Friday, May 25, 2012

A Screed ...

I Want My “Harry’s Law”

Sunday night, May 27th at 7 p.m. will be final episode of NBC’s “Harry's Law.”

“Harry’s Law” starring Kathy Bates was/is a well-conceived, well-written, well-acted, and well-produced show. It was/is stunning that the plots uncannily seemed/seem to coincide with a current news story. To me, it is a crime that it’s going away.

I understand ratings and consultants. I understand demographics and target audiences. I worked in the broadcast industry for 40+ years. . I teach at a local university requiring critical thinking of its students. So, I get it.

I decided to give NBC some feedback, not that they care. I had to fill in multiple blanks creating for them my “profile” in order to get to NBC’s comments page. So, at a glance they can know that I apparently fit their unwanted demographic. I'm too old.

Admittedly, I mentioned an episode of “Harry's Law” to one of my classes during the spring semester, and no one had seen it. They are the NBC target demographic, apparently, and I am not.

I watch little drama and no comedy with the exception of an occasional “Saturday Night Live.” I watch news and sports most of the time, but “Harry's Law” sucked me over the past two years in because of its consistent quality.

I'm just bummed because brainy “Harry's Law” quite likely will be replaced by some insipid, vacuous, reality show or something parsimonious, saving the network money while searching for the "right" demographic.

NBC and the other networks should remember that perhaps I am actually the right demographic. Think about the aging "Baby Boomers". We are retiring in front of our televisions daily. We have money, and we'll spend it. So, perhaps the networks should do a better job of selling ads to targeted advertisers who want to reach people like me.

Sometimes, there is a ground-swell in support of TV shows. I don't know if the ground is swelling in support of “Harry's Law”, but I'd like to start it. Instead of eschewing quality and going for the short-term gain, NBC should let a show grow its audience, and the advertisers will come.

© Jim McNabb, 2012


Candy Weinberg said...

I agree! We are very upset that "Harry" is leaving. The issues were current and relevant, and the acting was superb - Kathy Bates is a true actress... and the fact that she is an SMU alum just adds to her appeal! What can be done to help the ground swell?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the screed. Good smart television that is well acted, funny, thoughtful and touching without being maudlin. When are the networks going to figure out that we spend money too and probably have more expendable cash that their target demographics.I just watched the last episode and this truly is tragic-another quality show gone surely to be replaced by drivel!

Anonymous said...

Although I agree, ad guys would say our buying habits are locked in and we are not easily persuaded to change like those you ger demos -- not to mention we are more likely to die sooner. Oh wait, I did mention it.