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Fall TV pilots and Week 3 Fantasy Analysis: Knowing When it is Time to Pull the Plug

When the time comes, are you capable of pulling the plug on something you love?

Even if was the NFL!!!

Not every TV program deserves to survive. But of course, the NFL will survive. Its audience is going nowhere—no matter how much they complain on Twitter, no matter how many messages (70,000+) that rabid pro football fans leave on Roger Goodell’s voicemail.

As painful as it was to watch, the recent Packers-Seahawks game was great television. From the NFL’s perspective. The terms “Reality TV” and “train wrecks” are practically synonymous. No matter how bad it gets–controversial Hail Mary passes and blown referee calls–we will still keep watching. The NFL is inelastic.

Still, while the NFL feels bulletproof with these inadequate refs endangering the integrity of the game, two of the largest entertainment lobbies in the world want to see this lock out end:

1) Las Vegas gambling

2) Hollywood programming

Mission accomplished, NFL and the Disney Television Group!!! I haven’t been so mesmerized by a train wreck like that since Courtney stole Ben on “The Bachelor, Season 16”.

The NFL dominates all other programming the way that the Seattle Seahawks dominated the Green Bay Packers offensive line in the opening quarter. This fall season, with the NFL Network airing games on Thursday nights starting in September instead of November, some new network series will get steamrolled.

Replacement officials cause delays which make the games last much longer than normal. Replacement officials are now the X Factor in point spreads.

Even non-football fans were talking about the game by Tuesday morning. It was impossible to escape. Not on your favorite morning talk show. Not on Twitter. Not on the latest Presidential campaign coverage.

Las Vegas and Hollywood don’t like competing with the NFL.

In addition to tracking sports and reality TV dating shows, Flaming Bag of Poo has another noteworthy talent: successfully predicting each network’s very first cancellation every season. (I wonder if Las Vegas will give me odds for that competition.)

Of course, Flaming Bag of Poo must handicap these predicted cancellations. Because in the old days before YouTube, DVR, and Zooey Deschanel, the networks aired their TV pilots over the same week in September. Nowadays, pilots are staggered—sometimes airing in August, sometimes airing in October. So these predictions are based on the number of actual days that pass from pilot air date to the announced cancellation.

Flaming Bag of Poo predicts—for each of the five major broadcast networks–that these new TV shows will be cancelled the quickest.

More powerful than the NFC North division

ABC has two shows lining up against the NFL. “666 Park Avenue” airs against the second half of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football in America”. Meanwhile “Last Resort” airs against the NFL network’s Thursday Night Game; Time Warner Cable’s recent announcement to start carrying the NFL Network means more NFL coverage in homes on Thursday nights.

That submarine show is sunk by season’s end. In addition to the NFL, the show will air against “Big Bang Theory”, “Two and a Half Men”, “The X Factor”, “30 Rock” and “The Vampire Diaries”. (I do love the Vampire Diaries, but that’s another blog post all together.) Really, from all those options, do you really think anyone is anxious to see Andre Braugher and that kid from “Felicity”?

However, if you really thought the replacement officials were horrible to watch, then they look like ratings stars compared to ABC’s Wednesday night post-“Modern Family” show, “The Neighbors”.

Sure, you’ll hear that “The Neighbors” scored well in the ratings–in it’s first week. But that’s only because audiences couldn’t reach for the remote control fast enough after “Modern Family” was over. Flaming Bag of Poo could hardly make it through the opening credits. When the best star that you can attract to the show was once an ’80’s film star, then you know that no other actor in town wanted to get within 100 yards of this stinker.

Even Jami Gertz is shocked to be surrounded by such a no-name cast. They may as well be aliens, too.

It’s a good thing that Disney has Monday Night Football. Even the Jacksonville Jaguars will still be in playoff contention when “The Neighbors” gets cancelled.

CBS is this year’s version of the New Orleans Saints. Even the champ has problem areas that need fixing. I recorded the new Monday night show “Partners” last week, since of course, I was watching the Broncos-Falcons game live on my TV. How was “Partners” (from the creators of “Will & Grace”…which I actually enjoyed)?

I think I’d rather be on the receiving end of an Ed Reed helmet-to-helmet collision than watch the second episode of “Partners”. Even a girl as cute as Sophie Bush just comes across as downright annoying.

Guys, not every Bush is worth seeing.

“Partners” might not be the worst new show this season. But if you can’t protect a lead (thanks to All-Star “How I Met Your Mother”), then you must be benched.

FOX thinks that “The Mob Doctor” is effective counterprogramming against “Monday Night Football”.

Instead, this show will be sleeping with the fishes faster than it takes Dolphins Reggie Bush to backpeddle. Which is too bad, because Mob Doctor Jordana Spiro would make a good mermaid.

CW will lose “Hart of Dixie”, plain and simple.

What??? “Hart of Dixie” isn’t a new brand new show? It just feels that way because nobody knows about it. Even with Rachel Bilson front-lining it. That’s how bad the concept must be.

Alright, then I’ll choose “Emily Owens, M.D.”

With a lead-in like “Hart of Dixie”, that’s like asking your punter to run-block for a Tebow. Why bother?

Still, it’s worth watching once just to catch Mamie Gummer’s resemblance to Meryl Streep.

NBC is the master of trick plays that blow up in your face. If you watched “Animal Practice” unofficially debut after the London Summer Olympics, you know that it’s more painful to watch than WR Golden Tate’s post-conference interview trying to justify that he didn’t push off on Seakhawks’ final play.

I’m the biggest JoAnna Garcia fan—even after she married New York Yankee Nick Swisher. I adored JoAnna Garcia in “Privileged”, “Gossip Girl”, and even “Reba”.

Flaming Bag of Poo loves JoAnna Garcia more than Nick Swisher does!

Somehow I can’t watch JoAnna play second fiddle to a monkey. That’s like starting David Carr over Eli Manning.

But if you base these cancellations on how soon they get cancelled after they originally debut, then NBC will have cheated us because of that post-Olympics airing. Thus, my money shifts over to the cancellation of “Guys With Kids”.

You could insert your own punchline here, and instantly, it’s better than anything you’ll hear on “Guys With Kids”.

Too bad I can’t do a parlay bet on both “Animal Practice” and “Guys With Kids”. And also bet the under!

Face it. Every new comedy on NBC looks painful. And that’s not counting the comedy that we get from watching the replacement officials on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football in America”.

Long before the Flaming Bag of Poo was a global sensation as a blogwriter, I worked one of the major TV studios.

Even in the days before reality TV became a mainstay, a majority of the people who made television programs just didn’t know what made good television. I found that most creative development executives, network executives, and Hollywood agents (a/k/a non-writers) had no idea what the American public really wanted to watch. During the daily staff meeting, department heads and creative executives would gather in the conference room and start by analyzing the previous night’s Nielsen ratings. Conversation would soon transition to currently produced TV programs and pilot scripts in development.

Unlike all the studio executives in the room who traditionally planned their dinner meetings for 7:30pm at Spago, I always went home to watch TV. And since this was the age of the VHS, I taped numerous network shows on the three VCRs in my office so that the programs could run in my office in the background the next day. (Yes, watching TV was considered work for me. Not sure why I ever left that job!?!?)

Each year, almost like an NFL Survivor Pool (e.g. Knockout League, Suicide Pool, etc.), I was pretty accurate at predicting the first cancelled new show from each of the major broadcast networks each fall. Being an actual TV viewer, I didn’t care about time slots, pedigrees, and fancy promos.

The famous phrase, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that matters”, is wrong. It does matter how you start—or you will be finished. That’s true in both Fall network TV shows and NFL fantasy football teams.

In our Unsportsmanlike League, the question has started to pop up: “Who has been the biggest bust in fantasy thus far?”

Some people nominate #1 pick QB Aaron Rodgers. Yes, Rodgers has underperformed this season, but he played probably his toughtes three defenses all season in the Bears, 49ers, and Seahawks. And Flaming Bag of Poo is 2-0 when starting him. However, I also am entertaining trade offers to see what I can get for him.

Some people may nominate RB Fred Jackson. You can’t fault a top player for getting injured. Although his value could plummet if the suddenly more dangerous-looking RB C.J. Spiller comes back soon from his own injury. Doubters, if you knew the story behind Fred Jackson’s incredible perseverance to reach the NFL, you’d never hate on him!

But really, the biggest bust in our league has been #11 pick RB Chris Johnson. Why? In addition to his dismal rushing numbers, this one number should stand out the most: zero. As in zero wins combined that two different fantasy owners have posted while starting Johnson. (Yes, Moneyballer somehow convinced Muhammad Massacre to swap him straight up for WR Roddy White.)

When is it time to pull the plug on Chris Johnson? Will he last in Muhammad Massacre’s starting line-up longer than any of the first network cancellations?

This past week, Functioning Derelicts benched RB Jamaal Charles—and then he went off for 34.80 points.

Flaming Bag of Poo even let his healthy obsession for the CMT reality show “The Making of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders” affect his fantasy line-up.

DVR it, then watch it when NFL Red Zone resorts to showing replays.

Cowboys TE Jason Witten’s 0.80 points have taught me to stick with my original draft picks unless it’s a bye-week.

Yup, it’s that time in the fall season when fantasy owners are contemplating benching their disappointing studs.
Just don’t pull the wrong plug, you Joker.

You may lose a favorite prematurely that way.

(09/26/12)

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About Flaming Bag of Poo

An un-safe place where sports, entertainment, and pop culture converge. Flaming Bag of Poo...A rather unique blog. Because sometimes you're on fire. (But most of the time, you just plain stink!) ------ Creator of the blogs FLAMING BAG OF POO and I SELL UNICORNS.

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