Though The New York Times would never put it quite so crassly, a piece in the Business section points out what many of us have long feared: Most TV viewers are dumb as dirt; Les Moonves is a genius; bad reviews don’t mean squat, sophistication is overrated, and evil is triumphant.
CBS, the Tiffany Network, which gave the world “Cagney & Lacey,” “Major Dad” and “Judging Amy,” is killing it in the ratings war this season. Bill Carter reports that the net is “on a roll”—even winning the coveted 18-49 demo. Where Fox’s “Lone Star” (not a bad show, actually) and ABC’s “My Generation” (actually bad) have already bit the dust, CBS’s retrograde series, including the who-asked-for-this? “Hawaii Five-0″ update and the “Honeymooners”-esque fat-com “Mike and Molly,” are on fire. Existing shows like “CSI: Someplace” and “The Big Bang Theory” (which has its defenders among critics but for god’s sake why?), are going gang-busters as well. Even the challengingly titled “$#^! My Dad Says” is on a tear.
Eat it, Don Draper.
The takeaway? You and everyone you know is niche. And if you want to pitch a series to CBS, try to go easy on terms like “revolutionary,” “innovative,” or “game-changing.” As Moonves put it: “We don’t get the Emmy’s, but that’s not as important as getting the audience.”