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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Human Target's Moving Target Time Slot
Thursday, January 27, 2011

After Dollhouse was unceremoniously axed I promised myself I’d never get wrapped up in an hour long show on Fox again. Well, it didn’t take me long to break that promise to myself as Human Target is now one of my favorite shows. What Fox is doing to Human Target, though, worries me greatly as I’m starting to get, as Yogi Berra would say, deja vu all over again.

Dollhouse was given one of the worst possible time slots for a television show - Friday night at 9pm. It didn’t do very well in its initial Nielsen ratings because of this. The DVR, however, proved to be Dollhouse’s best friend, routinely giving the show 50% more viewers in the seven days after its initial airing. What should this tell the smart executive? That people like the show, they just hate the time slot it’s in. Nobody at Fox received that memo and Dollhouse was axed after two seasons.

Now we have Human Target. Another excellent show in its second season on Fox. It’s Wednesday at 8pm time slot is good one, but thanks to a presidential memorial one Wednesday, and American Idol coming back to take over the time slot for a few weeks, this is what Human Target’s airings have been, and will be for the rest of the season:

Friday, January 14th - 8pm - 10pm, two episodes

Monday, January 31st - 8pm - 9pm, one episode

Wednesday, February 2nd - 9pm - 10pm, one episode

Wednesday, February 9th - 9pm - 10pm, season finale

Does this look like a schedule put together by someone who wants to keep the show on the air? Not unless Fox has finally figured out that DVR ratings matter. If they have, kudos to them. I only wish they had figured it out when Dollhouse was tops in those ratings. If they haven’t figured that out yet, however, I have low expectations for the future of one of my favorite shows... again.

Maybe we need to send Guerrero to the Fox offices to, ahem, “convince” them not to mess with the show.

In case torture isn’t the answer, I hope someone at Fox reads this and hears my plea to keep Human Target going. It’s a fantastic show with well rounded characters and great writing. There aren’t many shows like that around anymore. You’re lucky enough to have one, Fox. Don’t blow it... again. To use some Dollhouse imagery, don’t send Human Target to The Attic.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:30 AM  
  • At 1:58 AM, Blogger SimbiAni said…

    I didn't even get to see the last ep- obviously I don't matter anyways because I'm not a Nielsen viewer- but I rely on my DVR (which I pay extra to have, because it makes my HDTV worth it or vice versa) to get the eps, & then I watch them at my own convenience. So of course, instead of copying HT, it got what they replaced it with. Again, that wouldn't be a problem if they had TOLD ppl in advance- like a few DAYS at least! & had a re-scheduled date ready to announce at the same time.

    Because also, unlike some ppl think? DVRs are NOT psychic! Thus, it wasn't until after the weekend (when I went to watch it) that I realized, not only did I miss it, but they'd already shown it on a different night in the meantime! But since it never showed up in the listings, my DVR remained empty (of HT). So basically, I'm still losing the very thing I pay for, even if the money doesn't technically go them ~directly.. you kno? :/

    And I'm one of those tech-savvy ppl who has no problem finding it online, but as awesome as my comp is, it is NOT "HD-compatible" (& I'm a long way off from being able to afford such a device) so the LEAST they could do is find a way to make it available on every cable company's "OnDemand" service.

    For a recent example, CBS for some odd reason, decided to air a new episode of Hawaii Five-0 after a game on a Sunday night. I always loathed their Sunday night schedule- every show placed in those timeslots usually eventually died or suffered frustratingly low, all-over-the-board ratings because of badly-timed sports always running over & thus causing various dedicated fans' DVRs to never being able to fully catch their promised shows. Indeed, the H5-0 ep my DVR had copied had 13mins of the end of the game, then cut off "early" near the end of the show (10pm to 11pm). Thank goodness H5-0 happens to be one of the lucky ones that are made available for HD-OnDemand! (it looks so much better in HD than the low-q versions you can find online, hehe)

    But what can we do, we're just the that fans no one cares about. Shows with millions & millions of ("counted"!) viewers are cancelled everyday just because they're still "just not good enough" for their signed "broadcast" networks. Three million? Not even worth looking at. Six million? Eh, you should be doing better. Eight million? Nah, we have shows that do twice as well, sorry! Gah. And then you have the cable networks (or lesser-known broadcast ones) whose standards are considerably WAY lower but still, rarely would they consider adopting a "failed broadcast show" simply for the fact that it "failed".

    ..sometimes I hate TV, lol. Seriously- cuz if it isn't the networks, it's also the writers, but that's a whole 'nother issue! I was just glad to finally get a good show like Human Target that brings back just plain ol' action/adventure of the best kind. Here's hoping it survives into an even better third season come renewal decisions this spring!!


  • At 7:55 AM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    The post AFC Championship Hawaii Five-0 was really poorly planned in terms of getting people to actually watch it, which was a shame because it was a great episode.

    The game ended at ten of ten, but by the time they were done presenting the trophy and letting all the talking heads give their two cents it was nearly 20 after! When I saw all that going on I just set up the DVR to also record the show immediately after so I could pick up the end.

    When it comes to Human Target I hope that if Fox is dumb enough to not renew it a cable network like USA or TNT will pick it up a la Southland.

  • At 4:53 PM, Blogger SimbiAni said…

    Not promoted enough indeed. Why show a repeat in the regular Monday timeslot? Why not just show the new ep again? The lack of logic around that baffles me. Not everyone who's a Nielsen viewer has a DVR to watch it on OnDemand, & even if they did, those viewings still likely don't count. Sigh.

    Re: Sundays in particular, I remember hearing how ppl would try to set their DVRs to record everything from 8pm to 1am. That's just insane, lmao. I'm surprised Cold Case lasted as long as it did.. (I got behind a few seasons before it ended, but I'll catch up eventually) I won't even get into how CBS *debuted* Alex's second show on that night AND out of episodic order so it virtually had NO chance of retaining an audience in the first place! (well, I'm not exactly "bitter" anymore but it's mostly because H5-0 turned out to be the best he's done yet, lol /slightly biased)

    As for Fox, they were also the ones who cancelled LoneStar after a single ep! (technically, by the time the second had aired, but you kno they'd already made the decision beforehand) Whatever happened to letting a show *grow*? Letting it *find* its audience? These days, it's "gimme 20 million from DAY ONE, or you're out!" And worse if your pilot DOES have good numbers, but instead of holding steady or increasing, they start dwindling down lower for every ep after. Nothing is ever good enough..

    The real irony? One of my *favorite* shows IS one of the most-viewed scripted series ever, NCiS! If only everyone who watches that could check out all the other awesome shows just waiting for them out there.. XD


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