Sunday, November 16, 2014

A funny sketch on network interference

From last night's SNL -- more truth than fiction.

18 comments:

Canda said...

Well, there is certainly some truth in the fact that TV executives, who live in New York and Los Angeles, are always surprised when they find out not everyone thinks like they do.

That's why many of their shows seem to have upscale, young professionals as their main characters...even if the characters supposedly don't have well-paying professional jobs. They'll usually end up in places that are upscale, or have tastes that indicate they think that way.

Scooter Schechtman said...

Networks sure as hell aren't listening to complaints about Sunday morning news shows in that they haven't gotten rid of them. Captain Kangaroo died for this?

VP81955 said...

I see where you're coming from, Canda, but if the our universe was the same as the one presented on TV, Harvard would have a larger enrollment than Ohio State and UCLA combined, given the number of characters we see. I wish TV mirrored actual society to a greater extent, but sadly, most TV execs don't feel that way.

Charles Emerson Losechester said...

"We hear you--LOUD AND CLEAR!" is basically a network euphemism for "We're endlessly re-tooling our piece of shit sitcom to better snag you stupid middle-American idiots, yet you're still not biting. What the fuck is wrong with you troglodytes?"

MikeK.Pa. said...

One of the SNL writers must read this blog. Too funny; too true.

Dan J. said...

This sketch would have made a lot more sense if the notes were changing something exciting and interesting into something bland and unoriginal.

Weirdly, they went the other way with it, which makes the message seem more like: "The audience's demand for original characters and stories is interfering with our ability to regurgitate bland, boring, hackneyed old tropes that would have seemed dated 20 years ago."

I remember an old Phil Hartman sketch from SNL that executed this idea much better. He was pitching a "Nude Talk Show" to a bunch of soulless executives. Bit by bit, they change the show into something completely different and totally unoriginal...

"Does it have to be a talk show? Can it be a Naked Sitcom?"...

"Do they have to even be naked at all? Maybe they wear clothes?"

Wish I could find a clip of it.

Mike said...

How do you think Cheers would do if it ran today?

I don't mean a new show like Cheers. Just run Cheers reruns on CBS in a particular time slot in order as if it were a new show.

VincentS said...

Funny AND sad.

Mike Barer said...

So THAT'S why Cam on Modern Family became a football coach.

Charles Emerson Losechester said...

@ Dan J.:

The "Nude Talk Show" sketch was from spring 1990 and starred Jon Lovitz as the idealistic young show creator. Alec Baldwin was the guest host during his very first appearance on the show, and played one of the network suits along with Nora Dunn and Mike Myers. Conan O'Brien even appeared nude as one of his guests(!).

I know all this because I have the episode on videocassette taped off of TV when they originally aired, along with most of them from golden era of the late 80s/early 90s. Sorry, but not in digital form.

Charles Emerson Losechester said...

P.S. to the above--

also it's Tom Davis who's the executive who chimes in with "and how about a wacky neighbor!", as another one of the asinine network suggestions. Lovitz finally responds, "well, er, I think all your suggestions are good and everything...but NO! It has to be a Nude Talk Show!".

Baldwin: "Speaking to people with no clothes on means a lot to you, doesn't it?"

Lovitz: "Yes, sir. Yes it does."

Baldwin: "Well, okay. But just remember--it'll be your ass out there!"

Pamela said...

"Nude Talk Show" sketch online: https://screen.yahoo.com/nude-talk-show-000000279.html

Who remembers the SNL sketch where the execs were on cocaine, throwing cash around and saying, "Here's too much money!"?

Ellen said...

Here's an example of how novelists experience this same kind of interference. It's brilliant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sifESist1KY

D. McEwan said...

Pretty much the only thing worth seeing in the entire episode. I thought last night's SNL particularly lame, even for it, a big comedown from the excellent episode hosted by Bill Hader just a couple weeks ago. I ended up fast-forwarding through large chunks of tedious sketches.

Terrence Moss said...

If "I Love Lucy" can draw 8+ million viewers on a Friday night 60 years after its original run, other classics should be able to do the same.

The networks may as well do it with more shows since they can't develop new ones worth a shit.

MikeN said...

D McEwan, it's always like that. The Simpson's had Krusty appearing in the sketch The Big Ear Family 'This goes on for 12 more minutes.' back in their second season. I wonder if it was always 90 minutes, because without DVR it is unwatchable, and generally even with.

Jim said...

Not just an entertainment industry thing; here's a similar example from old school engineering http://kcbx.net/~tellswor/bettoast.htm

Lise Bax said...

Speaking of sketches, Ken,PLEASE tell me you've seen this Adult Swim. It's like a virtual catalogue of EVERY trope in TV shows of the 1980s & 90s. Let's just hope you don't end up like the guy who gets a case of 'Intro-itis'! :-)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrGrOK8oZG8