Thursday, May 19, 2016

Flame Out at the Upfronts

The purpose of the Upfronts is to get the advertisers excited about the new shows that will premiere during the new Fall season. Typically, there's always a few standouts that make the advertisers leave the sessions satisfied that they know what the next season's hits will be. For example in 2003 everyone was certain that the big hit of the season would be NBC's Coupling. Billed as a sexier version of Friends, there were high hopes for the show. Remember it?


Of course you don't. It was a ratings disaster, lasting just one season. In 2006, NBC had another sure hit- the Aaron Sorkin produced dramedy Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The highly anticipated follow up to his acclaimed drama The West Wing, the show was a behind the scenes look at a Saturday Night Live style sketch show. This one actually started out very strong. Unfortunately, this sure thing started to sputter midway through its first season, becoming increasingly far fetched. The show was on the bubble, but it angered Lorne Michaels, who took NBC's approval of the show personally. This sure thing found itself a casualty of NBC's war.