What The Internet Now Brings To The TV Party This Season

Though Nickelodeon's "Fred: The Movie" succeeded and the jury is still out on CBS' "$#*! My Dad Says," TV shows derived from popular Internet content may not be any sort of predictor of future TV success.

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.

3 comments about "What The Internet Now Brings To The TV Party This Season ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Thom Kennon from Free Radicals, September 23, 2010 at 1:34 p.m.

    In my house Fred has ruled for quite a while so we were all there last Saturday nite to witness the magical leap from one screen to the other.

    It worked and I'm not sure why or how, almost as much as I'm not sure whether there is was pathway blazed that could be replicated by any other properties or personalities from the web to the cable.

    On the face of it, the biggest feat was moving from short form narrative to something approaching a "full length movie" - altho if you watched it, you'll know, that's not quite what happened. At all.

    I'm not sure I know what happened, as somehow the frenetic engine that powers all of Fred's 'scenes' somehow subverted the form itself even as it seemed to birth a new form ... I dunno.

    But the digressive side stories, the supporting characters as alt-personas of the lead, the manic discoloration of scenes & distortion of shapes and things, the accelerating build towards that bizarre Fellini climax suggests that Chaplain haunts the bridge between YouTube and Teen Nick a lot more potently than your average network exec might be able to process as she tries to sort out who's next to try.

    More intriguingly, if the network content developers take a flyer at forgetting almost everything they think they know about second screen programming, they may look back on last Saturday as a nite something altogether, sorta, new was born.

    @tkennon |

    born. overdrive personality

  2. William Hughes from Arnold Aerospace, September 23, 2010 at 2:55 p.m.

    The PTC is a JOKE! I have been trying to touch base with them for a number of years, without any success. I'd like them to have representitives converge on various venues holding Sporting Events, such as NASCAR Speedways, and collect signatures from fans in a petition drive aimed at Congress and the FCC to AMEND the "V-Chip" Rule so that it applies to Commercials as well as TV Programs. Unfortunately my attempts have fallen on Deaf Ears. Their Central Florida Grassroots Regional Representative is IMPOSSIBLE to reach. E-Mails go unanswered, and if you try to call the Telephone Numbers associated with them all you get is Phone Mail (Which also goes Unanswered) or the "Tri-Tone" followed by a "Your Call Cannot Be Directed" Message. IMO these people are nothing but a bunch of "Slactivists" who only want you to send them cash donations. (I do get these in my "Junk Mail" each month!) :(

  3. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, September 23, 2010 at 3:13 p.m.

    We have rough-speaking, outlandish older relatives in my extended family, too, but we don't give them their own TV shows.

Next story loading loading..