Monday, May 29, 2006

Anyone remember Summer Reruns?

Seeing as sweeps are over and the inevitable "second season" is about to start, I would just like if not eulogize, at least remember with great fondness, the summer rerun.

Well it is true that there are some shows going through another cycle through the summer, the networks are increasingly shelving mid-to-low performing shows between seasons to make room for cheap to produce reality television, clip shows and a few new offerings of the scripted variety. I can see their point of view from a revenue standpoint, but I also remember that many series in the past really took off after viewers, who had just watched their favorite show in a time slot throughout a season and looking for something different, tuned into another network's reruns and discovered a show that they could really get behind(All in the Family, for instance). Sure there were experiments and such, but reruns were an integral part of the system.

And then an upstart network started to mess things up. Fox had the innovative thinking that if they started Beverly Hills 90210 during a two summer seasons (with Melrose Place opening its doors during that second season), and the rest was history. I know there are other events that led to the current state of affairs, but this is something I remember living through, so it has stayed with me. I also find it ironic that Fox's former favorite flavor, The O.C. began as a late summer start its first season and then ended its second with the promise that the entire season would then be rerun during the summer double-barrel style.

Of course, the summer success of Survivor didn't help things either, because now the summer is littered with knockoffs instead of shows that are already in the can and done, expensive shows which could use a little more airplay to offset their costs.

I just wish that on some level the networks would follow one of the older NBC slogans regarding summer reruns: "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you," because if you love a show that is on the bubble or in trouble, that's exactly the sentiment you want from new viewers during this long, hot season, because some things blossom better in the heat.


Marcie said...

Even if you have seen it, if you like it you'll watch it again. I am the rerun queen. Raymond, Sex and the City and Seinfeld are better than a lot of the stuff that plays now. I wish they would air Lost this Summer from the beginning. I hear so many good things about it but I feel like I've missed the boat on that one. It doesn't seem like a show you can start watching and know what's going on if you haven't been there from day one.

MC said...

I think the reason ABC won't do that is they have a sweet deal going with that DVD set.

I know Alias had a few places where you could jump into it as a new fan, but I agree that Lost seems like a full commitment or nothing is going to make sense.