NBC: Scrub The Season Finale Marketing As 'Scrubs' Goes To ABC

Cross-marketing TV shows across fiercely competitive networks is always a tough job.

When it comes to sporting events, for example, with different pieces of major league playoff events spread around the dial, networks have historically offered up tune-in directions for viewers in terms of date, network name, and time.

But this isn't the case with entertainment shows -- or at least ones that are finding new homes. When WB's "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" moved off the network in 2001 to UPN, WB struck what it thought was the right chord in calling the show's series finale, a "WB series finale" -- rather than conceding the show's new life on competitor UPN.

But that's just television -- people with no egos, just thinking about the good of the brand.

Now the word is that NBC is taking an even more diplomatic approach when it comes to that network's seven-year ending run of "Scrubs" -- which will move over to ABC next year. NBC is calling the comedy's last show a "season finale" --which to be fair, it is.

But NBC is barely giving the show any sort of major send-off. Little if any big press or marketing buzz is being attached. On the one hand, why should NBC do anything in any way that'll help ABC? On the other hand, perhaps NBC is missing some opportunities.

NBC should trump the show as an event, hopefully gaining a big finish and attention from advertisers. (Don't networks still do this for one-time-only specials and limited series?) While never a big hit for the network, this year "Scrubs" has been outperforming last year's ratings by almost 20% -- not too many long-running TV shows on the network airwaves can say that in this crazy strike-laden, new rating metric season.

The problem lies in short-term thinking: Why spend another marketing dime on the show when there is nothing -- in the short-term -- to be gained? Still, maybe NBC will be back in business with "Scrubs" series creator Bill Lawrence sometime down the line.

Today's TV business is a new TV business. NBC should realize -- in its new 2.0, or 3.0, or whatever number version the network it is working under -- it is better to hang on to the long tail.
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