Discover more from Too Much TV Newsletter
Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, September 21st, 2022
If I ran the digital promotion efforts for "Dancing With The Stars"
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, September 21st, 2022.
SO...I GUESS THIS IS THE START OF THE FALL PREMIERE SEASON?
I was interviewed yesterday afternoon about the new fall TV season and about twenty minutes into it, I was asked a question that somewhat stumped me: "If you could pick one must-watch new fall show, what would it be?"
It is a much tougher question than you might expect. As I ended up explaining to the host, I'm not sure that there is a "must-watch" new broadcast television series. Last season brought the premieres of Abbott Elementary and Ghosts. But there aren't any potential breakout comedies this season and even the dramas feel either familiar or just middling. As I mentioned in my review of NBC's Quantum Leap, it's hard to know how that show will shake out creatively, because the network only sent the premiere episode out to critics. Likewise, the Hillary Swank ABC drama Alaska Daily shows some promise, but I've also only seen one episode of that series. The CBS cop drama East New York has some great actors, but what I've seen so far just feels like another CBS cop procedural. It's the same with the CBS procedural Fire Country, which so far feels more paint-by-numbers than can't miss.
Fox's Monarch has already premiered, but it strikes me as the kind of show that would have been in the Top Ten list in 1998. And if that were the case, its lead-in would have probably been the NBC comedy Lopez Vs. Lopez. The premise of ABC's Gina Rodriguez comedy Not Dead Yet sounds promising, but I haven't seen anything yet but a short clip.
All in, the four broadcast TV networks are premiering around a dozen shows over the next couple of months. And none of them has that "high concept" feel that brings along the buzz. It's all depressingly safe and it's in stark contrast to the various streaming services.
I understand all the challenges faced by the broadcast networks in 2022. An audience that continues to get smaller, budgets that continue to get tighter and viewers that tend to be older and more creatively conservative. Still, the lack of ambition saddens me. I grew up in a world where broadcast television was the only thing available. And now, it's just another take-it-or-leave it option.
SPEAKING OF A LACK OF AMBITION
There has been a lot to like so far about the move of Dancing With The Stars to Disney+. The production values have been solid, adding Alfonso Ribeiro was a smart move and I have seen few complaints of any issues with the live streaming presentation on the streamer.
I am disappointed that Disney+ has not taken more advantage of the space it has to build off added content around the show. If you go into the Dancing With The Stars tile on Disney+, the "extras" tab has one entry: a 54-second promo for the new season. There are no EPKs, no interviews, nothing at all to keep fans happy throughout the week. And weirdly, the recent Dancing With The Stars: The Pros' Most Memorable Dances special is listed under "suggested," along with programs that range from Hamilton to The Simpsons.
I realize there's no money in the budget for creating a bunch of unique content just to stick into the "extras" section. But if anyone asked me, here are a few quick and relatively inexpensive things I'd try as the season progressed.
* Pick a few songs that didn't make the cut for an upcoming week's show. Encourage fans to post video on social media dancing along to the tune and post some of the best of them in a compilation video.
* My son is obsessed with watching the official NFL, NBA, and NHL compressed highlight videos each of the leagues post about individual games. Four or five days after the weekly episode has aired, post a ten-minute highlight video which would serve as an entry point for viewers who happened to miss the previous week's episode.
* How about a "dances only" version of the episode that cuts out everything but the performances themselves?
* Tape the couples re-watching their performance and discussing how it felt, what they were thinking, etc. I know they'll be busy with preparation for the upcoming week, but it can be as simple as sit down and watch your performance, say what pops into your head and you're done.
* It's not cheap, but my Dancing With The Stars digital bucket list would be to have a couple of people do a "Manning Cast" version of the performances.
* Tape some exclusive interviews. Have someone walk around backstage and provide a look at the set. Track down some former participants and ask them to recall their experience on the show.
Honestly, there are all sorts of content that can be created for Disney+. Moving the show to streaming was a really smart idea. But simply streaming the show without any additional content is digital promotion malpractice.
ODDS AND SODS
* The Food Network has picked up a third season of Alex Vs. America, which just finished up its second season last week.
* Musicians are back on the road, but every day is a gamble.
* Dr. Sanjay Gupta is hosting a CNN Special Report Immaculate Concussion: The Truth Behind Havana Syndrome, which premieres Sunday, September 25th on CNN.
WHAT'S NEW FOR WEDNESDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
Abbott Elementary Season Two Premiere (ABC)
Andor Series Premiere (Disney+)
Big Sky Season Premiere (ABC)
Chicago Fire Season Premiere (NBC)
Chicago Med Season Premiere (NBC)
Chicago PD Season Premiere (NBC)
Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (Netflix)
Designing Miami Series Premiere (Netflix)
Escape From Kabul (HBO)
Firebuds Series Premiere (Disney/Disney Jr./Disney+)
Fortune Seller: A TV Scam (Netflix)
Home Economics Season Premiere (ABC)
Iron Chef Mexico Series Premiere (Netflix)
Lego Masters Season Premiere (Fox)
Malicious Mind Games (LMN)
Meet Cute (Peacock)
Prisma (Prime Video)
Super/Natural Series Premiere (Disney+)
Survivor Season Premiere (CBS)
The Amazing Race Season Premiere (CBS)
The Challenge: Untold History (MTV)
The Conners Season Premiere (ABC)
The Goldbergs Season Premiere (ABC)
The Masked Singer Season Premiere (Fox)
The Perfumier (Netflix)
The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist (Netflix)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU THURSDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.