalty, which has little to do with the ads on TV.

          Granted thats a different bag entirely.
        • by CosmeticLobotamy ( 155360 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @02:26AM (#15762164)
          I'd like to think I'm "too smart for ads", but in truth, I'm not.

          Ads, despite what advertisers themselves may believe, aren't about tricking you into things. They're about increasing brand or product recognition. You've seen Brand X on TV, you've never heard of Brand Y, you're going to buy Brand X. It's not about smart or stupid, it's about risk and comfort levels. You don't want to buy something shady, so you'll buy the thing you know. Without commercials, we'd have to rely on which box had the prettiest pictures, or, heaven forbid, product research. So commercials aren't that bad in themselves, they're just often done really badly.
          • You've seen Brand X on TV, you've never heard of Brand Y, you're going to buy Brand X. It's not about smart or stupid, it's about risk and comfort levels....Without commercials, we'd have to rely on... heaven forbid, product research

            exactly my point.. people who discriminate based on "ive heard that name before" or "it looks pretty" go into the "unintelligent" category when it comes to purchasing habits.

            disclaimer: there are many different propensities and measurements for intelligence, a person's intellige
            • exactly my point.. people who discriminate based on "ive heard that name before" or "it looks pretty" go into the "unintelligent" category when it comes to purchasing habits.

              So you think it's unintelligent to buy condoms partly based on brand name? I'd never buy condoms from a company I've never heard of before unless I saw some serious research on their reliability and they offered an increase in comfort/pleasure.
              • I think his point is that a large marketing budget doesn't necessarily equate to a large R&D or QC budget and so, yeah, it's unintelligent to make any purchasing decision unless you'd done research on reliability and comfort/pleasure regardless of whether the product in question is brand name or not.

                So I'm currently accepting (female) volunteers in my selfless efforts to research condom reliability, comfort, and pleasure--apply within!

      • Once a show caters to people above a certain level of intelligence, they don't fall for the ads/marketing.. sponsors refuse to pay for the airtime.


        If that were true, would Discovery or TLC be as popular as they obviously are?
        • their quality has consistently plummetted for the past decade.

          their spinoffs are much better quality, but then again there is more to intelligence than book smarts..

        • Yes, American Chopper and Trading Spaces are real thinkers.
          • Yes, American Chopper and Trading Spaces are real thinkers.

            Can you build a motorcycle and sell it for $100,000? Are you smart enough to build a sucessful multi-million dollar business, market yourself and build a brand identity for your family? Are you smart enough to take a pile of unassembled raw metal and turn it into a motorcycle? Do you understand engines, transmissions, combustion, drive systems, how brakes work, metal fabrication? The cast of characters on American Choppers might seem like t
      • Of course, your favourite shows are cancelled because you're too intelligent, not because they just suck. Keep telling yourself that and it'll become true.

        Slashdot is full of ads, so obviously you yourself are not above that 'certain level of intelligence'.
      • by Manchot ( 847225 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @09:45AM (#15762888)
        Arrested Development is probably the poster-boy for this. Every time the Fox Network asked the show's creators to do something or threatened to cancel the show, the show would get really snarky about that request. For example, during the first season, they asked the creators to make an episode where the main character teaches his son "a lesson" (apparently, a quote from the memo). They did do this, but in the process, "the lesson" got warped into an elaborate thing involving a drug deal gone bad, fake cop strippers, and a one-armed man getting his fake arm shot off. In the end, it was the main character's father teaching him the lesson. What was that lesson? Don't teach lessons to your son, of course.

        Getting back to the advertisement thing, apparently the show's creators were asked to heavily feature Burger King in a second-season episode of the show (as product placement). They did so while turning the whole thing into one big joke. The episode was originally called the "Tendercrisp Chicken Comedy Half-Hour," and features such quotes as, "It really is a wonderful restaurant." Carl Weathers, the actor turned cheapskate in his role on the show, also went on a long diatribe about how BK would underwrite the cost of filming a scene from a show if it took place in a Burger King. (Ironically, that very scene took place in a BK.)

        What ended up happening to the show? Well, it survived into the second season by winning five Emmys and being loved by pretty much every critic, but by this point, the only advertisements for the show would appear ten seconds before its airing (as opposed to American Idol, which has an ad every commercial break). In the second season, its episode order was cut by four episodes so that Fox could show more reruns of Family Guy. *ugh* In its third season, it only had 13 episodes ordered, was moved to Monday nights, and was finally cancelled. Its last four episodes, including its series finale, were dumped on February 10th, during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. Note that this is the same network which also cancelled the Bernie Mac Show and Malcolm in the Middle this year without having any good sitcoms to replace them with. Instead, they're airing The War at Home, the Loop, and Free Ride, FOX's equivalent of Yes, Dear and According to Jim.
      • Only people below a certain level of intelligence believe that they are not influenced by onscreen advertising. I'm intelligent enough to know that I am.

        Not all of them, but some of them.
    • I'm not sure if I have bad taste, unique taste, or if the sample space of Nielson is composed mainly of dangerously stupid shaved apes.

      The Nielson ratings are horrendously skewed. If you, or anyone you know has ever been "selected", you'll know why. They make you fill out tons and tons of paperwork. I always assumed there was a little box they installed that kept track of what you were watching. That's not the case. You have to fill out a form instead.

      So the only people who would even *bother* doing al

      • Actually it was always my understanding that they did both. A small number of people are picked to have a Nielsen People Meter/Set Meter installed which records what they're watching, but a larger number of people are asked to fill out viewing diaries. The diary system being done during the sweeps weeks, common for networks trying stunts in order to grab more viewers.

        I could be wrong on this, but I believe that the Nielsen system is not currently compatible with TiVo or any other DVR. As a result they're li
    • Exactly. Anyone remember Space: Above and Beyond?
    • I don't bother with any series on a major network that has an overall plot line, until it has at least survived the first season. Then I watch it in reruns, or as DVD rental. The thing is, the UK system makes a lot more sense than the US approach. In the UK, a first season will only have 6 or 8 episodes. The TV station can therefore commit to showing all of them, even if ratings are bad. This, in turn, means that viewers are more willing to commit to watching, and giving the show time to develop. Contrast
    • Forgive me if I start ranting and raving in this post - so I'll just go ahead and put a **RANT** disclaimer to this entire post.

      I agree with you ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVENTYBILLION PERCENT!

      I seriously wonder if a bunch of fucking brain-dead retarded dumb fucks are the ones rating shows. I mean... REALLY! Why is that a lot of shows on TV are

      a) predictable
      b) spinoffs
      c) stupid reality shows that should be slaughtered, dismembered, burnt, and then the ashes thrown into the sun
      d) completely lame, ridiculous, unfunny
      • Big media, big numbers, big money - views/examples

        Mass media is a profit-driven, numbers game. Let me show you with a few examples....

        c) stupid reality shows that should be slaughtered, dismembered, burnt, and then the ashes thrown into the sun

        Reality programming is cheap and easy to produce.

        Cop shows are very popular on TV.

        So in 1989, John Langley and Malcolm Barbour created COPS as an 'experiment' in a new form of tv programming, which is considered to be the very first 'reality tv program'. At the time t
  • So that's where Billy went after getting the axe from BSG! Who knew?!

    FYI, his real name is Paul Campbell:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1353748/ [imdb.com]
  • by Stick_Fig ( 740331 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @01:07AM (#15762018) Homepage
    ...this pilot is hilarious. It twists the conventions of sitcoms multiple ways, turns the studio audience into a plot device, turns the guest stars into pathetic parodies of themselves, makes fun of other sitcoms that suck, and even trashes the just-don't-get-it higher-ups, the race for both ratings and vicious critics (the title spawns a pretty good joke).

    This show has great pedigree due to the fact that its creator is also responsible for "Spin City" and "Scrubs," and is totally worth your time. Thank God YouTube got it before "Brilliant But Cancelled" did.

    • I watched this on YouTube and I get the premise of it, but it's just really kind of confusing and random. There is no plot line to it really, there are a few one liners here and there, but they really aren't that funny. They are actors acting like it's reality TV, but it isn't. As such there is nothing genuine about it. With a regular sitcom, the actors characters kind of make sense and have some kind of growth, with realty TV I guess you empathize with real people, but this... I mean, what are they, what a
    • I'm not impressed. Everything is formulaic and expected. Ohh, the evil executives are plotting agaist our two heroes and turning it into a show of itself.

      Compared to a show like My name is Earl this is completely uninteresting.

      And any show that has a laughtrack gets minus points. Most shows with laugh tracks just plain suck.
      • I'm sorry, I like Jason Lee as much as the next guy, and I've had other people say that 'My name is Earl' is the best thing since chopped up bread, but I don't see it.

        I tried watching an episode and just never laughed... not once.

        It'll die the death in Australia (it just started airing), mark my words.
  • firefly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kuj0317 ( 856656 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @01:08AM (#15762023)
    Same thing happened with firefly. They cancelled it, it caught internet buzz, they revived it then killed it again.
  • by mriker ( 571666 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @01:09AM (#15762027)
    Paul Campbell left Battlestar Galactica for this?!? I had my hopes set high, particularly when I read that the show was written by Scrubs and Family Guy writers, but it was just as painful to watch as most other sitcoms on TV (the same shows that the show lampoons).
    • Don't be so sure he's out of BSG 100%--there are still a few more models of cylons to be discovered. With the failure of the pilot I bet he was begging to get back on the show as a cylon. I guess we'll just have to wait and if his groveling skills are any good.
    • Unfunny indeed. But you won't find any negative comments about it on YouTube; they're pretty good at deleting them. Don't believe me? Leave a little negative feedback and watch how fast it disappears. (I wonder how much of the positive comments are astroturf. When I watched this a couple weeks ago, it seemed that all the comments were from usernames with little or no history.)

      I was extremely disappointed by this, being a fan of Scrubs/Family Guy/Billy/etc. I chuckled once or twice, but that's it.

      Sorry
    • [...] the show was written by Scrubs and Family Guy writers [...]
      Scrubs is written by manatees?!?
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @01:32AM (#15762072)

    Where was this guy last year?

    The link from the editor points to a slashdot story about "Global Frequency", which after getting leaked, becoming very popular on the interbutt, and supposedly "picked up", was so successful...

    absolutely nothing happened and the series still hasn't been produced, and likely never will be. The slashdot editor implies that getting leaked to BitTorrent resulted in it turning into a real series, or at least some additional episodes were produced. Absolutely nothing of the sort happened, and the series had already been considered a shoe-in for production before it was leaked.

    • The story doesn't say it was picked up. The editor is implying that this should have happened in the "Global Frequency" situation- "where was this guy [when we needed someone to do this but no one did] last year?".
  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @01:47AM (#15762102) Homepage Journal
    Hello? Arrested Development? Futurama? Firefly?

    Hey if it works for one show. . .
  • it sucks.
  • Some guy posted below about this but he linked to YouTube - why do that when you can link directly to the SciFi page [scifi.com] for The Amazing Screw-On Head. It's a pretty well written cartoon with an interesting style, and I thought it was much funnier than "Nobody's Watching". After you finish watching it on SciFi you can tell them what you thought about the pilot via a quick poll, and if enough people like it we'll see more on SciFi.
  • The anime scene in the US has been dong this since the 80s...the only way that fans back in the day would see any shows was by sharing copied VHS tapes with subtitles edited on them, they called in fansubbing. That scene has gone digital since around 2000, but it's still basically the same. Most shows become extremely popular months before they are released outside of Japan.
  • by Rorian ( 88503 ) <james.fysh@gmail . c om> on Saturday July 22, 2006 @04:05AM (#15762319) Homepage Journal
    Finally, someone in the broadcasting business is catching on.. There ARE a lot of people viewing video online, they WILL continue, and if you can figure out a legitimate advertising and revenue model, you can capitalise on online video content in a big way.

    Ever since watching "PiracyIsGood.mov", a recording of a presentation given at (I assume) a University campus, I have been very keen to have either a broadcasting company or even the advertising department of a major company latch on to the concepts presented in this movie, and release a TV series in online form with watermark advertising (as outlined in the video).

    The basic concept is.. Coke/Walmart/GM or whoever currently pays thousands of dollars for a 5-10 second advert during a TV episode, which a lot of viewers simply ignore. With this new method, the company would purchase an entire series of episodes, place their watermark in the corner of the video and distribute it online. It would be impossible to remove the (admittedly fairly unobtrusive) water from the video, and certainly not worth the effort, so the company would have, perhaps, 24 episodes, 22 mins each = 528 minutes of you watching a video with their advertising in the corner.

    You win (free episodes), they win (this could work out cheaper than paying for 30 seconds of advertising during the airing of these 24 episodes, plus you get 528 minutes of advertising, not 12, and it's unobstrusive so no-one is going to get frustrated at your annoying gimmick advert), and the only people who lose are the broadcasting company who was too stupid to capitalise on this idea in the first place.

    Maybe this is all too idealistic, and I'm sure there are other things that need to come into consideration, but I am VERY keen to see this happen sometime. Season 5 of Futurama with a coca-cola symbol in the corner works for me.. In fact, I'll drink a bottle of coke each time I watch an episode :)

    P.S. you can get the video at http://ausgamers.com/files/details/html/17504 [ausgamers.com]
    • That's how it always starts. A little logo in the corner, a 15 second ad, a twenty second ad, two ads, and then there's no hope. A new medium will only keep you safe for so long. Did you know that the idea behind cable TV, once upon a time, was that you would be paying extra to get TV without commercials? Think about that. It should almost make you laugh- with fear and loathing. Now ads are showing up in video games. Soon people won't even think twice about all those commercials wedged into their downloaded
      • heh, I had always wondered why you would pay for cable and then receive advertising anyway..

        I guess there is always the possibility that more advertising will be introduced into internet-broadcast TV shows. However, because the company providing the online episode has cut out the middle-man (the broadcaster), there is a lot less incentive to bombard the viewer with additional advertising - having a watermark during the entire episode should be more than enough to convince viewers that they NEED product xyz
    • Season 5 of Futurama with a coca-cola symbol in the corner works for me.

      You mean Slurm, or Soylent Cola?

    • "Piracy is Good?" - the name of the presentation given at the Australian Film Television and Radio School is also up for download on Google Video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-172006821 1869162779&q=Piracy+is+Good [google.com]
    • I think it's a great idea and only a matter of time before it's the main model. The possible income from that model is a magnitude smaller than traditional 30 second ads though.
  • ... it won't work on NBC. part of why it works so well is that it is based at a third-rate network (WB); a network starving for new programming and willing to do anything for a hit. Replace WB with NBC and half the show's entire premise get's tossed out the window. The only way it will make it on NBC is through premium scheduling -- a tactic NBC has used time and again to put and keep crappy shows on the air.
  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @05:35AM (#15762429) Homepage
    I RTFA & WTFV (Watched The Fine Videos).

    This is not clever-cheezy like some good sitcoms. These are not clever jokes arising out of humorously stupid characters. The entire show is just "we're doing a lame job of pretending to be lame and you're supposed to laugh because we're telling you that we're pretending to be lame". Not funny-cheezy performances, just lame-trying-to-be-cheezy. And that is all there is to the show.

    It's not even funny in an inside joke "we-both-know-I'm-pretending-to-make-a-show" way. It's not an inside joke when they spend half the time blatantly and clumsly violating the premise and explaining to you that what the inside joke is supposed to be.

    One characteristicly geek form of humor is meta-humor. Subtle and sophisticated meta-humor. This show takes the meta-concept and dumbs it down to the lowest possible common denominator for a beer guzzling houseplant to be able to say "oooh I get it! Everything sucks because they are pretending to suck! Pretending to be a sitcom about a sitcom! Wow it goes around like a round thing!".

    This is we-think-you-are-stupid-so-we-avoid-clever-jokes-a nd-we-explain-the-joke-to-you-in-case-you-didn't-g et-it unfunny. This is telling you we're going to make a joke about X, then making the unclever joke X, and then explaining to you why you were supposed to laugh.

    The gag of deliberately adding a "token black" to the all-white show should have been very funny, but nooooo, they first had to sit there explaining the joke to us before cutting to the scene of 20 black-only candidates for the position. Yeah, jokes are so much funnier when you stop to explain them first.

    I think I lost IQ points just by watching it.

    -

    • I second that. I only managed to sit through the first part of the show on youtube. I would have expected to see comments more negative comments on slashdot. But then - you can never underestimate the slashdot crowd.
    • I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the "token black character" scene and the other scenes at the end of the show aren't actually going to be on the next episode, just like Arrested Development's "On the next episode of Arrested Development..." gags. Granted, it is a shameless rip-off.
  • If only we could get Heat Vision and Jack picked up!!! Too bad those guys (Owen Wilson, Jack Black, Ron Silver) are way outside the sitcom budget these days.
  • Oh C'mon guys (Score:3, Informative)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday July 22, 2006 @05:54AM (#15762457) Homepage Journal
    Can't you spot viral marketing yet?

    The show pretty much has one shtick: trying get a laugh out of phoney self-references. It's like exploiting an worn out oil field; they're trying to pump laughs out of the old gags, and top that off with gags about how old the old gags are, and since that is getting old itself, probably gags about how gags about old gags are old.

    The executives at WB are characters in the show. Or rather, characters in the show play WB executives who will resort to any underhanded ploy to promote the show. So the "executives" at WB cancel the show, only to have YouTube revive it; it's a plot line.

    The pilot is funny -- for about five minutes. That's the difference between YouTube and TV; TV has to make something you want to tune into week after week. By in large TV fails. The Internet provides the opportunity for "All Your Base" kind of phenomena to spread, but not necessarily to command a half hour of your time (with advertisements) a couple of dozen times a year.
    • Agreed...except I don't even find it funny for 5 minutes. Your summary about says it all, except I'd add that their acting is way too slick, way too "acting school" to lend even a little verisimilitude. They could try harder to try less hard!

  • Just put some adds in old shows and place them on torrents. If they use their own servers instead of torrent, they might even add localized advertisement on it, if they can what country/state/area you connect from.

    Yes, some people will rip out the adversisements and most won't be botherd and just watch the inline advertisement.
  • I just saw it expecting something good and found it kind of lame. Sounds like marketing promo to me.

    Yes, testing out pilots on YouTube is a great idea. And finding sources on YouTube & it's ilk are a good idea. But using YouTube related press to hype a kind of lame show is not a good idea. Face it. You just aren't going to fool people after they see it.

    Acting was a little too canned. Gags were run of the mill expected (a few good ones, but over powered by the extended lameness factor).
  • Clearly YouTube has failed in the bigger mission to revive the Ben Stiller/Jack Black/Owen Wilson vehicle, Heat Vision and Jack [hvaj.com] ...

  • "I love the..." (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MilenCent ( 219397 ) <johnwh AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday July 22, 2006 @11:39AM (#15763233) Homepage
    "I love the spirit of the experimentation," NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly says. "And I think if we can actually have something find an audience on the web, gravitate over to the network, continue with a web presence and have them feed each other, that could end up being a really cool thing."

    He went on to add, "That spirit of experimentation is awesome especially because we had worked so hard to stamp it out before, with our over reliance on market research and focus groups. Now that there's a forum to showcase originality without an actual need for us to support it ourselves, we plan on taking full advantage of it. Who doesn't like a free lunch?"
  • NBC ran promo after promo for the show conviction. I finally broke down 3 weeks into the season, downloaded 3 episodes in HD and ended up loving the show, so it got a season pass in my Tivo. Now NBC has canceled the show. I'm furious at how short a run they give TV shows like that any more.
  • Here's Kevin Reilly greenlighting the show over the phone on Carson Daly [youtube.com]. (With Ashton Kutcher in his office for some reason talking in the background.)
  • Fox has a history of killing shows with a great fan "buzz" but don't seem to capture the audience Fox believes they deserve (see : Family Guy pre-cancellation, Arrested Development). This pilot really reminds me of Arrested Development in its satire, and I wouldn't be surprised if the creator named AD as a creative influence. While AD had a very devoted audience, they couldn't avoid being cancelled. I think that this show would suffer the same fate as AD if Fox would be the ones picking it up.
  • Family Ties
    WKRP
    The Drew Carey Show
    Herman's Head
    Normal, Ohio

    Not to mention all the times I have seen a character (usually secondary) in a movie or tv show, when the script at some point asks where they are from, and if where they are from is not important to the plot, it's almost always "Ohio".

    Joe

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