For Narrowcast Shows, Putting Heads On Poles Will Get Attention

Heads pierced by poles to promote a TV show? How medieval!

You talk up HBO’s fantasy-period piece “Games of Thrones” and you speak about what cable has always done best: narrowcasting.

A bit of key art for the new season of “Thrones” shows a drawing of a head impaled on a pole, with these words right over the image: “The King Can Do As He Likes.”

Surely this graphic is not going to attract all types of viewers. Young children and older women? I don’t think the folks at HBO are necessarily looking to pull in a "broad" audience here.

No doubt HBO wants to continue to grow its male and young male audience, with this heavily blood-filled series. HBO is just making a point, I guess. If not, heads will roll. (I’m here all week! Don’t forget to tip your waiters on the way out!).

It’s not as if HBO doesn’t have a sense of humor. At an event this weekend, fans visiting the “Game of Thrones” booth can have their own heads digitally put on their own spikes.



Still, in looking to build interest in shows, the future game of TV networks will be to attract selected viewers in each home. As gaining success through program promotion gets tougher, one can only imagine that HBO won’t be the only network looking to stir controversy. 

ABC’s “GCB” adds to these efforts. But I’m guessing the show’s original working title, from the book “Good Christian Bitches,” seemed a bit too polarizing for a “broadcasting” network.

Young TV viewers might just shrug their shoulders at some of this stuff. As they get older -- and the broadcasters get more desperate -- things will continue to change and boundaries will be extended.

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