The Sweet And Sour Side Of TV Programming

In six years, we might run out of cocoa beans -- you know, the stuff that makes chocolate. When it comes to entertainment, though, we have no worries about running out of sweet offerings.

For instance, the rough-and-tumble reality shows are getting somewhat kinder and more aspirational. Include NBC’s “The Voice” in this category.

Then, of course, there are the Olympics from NBC, where all kinds of events cater to viewers’ sweet side by providing them with “ahh” moments, for the most part.

A lot has been made about NBC reporter Christin Cooper’s repeated efforts to get U.S. skier Bode Miller to talk about his emotions after winning a bronze medal less than a year after his brother’s death.

Not so sweet. Yet Miller told critics of NBC to go easy on Cooper, who he’s known for a long time. She was just doing her job, he said.

Also at the Olympics, Meredith Vieira asked American skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace about a miscarriage she suffered a few years ago.

All this came after Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman’s interview on Fox following last month’s NFC Championship game. At first blush, it seemed like a rant against San Francisco 49ers’ Michael Crabtree. Later it felt like a heat-of-the-moment emotion many athletes go through after making a big play.  

Fox’s Sherman interview was live and unfiltered -- not accounting for any few-seconds time delay. NBC has looked to offer a similar “live” feel for its Olympic programming, and says that asking personal questions after competition helps complete the storylines the Olympic broadcast lays out.

So what are we left with? A soupy TV mixture of sweet and sour -- sometimes coming in places you least expect.

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