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TV Networks Need To Get A Grip, Stop Griping Over Obama News Conference

March 22, 2009

We all are aware that network TV has such electrifying and outstanding programming that none of it should be missed, or interrupted.  Right?  (Gag)  That is why I am astounded that the the networks are all upset over the Tuesday night White House press conference scheduled during prime time.  Apparently the network executives do not watch much prime-time TV, as much of the nation will agree that a White House press conference will be much better viewing than what passes for entertainment on TV these days.

Fulfilling their scheduling civic duty is starting to seem increasingly cumbersome to broadcasters, however. Between a struggling economy and ratings sagging in midseason, every interruption costs networks advertising dollars and momentum. 

“At a time when we’re struggling not only financially but to build audiences, this doesn’t help on either front,” one network executive said. “These repeated interruptions — and the rumor of even more to come — really make it difficult to build audience flow and loyalty. We will all lose one or two million dollars for this.”

God forbid that the public might want to hear their President talk about the most gripping and unsettling economic calamity to hit the United States, and aroundthe world since the 1930’s.  I mean look at what they public will have to give up in order to think about the issues.  Maybe the out-of-touch TV network executives should start their own comedy show, as the stink they are making over this news event is really rather amusing. 

Here’s how the Big Four will juggle the speech:

>> Fox is arguably the most impacted network and took the longest to agree to airing the speech. The network will move Tuesday’s two-hour performance episode of “Idol” to Wednesday, and the Wednesday episode to Thursday at 8 p.m. That preempts “Lie to Me” and “Bones” and puts mega-rated “Idol” against the mega-rated NCAA finals (which neither Fox nor CBS are all that thrilled about).

>> NBC will move Tuesday’s two-hour “Biggest Loser” to 9 p.m., preempting “Law & Order: SVU.”

>> CBS likewise is dumping its 10 p.m. procedural(“Without a Trace”) and moving its two earlier dramas, “NCIS” and “The Mentalist,” forward an hour.

>> ABC will cancel previously planned back-to-back episodes of “According to Jim.”

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