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Friday, 4 December 2009
NBC and Comcast--A Match Made in Hell

 So, Comcast is buying NBC.  Wow.  The people who can't even give me a reliable interenet connection are going to be running an already confused network.  This should just be ducky.  Sort of like Afghanistan trying to invade Iraq.  I don't know how this will all turn out, but one has to wonder if NBC is beyond fixing, as is.  Perhaps this will give the network an opportunity to "rebrand" itself (for the 10,000th time) into something people actually gravitate toward.  Or, better yet, try NOT branding yourself for once.  Not long ago, I compared NBC to the Pontiac Aztec.  I was, of course, spot on.  GM kept trying to tell us the Aztec was cool, and awesome looking.  But, all we had to do was stare at for a few seconds and our eyes would start bleeding.

Let me give you a quick lesson on failing networks.  We'll call it Failing Network 101.  Here's how it goes.  Network gets lucky in programming, and reaches peak.  Network gets unlucky in programming and falters.  Network tries to copy other successful networks' programming.  Network gets worse, sinks into the abyss.  Network thinks coming out with new glossy promo campaign will convince audiences that it doesn't suck.  That's where NBC is right now.  Sucking, and trying to convince you it doesn't.  What is their new campaign?  "Get colorful?"  I'm not even sure.  It's just unbelievably depserate.
So, here's some free advice from a writer you've passed on three times NBC--make that FOUR (and people say I'm bitter).  Go back to the drawing board.  Get in a room, drink vodka, play beer pong,  whatever it takes.  Have some fun.  Come up with something sincere.  Keep it simple.  Just get back to developing good television.  What too many networks try to do (typically in vain) is brand, then pick programming that ONLY fits that brand.  It works for a niche network like Lifetime because there are 700 cable networks.  It doesn't work for a broad entity like NBC. The best kind of branding for a network is simply being the best.  It's like GM.  They make cars, trucks, vans--what if they only made one kind of car? They also have a brilliant branding platform and slogan right now.  "May the Best Car Win."  Drive our fucking cars, and YOU decide.  For years, GM tired to convince us their cars weren't shitty.  Now, for once, they aren't building shitty cars, and they know they've cried wolf too many times.  So, they know we won't believe them, so they simply ask us to take a spin.
Will that work for NBC?  Not right now.  But, it could.  Eventually.  When they have programming that looks good enough for a test drive.
Posted on 12/04/2009 9:31 AM by Todd Carr
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