24 may move from FOX to NBC

by Paul William Tenny

24.jpgMichael Ausiello has it on good authority that the producers of 24 are pitching the show to NBC, now that FOX is about done with it. I'll leave it to him and others to speculate on whether it's true or not, I'm more interested in if it's a good idea or not.

It's obviously good for the producers since it means at least another year on the air. New shows are struggling and ratings are going down across all networks.

But what about NBC?

At first I thought it was a no-brainer. FOX is dumping 24 because its ratings have been slipping steadily and any show that has gone as long as 24 has is going to be a financial black hole. There's little incentive for any network or cable channel to pickup a series that people are leaving, one that costs more to produce in a year than it cost to make the first three SAW movies combined.

As AICN pointed out, 24 would be a step up in the ratings from most of their shows and that presents a unique opportunity to use 24 as a lead-in to something new. It's hard to get a new show going if the lead-in is already junk. 24 could make that happen (assuming its fans follow it over to NBC instead of saying goodbye after nearly ten seasons), but at a price.

Is that price too high? I think it is. What good does it do NBC to bring in 9+ million viewers with 24 when the cost of putting it on the air deprives you of the money you need to find something to follow it up with, and then replace it? One 24 at this late stage could probably cover two or three brand new shows.

And who knows how much longer Kiefer Sutherland wants to stay with the show. What if he stays for the first year on NBC, then bails, killing it?

NBC should pass. Let the producers of 24 pitch them a new show because that's were NBC's future is.

in Television


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