Well, I don't know about you, but my brackets are about as successful as a serialized drama these days. I was interested at first, but once I started missing things, I never went back.
But since I can't totally ignore March Madness, due to its ever-present availability -- with every game to be seen on CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV -- I decided that I needed to embrace the platform and see how it could be adapted to other regular broadcasting.
Outside of perhaps Butler, truTV has had the most upside from the tournament than anyone. Its shared coverage of games has been the biggest ratings draw in the network's history. That got me thinking: What other networks could benefit from a similar content partnership?
Granted, there's only one NCAA Tournament -- nothing else could come close to delivering those sort of audiences without the name "NFL" stamped on it -- but what if we extended the idea to successful regular shows that might have an extended interest beyond their regular broadcast? Maybe enterprising networks might like to extend their content brand, and allow for more viewers to find and sample some of their smaller cable network cousins. Heck, they don't even have to be related by content!
Nat Geo - "Idol Threats": The castoffs from "American Idol" are seen "giving it their all," post-Idol. Are they singing in nightclubs? Playing videogames in their mom's basement? Stalking Randy Jackson? Let's find out about our never-favorites!
A&E - "Drinking With the Stars": It's "Intervention" -- in reverse! Follow the exploits of "real people" who try to develop and keep up with the addictions and self-destructive behavior of some of their favorite celebrities. Just wait for the All-Star "Winning" edition, coming in season 2 ½.
Speed - "Library": For those who find the exploits of those "Glee" kids to be just a little fast and loose, catch up on that other, tenser group of high school nerds: the librarian's assistants! Let's all keep it quiet, now. There are viewers trying to study!
AMC - "Impressions": AMC bucks the trend and keeps this brand extension in-house. Ad agencies of the 1960s give way to media agencies of the 1990s, as young media planners try to make sense of their brave new online world, and almost 100 channels of television! Be sure not to miss the season finale "Upfront Party" episode. It's sure to be so messy, you'll never stop talking about it.
Discovery - "Overpaid Employee": Now that the boss has gone to work, let's see how an "ordinary Joe" does trying to "blend in" with other C-Suite employers, suffering through those grueling rounds of golf under brutal country-club conditions, flying private jets to meet with investors, and eating red meat. Stay tuned through the "reveal" episode, when the CEO realizes his private collection of antique cars has been driven.
And, of course, NBC - "Real Househusbands of...": Basically, it's gonna be "Cheers" without the laughs. These guys just need a strong bar stool and a strong drink to avoid facing their latest off-screen emasculation.