History DorkAge / TelevisionNetworks

19th Mar '16 2:26:43 PM nombretomado
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* Creator/NineNetwork fell into this around [[TurnOfTheMillennium the mid-noughties]], because all of the American shows it aired were either getting cancelled (like Friends and Frasier) or were losing their charm (like CSI) and they didn't have anything to fill the holes in the schedule. Their foray into reality TV failed when they cancelled The Block and the Australian version of Survivor flopped. Since this was also the time when internet speeds in Australia were getting fast enough that many Aussies simply downloaded any good foreign shows, in the panic Australian networks started airing shows as soon as they possibly could; it's just that Nine did this to, of all things, Viva Laughlin, which was cancelled after its second episode. Luckily, their fortunes has turned around, due to a combination of good reality properties like return of The Block and Australian BigBrother, as well as good drama like {{Underbelly}} and a number CBS comedy imports like TwoAndAHalfMen and TheBigBangTheory (although they might be playing them too much...)

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* Creator/NineNetwork fell into this around [[TurnOfTheMillennium the mid-noughties]], because all of the American shows it aired were either getting cancelled (like Friends and Frasier) or were losing their charm (like CSI) and they didn't have anything to fill the holes in the schedule. Their foray into reality TV failed when they cancelled The Block and the Australian version of Survivor flopped. Since this was also the time when internet speeds in Australia were getting fast enough that many Aussies simply downloaded any good foreign shows, in the panic Australian networks started airing shows as soon as they possibly could; it's just that Nine did this to, of all things, Viva Laughlin, which was cancelled after its second episode. Luckily, their fortunes has turned around, due to a combination of good reality properties like return of The Block and Australian BigBrother, as well as good drama like {{Underbelly}} and a number CBS comedy imports like TwoAndAHalfMen Series/TwoAndAHalfMen and TheBigBangTheory Series/TheBigBangTheory (although they might be playing them too much...)
27th Jan '16 6:57:21 PM Ugolino
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Added DiffLines:

** In general, the tenure of Stuart Snyder is seen as one - not only was he the primary pusher towards live-action shows that unilaterally bombed, but he was also directly linked to getting several shows ScrewedByTheNetwork, the total demolition of action-oriented shows, mistreatment and alienation of content producers, eroding relationships with DC, and overall doing everything possible to destroy viewer interest. His tenure did see a number of good shows, but consensus is that they succeeded in spite of him.
27th Jan '16 10:54:38 AM TheRedRedKroovy
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* Creator/TheCW is a curious example, as it was a network ''born from'' a Dork Age that ultimately destroyed one of its parent networks, Creator/TheWB. Starting around 2003, The WB attempted to broaden its base beyond its core market of teenagers and college-age young adults; it was during this time that they retired the Michigan J. Frog mascot and canceled hit shows like ''Series/{{Angel}}'' and ''Series/DawsonsCreek'', replacing them with programs that crashed and burned in the ratings. The only hits that The WB produced post-2003 were ''Series/BeautyAndTheGeek'', ''Series/OneTreeHill'', and ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', all of which made the jump to The CW. By the end of 2005, The WB had fallen behind not only Creator/{{UPN}}, but also Creator/{{Univision}}, which is notably a ''Spanish-language'' network aimed at only a small subset of the population.\\

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* Creator/TheCW is a curious example, as it was a network ''born from'' a Dork Age that ultimately destroyed one of its parent networks, Creator/TheWB. Starting around 2003, The WB attempted to broaden its base beyond its core market of teenagers and college-age young adults; it was during this time that they retired the Michigan J. Frog mascot and canceled hit shows like ''Series/{{Angel}}'' and ''Series/DawsonsCreek'', replacing them with programs that crashed and burned in the ratings. The only hits that The WB produced post-2003 were ''Series/BeautyAndTheGeek'', ''Series/OneTreeHill'', and ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', all of which made the jump to The CW.CW -- and all of which, not coincidentally, were aimed at the 18-24 demographic that The WB was trying to break away from. By the end of 2005, The WB had fallen behind not only Creator/{{UPN}}, but also Creator/{{Univision}}, which is notably a ''Spanish-language'' network aimed at only a small subset of the population.\\



The Dork Age continued after The WB merged with UPN (a victim of a corporate shakeup at Viacom) in 2006 to form The CW. For fans of ''Series/GilmoreGirls'', ''Series/VeronicaMars'', ''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'', ''Series/{{Smallville}}''... well, it's easier to list the CW programs whose fandoms ''didn't'' burst out into tears as the network focused itself around (often short-lived) {{reality show}}s and vapid 'rich kids living the good life' dramas designed to [[FollowTheLeader cash in]] on ''Series/GossipGirl'' and ''[[Series/BeverlyHills90210 90210]]'', two of the network's breakout hits. The network turned itself around starting in 2012, after unpopular network head Dawn Ostroff stepped down, by gunning for the position of 'the geek network', premiering new sci-fi and fantasy shows like ''Series/{{Arrow}}'', ''Series/BeautyAndTheBeast2012'', and ''Series/{{The 100}}'' and giving renewed focus to genre hits like ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' and ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''. While it's still not a ratings-winner, The CW today has a devoted fanbase, and its embrace of online platforms to a greater degree than its bigger rivals has proven very fruitful.

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The Dork Age continued after The WB merged with UPN (a victim of a corporate shakeup at Viacom) in 2006 to form The CW. For fans of ''Series/GilmoreGirls'', ''Series/VeronicaMars'', ''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'', ''Series/{{Smallville}}''... well, it's easier to list the CW programs whose fandoms ''didn't'' burst out into tears as the network focused itself around (often short-lived) {{reality show}}s and vapid 'rich kids living the good life' dramas designed to [[FollowTheLeader cash in]] on ''Series/GossipGirl'' and ''[[Series/BeverlyHills90210 90210]]'', two of the network's breakout hits. More distressingly, The WB's absorption of UPN to create The CW was a short-term GenreKiller for African-American-led programming on network television, as UPN had been one of the main homes for such, and The CW was interested in more lucrative demographics. The network turned itself around starting in 2012, after unpopular network head Dawn Ostroff stepped down, by gunning for the position of 'the geek network', premiering network'. During this time, they premiered new sci-fi and fantasy shows like ''Series/{{Arrow}}'', ''Series/BeautyAndTheBeast2012'', ''Series/IZombie'', and ''Series/{{The 100}}'' and giving gave renewed focus to genre hits like ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' and ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''.''Series/TheVampireDiaries'', and beyond sci-fi and fantasy, they also premiered shows like ''Series/JaneTheVirgin'' and a revival of ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' that helped boost their critical reputation. While it's still not a ratings-winner, The CW today has a devoted fanbase, and its embrace of online platforms to a greater degree than its bigger rivals has proven very fruitful.
19th Jan '16 8:20:09 PM TheRedRedKroovy
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You can guess how that went. In 1993, after CBS had already lost broadcast rights to NBA and MLB, Fox signed a contract with [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball the NFL]] that gave them the exclusive rights to air NFC games, a move that firmly established Fox as America's fourth network but utterly devastated CBS. A common joke claimed that CBS stood for [[FunWithAcronyms "Can't Broadcast Sports"]]. This was followed by Fox's plundering of CBS' sportscasters and, in 1994, through a contract with New World Communications and its merger with Argyle Television, poaching CBS affiliates in such key markets as [[UsefulNotes/DFWMetroplex Dallas-Fort Worth]], UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}, UsefulNotes/{{Milwaukee}} and UsefulNotes/{{Detroit}},[[note]] (NWC would be purchased outright by News Corporation, Fox's parent company, in 1997)[[/note]] forcing CBS to move to lower-tier UHF stations in those and other cities.[[note]] CBS was spared the UHF demotion in Dallas-Fort Worth but still had to move up the dial to Channel 11.[[/note]] CBS would start to recover in 2000 with the debut of ''Series/{{CSI}}'' and ''Series/{{Survivor}}'', its first mega-hits in a long while, and since then it's caught back up to Fox for the #1 spot on the Nielsen charts.

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You can guess how that went. In 1993, after CBS had already lost broadcast rights to NBA and MLB, Fox signed a contract with [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball the NFL]] that gave them the exclusive rights to air NFC games, a move that firmly established Fox as America's fourth network but utterly devastated CBS. A common joke claimed that CBS stood for [[FunWithAcronyms "Can't Broadcast Sports"]]. This was followed by Fox's plundering of CBS' sportscasters and, in 1994, through a contract with New World Communications and its merger with Argyle Television, poaching CBS affiliates in such key markets as [[UsefulNotes/DFWMetroplex Dallas-Fort Worth]], UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}, UsefulNotes/{{Milwaukee}} and UsefulNotes/{{Detroit}},[[note]] (NWC would be purchased outright by News Corporation, Fox's parent company, in 1997)[[/note]] forcing CBS to move to lower-tier UHF stations in those and other cities.[[note]] CBS was spared the UHF demotion in Dallas-Fort Worth but still had to move up the dial to Channel 11.[[/note]] CBS would start to recover in 2000 with the debut of ''Series/{{CSI}}'' and ''Series/{{Survivor}}'', its first mega-hits in a long while, and since then then, it's caught back up to Fox been a regular contender for the #1 spot on the Nielsen charts.



* Creator/{{Fox}} fell into one during the 2011-12 season, when they attempted to juice their fall line-up with ''Series/TheXFactor'', which initially provided a solid boost but collapsed spectacularly over the next two seasons and was canceled after 2013. More distressingly, this undermined ''Series/AmericanIdol'' so dramatically that it went from TV's "Death Star" to a marginal player in the time that ''The X Factor'' was on the air, eventually singing its last note in 2016. Fox has also been severely harmed by their inability to develop new major scripted hits, generally putting out either {{Acclaimed Flop}}s like ''Series/{{Enlisted}}'' and ''Series/SurvivingJack'', "limited series" like ''Series/TheFollowing'' and ''Series/SleepyHollow'' that burn bright in season one only to flame out when audiences realize these aren't miniseries but instead multi-season shows with reduced episode orders, cult shows like ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'' or ''Series/TheMindyProject'' that burnish the critical perception of the network but don't bring appreciable ratings boosts, or reviled duds like ''Series/TheMobDoctor'', ''Series/RedBandSociety'', ''Series/{{Dads}}'', and ''Series/{{Mulaney}}''.\\

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* Creator/{{Fox}} fell into one during the 2011-12 season, when season. Coming off a long run of success in the '00s, they attempted to juice their a fall line-up lineup that was getting fairly long in the tooth with an American version of ''Series/TheXFactor'', which initially provided a solid boost but collapsed spectacularly over the next two seasons and before it was canceled after in 2013. More distressingly, this undermined ''Series/AmericanIdol'' so dramatically that it went Simon Cowell's involvement in ''The X-Factor'' led to his departure from ''Series/AmericanIdol'', which is often regarded as the [[JumpingTheShark point of no return]] for the latter show after a few years of stagnant, wobbly ratings; by the time ''The X-Factor'' was canceled, ''Idol'' had gone from Fox's big tentpole hit and TV's "Death Star" to a marginal player in the time that ''The X Factor'' was on the air, overshadowed by NBC's ''Series/TheVoice'', eventually singing its last note in 2016. Fox has also been severely harmed by their inability to develop new major scripted hits, generally putting out either {{Acclaimed Flop}}s like ''Series/{{Enlisted}}'' and ''Series/SurvivingJack'', "limited series" like ''Series/TheFollowing'' and ''Series/SleepyHollow'' that burn bright in season one only to [[SecondSeasonDownfall flame out out]] when audiences realize that these aren't miniseries MiniSeries but instead multi-season shows with reduced episode orders, cult shows like ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'' or ''Series/TheMindyProject'' that burnish the critical perception of the network network's reputation with critics but don't bring appreciable ratings boosts, or reviled duds like ''Series/TheMobDoctor'', ''Series/RedBandSociety'', ''Series/{{Dads}}'', and ''Series/{{Mulaney}}''.\\
19th Jan '16 5:42:25 PM TheRedRedKroovy
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* Creator/{{ABC}} went through a DorkAge of its own from 2000-2004, when many new shows didn't draw much in the ratings. The beginning of this was when the network gave WolverinePublicity to ''Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'' for the 2000-01 season, saturating the schedule by airing the game show in prime time as many as ''five nights a week''. In addition, Michael Eisner, then CEO of parent company Creator/{{Disney}}, turned down JerryBruckheimer's pitch for ''Series/{{CSI}}'', which instead became a hit for Creator/{{CBS}} (see above), and many of the new shows that debuted on ABC in that period were hardly successful in terms of ratings. The network almost went bankrupt in this period (and was part of the reason behind Eisner's fall), ultimately being spared after the debuts of ''Series/{{LOST}}'', ''Series/DesperateHousewives'', and ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' which boosted the network's ratings for the 2004-05 season.
** It has been said that ABC ''really'' needed those shows to succeed not just because of their precarious position at the time, but because, if they failed, there would have been [[NeverLiveItDown no end to the jokes]] about the network being "lost" and "desperate".

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* Creator/{{ABC}} went through a DorkAge of its own from 2000-2004, when many new shows didn't draw much in the ratings. The beginning of this was when the network gave WolverinePublicity to ''Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'' for the 2000-01 season, saturating the schedule by airing the game show in prime time as many as ''five nights a week''. In addition, Michael Eisner, then CEO of parent company Creator/{{Disney}}, turned down JerryBruckheimer's pitch for ''Series/{{CSI}}'', which instead became a hit for Creator/{{CBS}} (see above), and many of the new shows that debuted on ABC in that period were hardly successful in terms of ratings. The network fell to fourth place and almost went bankrupt in this period (and was part of the reason behind Eisner's fall), ultimately being spared after by the debuts of ''Series/{{LOST}}'', ''Series/DesperateHousewives'', and ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' ''Series/GreysAnatomy'', which boosted the network's ratings to second place for the 2004-05 season.
season. Since then, the network has been a reliable third place finisher, an unspectacular but comfortable position, only falling to fourth place once (in the 2011-12 season, when NBC was beginning to mount its comeback but before Fox started to seriously collapse). While it only has a few megahits (and virtually none from people not named Creator/ShondaRhimes), it does have a large stable of fairly modest hits with devoted fanbases.
** It has been said that ABC ''really'' needed those shows ''Lost'' and ''Desperate Housewives'' to succeed not just because of their precarious position at the time, but because, if they failed, there would have been [[NeverLiveItDown no end to the jokes]] about the network being "lost" and "desperate".
18th Jan '16 7:51:36 AM TheRedRedKroovy
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* A lot of sports fans consider ESPN to be in one now, especially with its flagship program ''Series/SportsCenter''. The sports news show rose to great popularity in TheNineties due to its charismatic anchors that could deliver scores and highlights with a touch of witty banter. More recently though, the show seems to be more focused on trumpeting its hosts over the games they're supposed to be reporting on through endless "analysis" segments that last way too long for many viewers. What's more, the Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smiths they have on now come off as too egotistical and annoying in the eyes of many.

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* A lot of sports fans consider ESPN Creator/{{ESPN}} to be in one now, especially with its flagship program ''Series/SportsCenter''. The sports news show rose to great popularity in TheNineties due to its charismatic anchors that could deliver scores and highlights with a touch of witty banter. More recently recently, though, the show seems to be more focused on trumpeting its hosts over the games they're supposed to be reporting on through endless "analysis" segments that last way too long for many viewers. What's more, the hosts they have now, like Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smiths they have on now Smith, come off as too egotistical and annoying in the eyes of many.\\
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ESPN has also been among the most high-profile victims of the growing problems facing the cable TV industry due to competition from the internet, as a massive share of its operating budget came from the high fees it charged to cable carriers to get it onto millions of basic cable subscriptions -- and with the growing trend of both cord-cutters and young people not getting cable subscriptions in the first place, [[http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/06/the-sports-bubble-is-about-to-pop.html those critical numbers are dropping]]. Due to falling revenue and subscriptions, ESPN laid off a number of on-air staff in 2015 and shuttered its popular sports/culture website Grantland.
17th Jan '16 11:25:44 PM TheRedRedKroovy
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** The first one was during Fred Silverman's tenure as president and CEO, 197881. Hot off of his success turning Creator/{{ABC}} into a titan in 197578, NBC brought him on hoping that lightning would strike twice. [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor What they got instead]] was a slew of gimmicky shows that were often canceled after only a season, with failures like ''Series/{{Supertrain}}'' and ''Series/PinkLadyAndJeff'' being among the most notorious (both of these shows are listed in ''Literature/WhatWereTheyThinkingThe100DumbestEventsInTelevisionHistory'', which takes several additional shots at Silverman). The former hit ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' went through its first DorkAge during the 1980-81 season, and was nearly canceled after the [[PrecisionFStrike F-bomb]] dropped on the Charlene Tilton episode. Morale at the network crumbled with each passing year spent in a distant third behind ABC and Creator/{{CBS}}; Creator/AlFranken ran the famous "Limo for the Lame-O" sketch on ''SNL'' skewering Silverman's handling of the network (which led to Franken getting sacked and, with it, the aforementioned DorkAge the following season), while the production studio and singers responsible for NBC's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AEhc2cgCnw "We're Proud as a Peacock!"]] campaign song recorded [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN9wJ75DjdA a hilarious parody version]] mocking Silverman, something he didn't take well.\\

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** The first one was during Fred Silverman's tenure as president and CEO, 197881. Hot off of his success turning Creator/{{ABC}} into a titan in 197578, NBC brought him on hoping that lightning would strike twice. [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor What they got instead]] was a slew of gimmicky shows that were often canceled after only a season, with failures like ''Series/{{Supertrain}}'' and ''Series/PinkLadyAndJeff'' being among the most notorious (both of these shows are listed in ''Literature/WhatWereTheyThinkingThe100DumbestEventsInTelevisionHistory'', which takes several additional shots at Silverman). The former hit ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' went through its first DorkAge during the 1980-81 season, and was nearly canceled after the [[PrecisionFStrike F-bomb]] dropped on the Charlene Tilton episode. Morale at the network crumbled with each passing year spent in a distant third behind ABC and Creator/{{CBS}}; Creator/AlFranken ran the famous [[http://snltranscripts.jt.org/79/79rupdate.phtml "Limo for the Lame-O" Lame-O"]] sketch on ''SNL'' skewering Silverman's handling of the network (which led to Franken getting sacked and, with it, the aforementioned DorkAge the following season), while the production studio and singers responsible for NBC's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AEhc2cgCnw "We're Proud as a Peacock!"]] campaign song recorded [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN9wJ75DjdA a hilarious parody version]] mocking Silverman, something he didn't take well.\\



The low point came in the 2009-10 season, when the [[StargateCity Vancouver]] Winter Olympics proved themselves to be a $250 million money pit for the network, and the failure of ''The Jay Leno Show'' left huge holes across a third of the network's UsefulNotes/PrimeTime schedule and caused a "Late Night War" between Leno and Creator/ConanOBrien that left TV fans with a lot of ill will against NBC's executives. The ouster of unpopular CEO Jeff Zucker in late 2010 had the network finally turn around; ''Series/TheVoice'' is a smash hit, and the network edged out ABC for third place at the end of the 2011-12 season. After equaling that rank for the 2012-13 season, they surged all the way back to number one on the back of the Winter Olympics, but also on the back of several new hits, particularly ''Series/TheBlacklist'', ''Series/ChicagoFire'' and its {{spinoff}} ''Series/ChicagoPD''. This dominance is continuing through the 2014-15 season even as their Thursday night comedy block has completely collapsed and been pulled (in favor of using ''The Blacklist'' to attack ABC's dominant Creator/ShondaRhimes trio on the night).
* CBS went through a bad decade in TheNineties. For much of TheEighties, its shows had skewed much older than its competitors ABC, NBC, and (starting in 1987) Fox meaning that, while it was pulling in huge ratings from seniors and retirees with shows like ''Series/{{Dallas}}'' and ''Series/MurderSheWrote'', it wasn't hitting the lucrative 18-49 demographic that advertisers crave.[[note]] Interestingly, CBS had gone through this exact same problem about twenty years earlier, though Madison Avenue demography was not nearly as advanced or all-consuming back then. In the late-60's, CBS had a trio of rural-themed shows ''Series/TheBeverlyHillbillies'', ''Series/GreenAcres'', and ''Series/PetticoatJunction'' that got excellent ratings but that the suits considered "too old" and "too Country" for a modern network. So all three shows were cancelled and replaced with much less popular shows that no one remembers.[[/note]] This earned it the nickname "the network of the living dead", and by the early '90s [[{{Foreshadowing}} they were relying on their weekend sports coverage to stay in the black]].\\

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The low point came in the 2009-10 season, when the [[StargateCity Vancouver]] UsefulNotes/{{Vancouver}} Winter Olympics proved themselves to be a $250 million money pit for the network, and the failure of ''The Jay Leno Show'' left huge holes across a third of the network's UsefulNotes/PrimeTime schedule and caused a "Late Night War" between Leno and Creator/ConanOBrien that left TV fans with a lot of ill will against NBC's executives. The ouster of unpopular CEO Jeff Zucker in late 2010 had saw the network finally start to turn around; itself around. ''Series/TheVoice'' is premiered in the 2010-11 season and became a smash hit, hit (though it was only one of two freshman series that season to get renewed[[note]]The other being ''Series/HarrysLaw'', which itself only lasted one more season.[[/note]]), and the network edged out ABC for third place at the end of the 2011-12 season. After equaling that rank for the 2012-13 following season, they surged all the way back to number one in the 2013-14 season on the back of the Winter Olympics, but also on the back of Olympics and several new hits, particularly ''Series/TheBlacklist'', ''Series/ChicagoFire'' ''Series/ChicagoFire'', and its {{spinoff}} ''Series/ChicagoPD''. This dominance is continuing continued through the 2014-15 season even as their Thursday night comedy block has completely collapsed and been pulled (in favor of using ''The Blacklist'' to attack ABC's dominant Creator/ShondaRhimes trio on the night).
*
night). Today, they run neck-and-neck with CBS as the #1 network, with NBC claiming the 18-49 demographic and CBS claiming the most total viewers.
* Creator/{{CBS}}
went through a bad decade in TheNineties. For much of TheEighties, its shows had skewed much older than its competitors ABC, NBC, and (starting in 1987) Fox meaning that, while it was pulling in huge ratings from seniors and retirees with shows like ''Series/{{Dallas}}'' and ''Series/MurderSheWrote'', it wasn't hitting the lucrative 18-49 demographic that advertisers crave.[[note]] Interestingly, CBS had gone through this exact same problem about twenty years earlier, though Madison Avenue demography was not nearly as advanced or all-consuming back then. In the late-60's, CBS had a trio of rural-themed shows ''Series/TheBeverlyHillbillies'', ''Series/GreenAcres'', and ''Series/PetticoatJunction'' that got excellent ratings but that the suits considered "too old" and "too Country" for a modern network. So all three shows were cancelled and replaced with much less popular shows that no one remembers.[[/note]] This earned it the nickname "the network of the living dead", and by the early '90s [[{{Foreshadowing}} they were relying on their weekend sports coverage to stay in the black]].\\



** It has been said that ABC ''really'' needed those shows to succeed not just because of their precarious position at the time, but because, if they failed, there would have been no end to the jokes about the network being "lost" and "desperate".
* Creator/{{Fox}} has descended into this beginning about 2011-12, when they attempted to juice their fall line-up with ''Series/TheXFactor'', which initially provided a solid boost but collapsed spectacularly over the next two season and was canceled after 2013. More distressingly, this undermined ''Series/AmericanIdol'' so dramatically that it went from TV's "Death Star" to a marginal player in the time that ''The X Factor'' was on the air. Fox has also been severely harmed by their inability to develop new major scripted hits, generally putting out either {{Acclaimed Flop}}s like ''Series/{{Enlisted}}'' and ''Series/SurvivingJack'', "limited series" like ''Series/TheFollowing'' and ''Series/SleepyHollow'' that burn bright in season one only to flame out when audiences realize these aren't miniseries but instead multi-season shows with reduced episode orders, cult shows like ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'' or ''Series/TheMindyProject'' that burnish the critical perception of the network without appreciable ratings boosts, or reviled duds like ''Series/TheMobDoctor'', ''Series/RedBandSociety'', ''Series/{{Dads}}'' and ''Series/{{Mulaney}}''. The effects of these problems really began to show during the network's dramatic collapse in spring 2014, only salvaging second place because of The Super Bowl; without that, and with ratings black holes on practically every night of the schedule, Fox is recording record ratings lows and seems well on its way to finishing fourth in 2014-15.
** Their cable sports properties are also stuck in one now - parent company News Corp. bulldozed UsefulNotes/{{motorsports}}-centric niche channel Speed in favor of broad-skewing Fox Sports 1, only for [=FS1=] to suffer big ratings drops from Speed, with only UFC, baseball and [[{{Irony}} the remaining motorsports programming]] consistently breaking six figures - even Big East Basketball, a reliable million-plus breaker for ESPN, couldn't do anything for Fox, sometimes going below 10,000 viewers when the telecasts got shunted over to Fox Sports 2. [[note]] To be fair that isn't entirely Fox's fault; thanks to several defections and an ultimate split of the conference over its attempts to maintain relevance as a football conference, the Big East is a shell of its former self, with most of its previous basketball powers like Syracuse, Connecticut and West Virginia now playing elsewhere,[[/note]] Speaking of [=FS2=], it replaced the even more niche extreme sports-centric Fuel, only to collapse even more dramatically from Fuel's numbers than [=FS1=] has from Speed's. It almost goes without saying that Fox has alienated die-hard motorsports and extreme sports fans with the changes, also pissing of a lot of UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}} fans (by far the most broad-skewing of any U.S. motorsports association) with things like the LiveButDelayed approach they took to the circuit's new knockout qualifying format in 2014 and the tendency to shunt over inconveniently scheduled practice and even qualifying sessions to [=FS2=], which is located on a higher cable tier than [=FS1=] (if your provider even carries the net).

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** It has been said that ABC ''really'' needed those shows to succeed not just because of their precarious position at the time, but because, if they failed, there would have been [[NeverLiveItDown no end to the jokes jokes]] about the network being "lost" and "desperate".
* Creator/{{Fox}} has descended fell into this beginning about 2011-12, one during the 2011-12 season, when they attempted to juice their fall line-up with ''Series/TheXFactor'', which initially provided a solid boost but collapsed spectacularly over the next two season seasons and was canceled after 2013. More distressingly, this undermined ''Series/AmericanIdol'' so dramatically that it went from TV's "Death Star" to a marginal player in the time that ''The X Factor'' was on the air. air, eventually singing its last note in 2016. Fox has also been severely harmed by their inability to develop new major scripted hits, generally putting out either {{Acclaimed Flop}}s like ''Series/{{Enlisted}}'' and ''Series/SurvivingJack'', "limited series" like ''Series/TheFollowing'' and ''Series/SleepyHollow'' that burn bright in season one only to flame out when audiences realize these aren't miniseries but instead multi-season shows with reduced episode orders, cult shows like ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'' or ''Series/TheMindyProject'' that burnish the critical perception of the network without but don't bring appreciable ratings boosts, or reviled duds like ''Series/TheMobDoctor'', ''Series/RedBandSociety'', ''Series/{{Dads}}'' ''Series/{{Dads}}'', and ''Series/{{Mulaney}}''. ''Series/{{Mulaney}}''.\\
\\
The effects of these problems really began to show during the network's dramatic collapse in spring between 2012 and 2014, falling to third place in the 2012-13 season (and second in the 18-49 demographic that had long been its bread and butter) and only salvaging second place in 2013-14 because of The Super Bowl; the UsefulNotes/SuperBowl; without that, and with ratings black holes on practically every night of the schedule, Fox is recording was hitting record ratings lows and seems well on its way lows. In the 2014-15 season, they [[http://www.thewrap.com/nbc-wins-second-straight-52-week-season-in-key-demographic/ fell painfully]] to finishing fourth place in 2014-15.
both total ratings and in the 18-49 demographic, with ''Series/{{Gotham}}'' and the monster hit ''Series/{{Empire}}'' as the only bright spots.
** Their cable sports properties are also stuck in one now - parent now. Parent company News Corp. bulldozed UsefulNotes/{{motorsports}}-centric niche channel Speed in favor of broad-skewing Fox Sports 1, only for [=FS1=] to suffer big ratings drops from Speed, with only UFC, baseball baseball, and [[{{Irony}} the remaining motorsports programming]] consistently breaking six figures - -- even Big East Basketball, a reliable million-plus breaker for ESPN, couldn't do anything for Fox, sometimes going below 10,000 viewers when the telecasts got shunted over to Fox Sports 2. [[note]] To [[note]]To be fair fair, that isn't entirely Fox's fault; thanks fault. Thanks to several defections and an ultimate split of the conference over its attempts to maintain relevance as a football conference, the Big East is a shell of its former self, self that's going through a Dork Age of its own, with most of its previous basketball powers like Syracuse, Connecticut Connecticut, and West Virginia now playing elsewhere,[[/note]] elsewhere.[[/note]] Speaking of [=FS2=], it replaced the even more niche extreme sports-centric Fuel, only to collapse even more dramatically from Fuel's numbers than [=FS1=] has from Speed's. It almost goes without saying that Fox has alienated die-hard motorsports and extreme sports fans with the changes, also pissing of a lot of as well as UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}} fans (by far the most broad-skewing of any U.S. motorsports association) with things like the LiveButDelayed approach they took to the circuit's new knockout qualifying format in 2014 and the tendency to shunt over inconveniently scheduled practice and even qualifying sessions to [=FS2=], which is located on a higher cable tier than [=FS1=] (if your provider even carries the net).net).
* Creator/TheCW is a curious example, as it was a network ''born from'' a Dork Age that ultimately destroyed one of its parent networks, Creator/TheWB. Starting around 2003, The WB attempted to broaden its base beyond its core market of teenagers and college-age young adults; it was during this time that they retired the Michigan J. Frog mascot and canceled hit shows like ''Series/{{Angel}}'' and ''Series/DawsonsCreek'', replacing them with programs that crashed and burned in the ratings. The only hits that The WB produced post-2003 were ''Series/BeautyAndTheGeek'', ''Series/OneTreeHill'', and ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', all of which made the jump to The CW. By the end of 2005, The WB had fallen behind not only Creator/{{UPN}}, but also Creator/{{Univision}}, which is notably a ''Spanish-language'' network aimed at only a small subset of the population.\\
\\
The Dork Age continued after The WB merged with UPN (a victim of a corporate shakeup at Viacom) in 2006 to form The CW. For fans of ''Series/GilmoreGirls'', ''Series/VeronicaMars'', ''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'', ''Series/{{Smallville}}''... well, it's easier to list the CW programs whose fandoms ''didn't'' burst out into tears as the network focused itself around (often short-lived) {{reality show}}s and vapid 'rich kids living the good life' dramas designed to [[FollowTheLeader cash in]] on ''Series/GossipGirl'' and ''[[Series/BeverlyHills90210 90210]]'', two of the network's breakout hits. The network turned itself around starting in 2012, after unpopular network head Dawn Ostroff stepped down, by gunning for the position of 'the geek network', premiering new sci-fi and fantasy shows like ''Series/{{Arrow}}'', ''Series/BeautyAndTheBeast2012'', and ''Series/{{The 100}}'' and giving renewed focus to genre hits like ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' and ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''. While it's still not a ratings-winner, The CW today has a devoted fanbase, and its embrace of online platforms to a greater degree than its bigger rivals has proven very fruitful.
17th Jan '16 2:59:06 PM Vir
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** Exemplified with their treatment of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. The original show was a phenomenon, raking in views across all demographic groups and bringing in rave reviews and huge ratings for the network, to the point where they planned a movie adaptation for a show less than a decade old (though the less said about ''that'', the better). So how many episodes did Nickelodeon order for its sequel series ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfKorra'' initially? '''Twelve'''. Then, after the show proved to be successful, they ordered three more seasons... and proceeded to delay it time and time again until September 2013. And then they booted it to the network's website in 2014.

to:

** Exemplified with their treatment of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. The original show was a phenomenon, raking in views across all demographic groups and bringing in rave reviews and huge ratings for the network, to the point where they planned a movie adaptation for a show less than a decade old (though the less said about ''that'', the better). So how many episodes did Nickelodeon order for its sequel series ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfKorra'' ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' initially? '''Twelve'''. Then, after the show proved to be successful, they ordered three more seasons... and proceeded to delay it time and time again until September 2013. And then they booted it to the network's website in 2014.
17th Jan '16 2:58:48 PM Vir
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** Exemplified with their treatment of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. The original show was a phenomenon, raking in views across all demographic groups and bringing in rave reviews and huge ratings for the network, to the point where they planned a Movie Adaptation for a show less than a decade old (though the less said about ''that'', the better). So how many episodes did Nickelodeon order for its sequel series ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfKorra'' initially? '''Twelve'''. Then, after the show proved to be successful, they ordered three more seasons... and proceeded to delay it time and time again until September 2013. And then they booted it to the network's website in 2014.

to:

** Exemplified with their treatment of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. The original show was a phenomenon, raking in views across all demographic groups and bringing in rave reviews and huge ratings for the network, to the point where they planned a Movie Adaptation movie adaptation for a show less than a decade old (though the less said about ''that'', the better). So how many episodes did Nickelodeon order for its sequel series ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfKorra'' initially? '''Twelve'''. Then, after the show proved to be successful, they ordered three more seasons... and proceeded to delay it time and time again until September 2013. And then they booted it to the network's website in 2014.
17th Jan '16 2:40:55 PM Vir
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* Creator/{{Nickelodeon}}'s going through this right now, and has been since at least 2009. Over half of the channel's timeslots are filled with reruns of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarePants''. They put out poorly-made live-action shows that make the ''Disney Channel'' (see below) look like a bastion of quality programming though most agree that ''Series/{{ICarly}}'' at least was good. They gave {{Fred}} three poorly-received movies and a show that didn't even get a second season. They regularly reject quality pilots from talented creators, including turning down the chance to make ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' into a full series, which was later picked up by CartoonNetwork and went on to become a huge success. They have cancelled or ignored other good shows they have, yet gave multiple seasons to ''WesternAnimation/FanboyAndChumChum''. And they now trawl Website/YouTube for show ideas, like ''WesternAnimation/{{Breadwinners}}''. It also doesn't help that they frequently relegate any new animated shows they have to Nicktoons Network, usually after only a month or two of their premiere on Nickelodeon.

to:

* Creator/{{Nickelodeon}}'s going through this right now, and has been since at least 2009. Over half of the channel's timeslots are filled with reruns of ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarePants''.''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants''. They put out poorly-made live-action shows that make the ''Disney Channel'' (see below) look like a bastion of quality programming though most agree that ''Series/{{ICarly}}'' at least was good. They gave {{Fred}} WebVideo/{{Fred}} three poorly-received movies and a show that didn't even get a second season. They regularly reject quality pilots from talented creators, including turning down the chance to make ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' into a full series, which was later picked up by CartoonNetwork and went on to become a huge success. They have cancelled or ignored other good shows they have, yet gave multiple seasons to ''WesternAnimation/FanboyAndChumChum''. And they now trawl Website/YouTube for show ideas, like ''WesternAnimation/{{Breadwinners}}''. It also doesn't help that they frequently relegate any new animated shows they have to Nicktoons Network, usually after only a month or two of their premiere on Nickelodeon.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=DorkAge.TelevisionNetworks