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Why bother with US TV? It’s just like US corporations 

[Cross-posted] My comment on the Journeyman Blog today:

Mike, you are being generous. I’m no longer going to watch American serials that don’t have self-contained episodes as my “default” position, making exceptions for presently unforeseeable situations. I feel that strongly about Journeyman.
   Journeyman was an exception, but I have managed to stay away from all the other so-called hits with “story arcs” anyway (Lost, Heroes, The Nine, Traveler, Prison Break, 24, etc.).
   Like you, I was a Day Break fan and we managed to get, fortunately, all 13 episodes networked here (albeit at a really sucky time). I gave Journeyman a chance on the strength of a fabulous pilot but now, if I hear ‘Made in USA’ along with ‘story arc’, I just won’t bother.

   This cannot be good for the US TV industry, but if it has morons running the networks, then what can it expect? was the last straw, especially as I tracked how the show unfolded and how inept had been. This isn’t the first series that I have followed that was cancelled prematurely—but after so many of these, where American networks cannot understand that loyalty to the network brand also depends on overall product quality, I am just fed up.
   This is the syndrome. The story is this: the Taurus was a huge hit for . Instead of continual improvement, Ford opted to abandon the Taurus, letting it get trampled by the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, when the SUV boom happened. Toyota and Honda, instead, kept improving their sedans and developed SUVs. By 2006, the Taurus was a joke, sold to rental car fleets. It was only for the 2007 model year that Ford transferred the Taurus name on to its Five Hundred. By that time, Ford lost a lot of customers to the Japanese and there are people who felt their loyalty had been thrown into their face.
   It also had the Ford Contour in the US, which the company refused to market properly, probably because it had been co-developed with its European branch. The claim was that Americans were not interested in the CD-sized market that the Contour occupied. Reality: Dearborn probably wanted to cover its own butt by saying, ‘We are not taking this European stuff because we have to sell domestically designed.’ It’s perhaps all political. Meanwhile, Americans were buying the same-sized car from BMW and Mercedes. Buyers just kept going foreign.
   Ford’s latest refusal to sell the German-designed C307 Focus, and instead facelift the older model for American buyers, is yet another example. Now the Focus is getting trampled by the Honda Civic, and the next Toyota Corolla will beat it even more. History keeps repeating there at Ford.
   In other words, Ford thinks Americans are dumb Yanks.
   NBC has combined these moves, but really, every network is guilty of this. While Journeyman was not a huge hit, NBC knows its poor scheduling and non-existent promotion are to blame. Instead of allowing an audience to build (the numbers were growing), it decided to interrupt Journeyman’s schedule just as the show found its legs. It had a quality product which it intended to kill. And in the meantime, viewers are feeling that the networks are not listening. They will happily go to cable, DVDs and other services. NBC’s remaining offerings—dumbed-down reality fare—will be like the 2005 Ford Taurus.
   In other words, the US networks think Americans are dumb Yanks.
   No, foreigners do not think Americans are dumb because of George W. Bush. Foreigners think Americans are dumb because that is how American corporations treat American citizens, by making decisions that disrespect the American consumer’s intelligence. Foreigners then make an erroneous presumption that that is what consumers have asked for—when in fact most Americans are as upset about the strange corporate decisions that take place.
   As television globalizes—and it will—the US networks will be like Ford, where perceived quality and loyalty will no longer be there.
   Bad moves against quality products do affect the overall parent —something that even brand consultants need to remember.
   And, sadly, the parent ’s decisions and subsequent image can be tied to the one.
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I've been watching Journeyman on the web, thanks Jack for "turning me on" to this show. It's my favorite now. I hope it's picked up and they resume production.  
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   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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