Monday, January 28, 2013

The Cancellation of Apt. 23

After hearing about the cancellation (well the removal of the show from ABC's mid-season schedule with 8 more episodes left but not "officially" cancelled, yet) of Don't Trust the B in Apt 23, my wife and I were talking with my brother-in-law and his wife about the network pulling the plug. Our major complaint was how ABC showed the episodes out of order that screwed with the timeline of employment, relationships, and James Van Der Beek’s Dancing with the Stars gig. It's an annoying habit that we noticed happened on other ABC shows like Happy Endings...not to mention shows on other networks. So why does this happen?

The answer I came up with is that network executives are dumb. With Apt 23, six episodes from season 1 were unaired, so someone thought it would work to sprinkle them throughout season 2 and no one would notice. It didn't go unnoticed and the jumps in time made for uneven story telling. What if Chandler was seriously dating Monica and then the next week he was suddenly back with Janice with no explanation?  Friends would have been cancelled suddenly instead of going 10 seasons. 

Network executives don't understand that people watch television as a form of escapism.  I don't know anything about the meth dealing world, but I love being sucked into the life of Walter White on Breaking Bad.  This same logic can be applied to the reality television boom.  Reality TV works because the average viewer doesn't want to think or follow a plot. They just want to escape their life and have some noise to drown out everything around them  So, watching a sitcom and piecing the episodes together like a puzzle to create a coherent timeline...well that much thinking isn't going to set well with viewers of a show like this.

So that brings us to the next point, viewers equal ratings and ratings equal advertising and advertising equals network executives get a big pile of money to buy more shows. This is called making profits. Side note: reality TV is cheap to produce so more of that money stays in the executives' pockets hence they make a bigger profit and produce more crap reality TV to air. So when viewers stop tuning in because the network executives reorganized the order of the episodes to be aired, they are basically taking their own money out of their pocket. Which brings me back to my original answer: Network executives are dumb.