What The Internet Now Brings To The TV Party This Season
Big numbers in YouTube views, unique visitors, or Twitter followers, aren't by themselves enough to start up any TV show.
Look at the history of entertainment/stories moving to different media from their original platforms. Few video games are able to translate to the broader reach of theatrical movies. Many popular books have failed as TV shows, as well as films. Even moving from TV show to TV show isn't always a good measuring tool: Not all British TV programs work in their newer U.S. versions.
Likewise, we shouldn't expect short-form Internet video and content to always make a successful switch. A couple of seasons ago, ABC's "In the Motherhood," a series stemming from real-life short-form video accounts of parents on the Internet, while getting some decent reviews, didn't last long.
Nickelodeon's "Fred," as a movie, may be different from the CBS comedy "$#*! My Dad Says": -- a one time-only piece of content versus a hopefully long-term TV series. But I doubt it. I'm sure, Nick executives are already planning a "franchise" -- though maybe just a movie franchise.
For CBS, its show seems to be a double-edged sword. The original Twitter area, "Shit My Dad Says" had, of course, a more provocative title, with probably more adult content. Not something that could play word-for-word on the still FCC-ruled TV broadcast world. (Oh, fudge!)
All that would seem to suggest we'll be left with plain vanilla. Without watching any episodes so far, you wonder where the guilty pleasure of listening to someone's outrageous parent without any bawdy language fits in.
In the end, TV pressure groups shouldn't worry. Many families have rough-speaking, outlandish older relatives. There is nothing new here. It'll might just be a big yawn for kids at 8 p.m. during the supposed family hour. (And by the way, doesn't Fox's "House" also run at 8 p.m? Both networks will tell you these shows aren't targeted to kids.)
This doesn't mean CBS can't find another spin in making a cranky old dad funny, especially since it has one of the best track records of any network when it comes to live-action comedies.
The Internet can be the breeding ground for a diverse number of characters to get established. That is what CBS, and other TV networks/programmers, are really looking for.