The funny disease.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Seven Million People Watched Martha's Apprentice? Wow.

I have become aware that NBC is fiercely competing with Fox for the coveted title of Worst Major Television Network. Things aren’t so wonderful in the land that lost Friends and Frasier in the same year. Is my evidence based on actual ratings? Why would I do something as time-consuming and futile as research? What are the signs of the decline of this Network Titan of Television Comedy? It could be the NBC website that’s as navigable as Caesar’s Palace and takes about 3 days to load even though I have high-speed internet. It could be the fact that they entrusted Martha Stewart with her own Apprentice. She had her own corporate empire, like Donald. She had the stern mogul thing going for her. She even had the big blond hair. What was missing in the magic Apprentice formula? NBC wouldn’t even let her use Donald’s catch phrase. I wonder if they made The Donald fire her so the network executives wouldn’t have to pay him royalties?

The show that’s not an indicator of the downfall of NBC is My Name is Earl, which is freakin hilarious. (The Office is funny, too, but I don’t like it that much because it reminds me of various actual offices I’ve worked in.) Maybe it’s the fact that they thought there needed to be a made-for-TV remake of the Poseidon Adventure. Was it really cheaper than paying for the rights to show the real flick? Maybe it’s the fact the Medium must be doing so bad that someone at NBC thought it would be a good idea to do an episode in 3-D. Just last night Sweetface and I were discussing the cheap tricks they use to make Lost (an ABC show) engaging, but 3-D is indubitably the height of pop-culture cheese.

Maybe it was jumping on the Martha’s Apprentice bandwagon, and not jumping off the Donald’s Apprentice bandwagon that made NBC fall on its mammoth network behind. According to the Vancouver Sun, Martha was under the impression that she would be firing Trump for the first episode of her version of the Apprentice. How many times a week did NBC think people wanted to watch a bunch of overbearing personalities duke it out in a work scenario? (Also according to the article, Stewart had dreams of buying Kmart and turning it into Kmartha.) If I were an NBC executive, I’d be watching my back. I have a hard time trusting any woman or man whose smile never reaches their eyes. (Of course nowadays it’s hard to tell: Evil Incarnate or Botox.) Especially since Martha could teach the class on the fine points of crafting shanks from everyday household items.

The lessons for NBC: Let reality television go. Stick with the funny. And they should send Martha a let's-be-friends gift basket. Maybe they could put Kmart in it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Martha blows goats, I have proof.

11/18/2005 3:21 PM


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