Dear Network Television Executives: I am your problem. Well, I am at least part of your problem.
In years past, I would cringe when looking at the list of canceled television shows, crushed because of some of your programs that had hit the scrap heap.
Here is the list of shows either canceled or which wrapped up their run from the 2012-13 season: "Deception" (NBC); "Animal Practice" (NBC); "Do No Harm" (NBC); "30 Rock" (NBC): "Guys with Kids "(NBC); "The Office" (NBC); "Smash" (NBC); "Up All Night" (NBC); "Whitney" (NBC); "1600 Penn" (NBC); "Made in Jersey" (CBS); "Private Practice" (ABC); "Partners" (CBS); "Ben & Kate" (Fox); "Vegas" (CBS); "Go On" (NBC); "Fringe" (Fox); "Touch" (Fox); "The Job" (CBS); "The Mob Doctor" (Fox); "Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23" (ABC); "666 Park Avenue" (ABC); "Last Resort" (ABC); "Rules of Engagement" (CBS); "Golden Boy" (CBS); "CSI: NY" (CBS); "Zero Hour" (ABC); "Emily Owens, M.D." (The CW); "How to Live with Your Parents..." (ABC); "Red Widow" (ABC); "Body of Proof"(ABC); "The New Normal" (NBC); "Malibu Country" (ABC); "Happy Endings" (ABC); "90210" (The CW) and "Cult" (The CW).
What do these shows have in common? I have never seen an episode of any of them. Not even the critically acclaimed "30 Rock" or "The Office." Not the cult favorite "Happy Endings," the cancellation of which has drawn sad response from TV writers around country.
Some, like "Smash" and "Go On," interested me a bit, but not enough to hunt them down to watch during their actual airings or to track them down online.
Others, like "Animal Practice" and "Made in Jersey," looked so abysmal in their promos, I had no interest in watching. Perhaps that's a bit unfair, dear TV Execs, but that's the truth.
The death knell has been sounded for this big list of programs and my reaction is "who cares?"
Please understand that it's not like I have stopped watching television all together. "The Big Bang Theory" and "NCIS" are weekly favorites. "The Bachelor" is my guilty pleasure. (But not "The Bachelorette." Don't ask me why: I am a fickle viewer without an explanation there.)
Sports on television? Absolutely when it's the NFL and the NHL. Could be when it's the college version of those same sports. Probably not when it's the rest of sports programming.
Now, Ms. and Mr. Exec, you might inquire about my cable TV interests. Well, there are reruns I watch on cable, such as the aforementioned "NCIS" and the perennial favorite "Friends." And I do watch some first-run shows on Animal Planet, like "My Cat From Hell." Plus TLC has "Long Island Medium" which I adore.
However, all the "reality" shows about drunks from New Jersey, hoarders, colorful characters from the boondocks or housewives from anywhere are never going to interest me.
My old friends at broadcast TV, it has to be stated: You have lost me, a lifelong TV-aholic. Very rarely does anything you come up with elicit an "I-can't-wait" response out of this former TV junkie.
Can you get me back? Maybe, if programs approaching the quality of "Friday Night Lights" or "Frasier" were to show up on one of your schedules. But quality doesn't seem to be a broadcast television must-have commodity any longer.
Thank heaven, as always, for books.
A Reformed TV Fiend
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org