NBC's "The Playboy Club" is having trouble finding viewers. Why? Too much association with sex? Too little? Or just not compelling entertainment?
Moralists say the low ratings result from all the objectification the Playboy brand brought on women over the years. I'll listen to that argument.
But then they toss in the another point, which makes no sense based on the original theory. They say it's also because of "lame" dialogue, which after two weeks gives the show a just-lying-there 1.3 rating among key 18-49 viewers.
So, I'm guessing -- by this argument -- if "The Playboy Club" had better dialogue, it would be a better show? Right?
You can't have it both ways. My suggestion is to stick with one strategy. You want to play TV moralist? Fine. You want to play TV critic? Sure. But keep them separate -- you'll get more attention and have a better chance at winning the argument.
"The Playboy Club" -- the TV show -- might not seem right to the men who have read -- and looked at -- Playboy magazine. Where, after all, are the naked women? Sure, there is some intrigue, and some beautiful women. If this show was indeed successful for male viewers, ratings on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" would be low, and late-season Boston Red Sox or Atlanta Braves games would go wanting.
Virtually all non-sports network prime-time programms primarily seek women viewers. Typically, adult women comprise about 60% of all primetime viewers.
If NBC wanted to purposely alienate this audience, it would be a bad business decision. The network knows better. What do networks want more than anything else, more than "art," "fine acting," and "great writing"? They want to make money.
More mis-direction: One noted pressure group says things have gone so bad for the show that advertisers are leaving.
The trouble is that most times -- no matter what is claimed -- we never really know why advertisers leave. You cannot compare shows week to week and just count advertisers who are in and those who are out. Media plans for advertisers have different program mixes per week. Not only that, but many advertisers have specific media flight plans that can last a week, or three weeks, or four.
And yes, some advertisers might leave because the show gets poor ratings.
But the truth is that, by mid-September, there are no surprises concerning scripted shows. Media buyers and their clients see episodes long before we see them on air. These marketers are not novices in understanding what content they are buying.
So let see. Have you seen any FCC-forbidden naked women on this particular 10 p.m. show? Nope. Has there been any FCC-forbidden language in the show? No.
Hey, maybe if indeed "The Playboy Club" has no viewers and fewer advertisers, the show... just sucks.