Created By: zachattack12 on April 19, 2012 Last Edited By: zachattack12 on April 20, 2012

Wrong Channel Savvy

A (normally) good show that happens to be on the wrong channel.

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The Good Guys, which being a police centered dramedy (with the emphasis on the EDY part), would have been perfect for USA. However, it was put on FOX, where it proceeded to get cancelled unfairly after one glorious year.

My Name is Earl, with it's quirk-laden blue-collarness, would have been perfect for FOX. While it had three successful years on NBC, it was cut after the fourth, despite NBC giving the go-ahead for a 5th Season, which prompted Greg Garcia to end the final episode on a cliff-hanger. Interestingly enough, after the fourth season there was talk that the show would hop to FOX (or ABC, TNT, or most notably TBS), but this never happened. Also, Jaime Pressley's next show would be on FOX and Jason Lee's next show would be on TNT.

The Goode Family aired on ABC. Despite being an animated comedy. Despite centering around a family. Despite having Mike Judge (King of the Hill) as star/creator. Despite featuring Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad!) playing the family pet. And Brian Doyle-Murray (formerly of Get a Life AND Bakersfield P.D.). Despite all of this, it was not on FOX. It was cancelled after 13 episodes.

NBC's Whitney is created by Whitney Cummings (creator of 2 Broke Girls). And it has a laugh track. And it does not feature high-brow humor. Yet, it is not on CBS.

ABC Family's The Middleman might have worked on SyFy (then called Sci-Fi, which it might not have worked quite as well on) or even regular ABC. But it didn't even make sense on ABC Family.

Clerks definitely would have lasted longer had it not been on ABC. Granted, 2 episodes (plus 4 more on Comedy Central) is not at all hard to beat. Granted ABC also had Work It, but that was cancelled for a reason.

Speaking of that, Work It may have possibly (but unlikely) worked on Logo.

Had Everybody Hates Chris been sent to BET after the UPN/The WB merger, it most likely would have lasted longer than 3 more seasons. Although they might have gotten rid of Greg.

Speaking of Mitchell Hurwitz, none of his shows were cut out for broadcast television. Arrested Development would have benefited on HBO when it was made (Showtime now, or Party Down-era Starz), Sit Down Shut Up on Comedy Central, and Running Wilde might have fared better if all the episodes on FX, because the show was milder, but more subtle, than Arrested Development. Not being stereotypical, but The Ellen Show might have lasted on Logo, and Brothers might have lasted on BET.

FOX's Lie to Me would have fared well on USA. However, unlike the Good Guys, it is dramatic enough to have made it on AMC.

Some argue the Hub's Dan Vs. seems better suited for Adult Swim.

CBS aired the American adaptation of Creature Comforts which was cancelled after 3 episodes and sent off to air the remaining 4 on Animal Planet. It might have lasted if it was on Animal Planet the whole time.

CBS's cult-series Love Monkey (nothing to do with animals) was ALSO cancelled after 3 episodes and then sent to VH-1. If it was on NBC (where the high-brow humor and witty banter would not have been lost on viewers), or maybe VH-1 the whole time, the show probably would have lasted.

The League is faring excellently on FX. However, if ESPN still aired scripted (or in this case partially scripted) programming, it may have served as FX's breakout series.

Fox's Bob's Burgers would probably be better suited for FX, as a result of the oddball humor. Luckily, it seems to be holding its own ground on FOX's sunday night schedule.

Had Warren the Ape been on IFC instead of MTV, it would probably be thriving.

There should be quite a few more examples of this.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • April 19, 2012
    Alvin
    I'm sure you're right, but I find it very subjective, and I've never really thought about that before.
  • April 19, 2012
    tvtroper98
    Dilbert might have lasted longer if it was on FOX.
  • April 19, 2012
    zachattack12
    @Alvin: Most channels have a certain breed of show. For example, NBC typically has very high-brow humor (save for Whitney and a handful of others). Fox normally uses very quirky and/or blue-collar shows, and FX handles stuff that is too quirky or profane for Fox. USA normally handles cop/detective/mystery shows. ABC Family handles teen dramas. BET, Logo, Lifetime (do I really need to do any explaining). IFC airs very obscure and quirky comedies. AMC airs dramas. And so on and so on.
  • April 19, 2012
    zachattack12
    Dilbert is a cartoon, but it is a workcom, not a domcom. Fox only airs domcom cartoons. Look what happened to The Critic and particularly Sit Down, Shut Up. And Batman TAS when it went primetime. Dilbert might have made it on Comedy Central. Actually, it would have been almost guaranteed to have made it on Comedy Central.
  • April 19, 2012
    LeeM
    This is indubitably subjective, and I would have said non-tropeable. However, one very good example did then occur to me.

    The Strangerers (sic) was a quirky science fiction comedy written by Rob Grant, that might have become a cult classic if it had been on BBC Two or Channel Four. Unfortunately it aired on Sky One, which never recognised its eccentric charm and dropped it following a cliffhanger. Worse still, nobody ever re-ran it or gave it a DVD release.
  • April 19, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    There are several reasons why I don't feel like this is tropable. 1) It is purely an Audience Reaction, and very subjective. Who's to say whether or not a show would've done better if it were picked up by another channel? All that's known was that the show didn't do well, whether it was due to bad publicity, or a bad timeslot, or what, but most likely, it was because the show wasn't that great to begin with. If it were any good, it probably would've been picked up by the network that was the best fit for it, instead of by some rival network trying to compete with them. 2) The article comes off as complaining about shows/networks you don't like. 3) Where's the description? You can't expect this YKTTW to go very far without at least one sentence of description, but you're going to need much more than that. 4) The reasonings you give for why the shows belong on some channels instead of the channels they actually aired on is a bit frustrating. Are you seriously suggesting that ABC can't air shows that center around families? Or that creators and actors can't hop around from network to network without their shows inevitably failing? It doesn't make much sense.

    Ultimately, this whole trope seems to trigger from a misconception that a channel is meant to stick to only one or two type of shows, and that any attempt to diversify and appeal to a larger crowd will ultimately lead to failure.
  • April 19, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Wayyyyyy to subjective. Not tropeable.
  • April 20, 2012
    zachattack12
    Not every channel is meant to stick to only one type of show. But every channel has a typical breed. Here are the typical shows by channel:

    ABC: Family centered comedy (Full House, Home Improvement, The Middle, Suburgatory, Last Man Standing, The Goode Family, Modern Family, Family Matters). Or soap opera esque dramas (Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Revenge).

    ABC Family: Teen dramas(Kyle XY, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Nine Lives of Chloe King, Greek, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Lying Game, Pretty Little Liars, Make It or Break It, Jane by Design, Huge).

    AMC: Very dramatic drams, with dark undertones (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Hell on Wheels, The Walking Dead).

    Animal Planet: Animal centered programming

    NBC: High-brow comedy, if made after 2000 it is single-camera (Seinfeld, The Cosby Show, Scrubs, Andy Barker P.I., Frasier, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Community, 30 Rock, Up All Night) or high-brow dram(edy) shows (The West Wing, Ed, Parenthood, Columbo, Smash, Awake).

    Fox: Quirky comedies, blue collar comedies, cartoons based around families, or cult shows ( USA: Police/Detective/Lawyer/Mystery shows (Monk, Psych, Royal Pains, Criminal Intent, Suits, Kojak 2005, Duckman [he was a detective], Fairly Legal).

    This post will be edited later.
  • April 20, 2012
    Statalyzer
    ^ None of that means this is a trope.
  • April 20, 2012
    Statalyzer
    ^ None of that means this is a trope.
  • April 20, 2012
    foxley
    Meaningless if you don't live in the US.
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