Tag Archives: tv
It’s been a year since the Breaking Bad finale. Since then Bryan Cranston won another Emmy and starred in Godzilla ( he was excellent in that rubber suit). But before he cooked meth, was Malcom’s father, or even worked on Jerry Seinfeld’s teeth, he did commercials.
In 1996 two new networks debuted. UPN and The WB. While The WB quickly established itself as a network specializing in teen dramas (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek, Smallville) UPN struggled at first to find an identity. At first it seemed UPN might be the place for Action and Sci-Fi with such shows as Star Trek: Voyager and Nowhere Man, It then seemed as UPN decided instead to appeal to the African American community, but they failed at that too.
After ten years UPN was made defunct. What few shows they had that were anywhere close to descent were moved to the CW, a joint venture between UPN and The WB.
Here are some of the worse shows UPN soiled the airwaves with:
Homeboys In Outer Space:
Watch the opening for this show. Just do it. How could anyone decide this was a good idea to put on television? The biggest mystery though is how this show lasted 21 episodes before it was finally cancelled.
They say this was supposed to be a comedy, but by definition a comedy is supposed to be funny.
UPN failed with Black stereotypes with Homeboys in Outer Space, so why not try redneck stereotypes instead?
This show fared even worse, only lasting 8 episodes before being yanked off the air. Although there are three episodes that were never aired. If you find them, please burn them.
Amish in the City:
UPN tried it’s hand at reality TV with this show. They took six Amish teens and made them live with six mainstream teens.
This show only lasted 9 episodes, but with shows like Amish Mafia actually doing well now, maybe this show was just ahead of it’s time.
I’ve saved the worst for last.
Here’s the pitch. What if Abraham Lincoln was an idiot and the entire Civil War was actually perpetrated by his African American valet that came to America by slave ship? Yeah, it’s hilarious, I’m sure.
Of course you wouldn’t know how the African American valet came to America because the pilot episode was never aired due to protests. Instead the first episode involved President Lincoln have “telegraph” sex.
This show only made it to four episodes before it was cancelled. Unlike slavery, nobody was upset when it was abolished.
How much do you make a year? If it’s over $70,000, then you’re probably not watching Jeopardy. That’s if you believe a study from 2001.
According to this study, the only show that had viewers with an average of over $70,000 was The West Wing. So if you are well off you are stuck with the political drama. If you want to slum it a bit, you could watched shows such as Law and Order SUV, Frasier, 60 Minutes, Ed or Will and Grace. The average salary of the people watching those was a mere $65,000.
Whatever you do though, don’t watch shows like Everybody Loves Raymond, Boston Public, Monday Night Football or Wheel of Fortune. The average viewer of those was a pitiful $50,000. Any of your elitist friends catch you watching those, you’ll surely never hear the end of it. You might as well just tear up your wine club membership card now.
I remember reading about this study 12 years ago. As someone who grew up with a household income of much less than $50,000, I found it odd that the average salary was so high for TV watchers. And looking back at the 2001 census, I wasn’t that off base, as the average salary was $42,000 a year.
Not being rich, or semi-rich, or middle class, or even semi-middle class, the only form of entertainment we could really afford was TV. Movies, theme parks, video games and vacations were all too expensive. To watch Television was an old TV you found on the side of the road and a wire clothes hanger to jam into the back to use as an antenna.
Of course, as I discussed in the past, studies have a way of being wrong. Perhaps they only interviewed subjects via phone, which poor people might be able to afford, or worse, over the internet, which was still somewhat of a luxury in 2001.
Wondering what rich people watch now?
Glee. At least that’s according to a 2009 survey.
This survey wasn’t as comprehensive, as it only cared what people making over $100,000 a year watch, completely dismissing the middle and lower class like it’s the government or something.
After Glee, the most popular shows amongst the over paid are 30 Rock, The Office and Community. Meaning them rich people actually have some good taste.
By the way, the only show that appears on both lists for 2001 and 2009 is 60 Minutes. In 2001 the average 60 minute viewer made $60,000 and in 2009 it became popular with those who make over $100,000. If I only had invested my money in 60 Minutes viewers instead of Pets.com.
Here is a complete list of all the shows from the 2001 study and their average viewer income. For fun, I’ve highlighted the shows I watched then.
“NYPD Blue,” “Law and Order,” “Ed,” “Will and Grace,” “60 Minutes,” “Ally McBeal,” “E.R.,” “Just Shoot Me,” “The Practice,” “Friends,” “Law and Order SVU,” “Once and Again,” “Frasier,” “Weber”
“Three Sisters,” “Survivor 2,” “Third Watch,” “Dateline” [Friday], “Fighting Fitzgeralds,” “Dateline” [Sunday 8pm], “Deadline,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Dateline” [Sunday 7pm,] “JAG,” “Titans,” “Dateline” [Tuesday], “Boston Public,” “Providence,” “20/20” [Friday], “Big Apple,” “Monday Night Football,” “Geena Davis,” “60 Minutes II,” “The Mole”
“Entertainment Tonight” [weekend], “Jeopardy” [weekend], “Rosie O’Donnell,” “George Michael Sports Machine,” “Oprah Winfrey” [weekend], “Extra” [weekend], “Inside Edition,” “Friends,” “Hollywood Squares,” “Martha Stewart,” “Seinfeld” [weekend], “Jeopardy,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Hollywood Squares” [weekend], “TV.Com,” “Inside Edition” [weekendEntertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Seinfeld,” “Access Hollywood” [weekend], “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “Martha Stewart” [weekend], “Ebert and Roeper”Access Hollywood”
You are silly for thinking so.
Okay, okay. I’ll give a real answer.
First of all, my first answer is technically true. The commercials are not any louder than the TV show you’re watching, or at least they’re not any louder than the the loudest part of the show.
TV programs have a certain volume they’re allowed to hit. The whole show isn’t that loud though, otherwise all the actors would always be shouting at each other and a cat meowing be just as loud as a garbage truck being dropped off the empire state building. Instead TV shows opt to keep the volume at a nice, normal level until something loud happens like a bomb going off. By keeping the volume low most of the time, it’ll make the loud moments seem, well, louder.
Commercials, on the other hand don’t care about exposition. Their goal is to get your attention. So that commercial for hoveround will be just as loud as it possibly to get your attention. In the case of hoveround it’ll make sense to be loud since their target consumer is over 110 and most likely hard of hearing. The Toaster Strudels ad, on the other hand, is just loud because Pillsbury is being a douche.
If you are lucky enough to be watching your programs through a surround sound system, you may notice some advertisers will use every speaker to have their announcer shout at you. It’s annoying and why Thomas Edison invented the DVR.
If you absolutely positive that a commercial is way too loud, you can report it to the FCC. They are responsible for enforcing the “Stop my TV from yelling at me” rule. Maybe they’ll find out that Chex Mix ad really is too loud and will fine them a couple of bucks.