Failing sitcoms and dramas have nothing to do with bad writing, the unappealing stars, the boring sets, weak story arcs, or bad program lead ins. Missing advertising lines are the reason.
No doubt NBC shows such as "Coupling" could have used "Yes! Sex on broadcast TV." Another NBC flop "Emeril" should have used a bit more 'Bam!," from his Food Network show still on the air.
Sportscasters all have favorite catchphrases which have become personal marketing tag lines. ESPN's "SportsCenter" anchors have been identified as such for years: "Boo-ya!," from Stuart Scott; "You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him," from Dan Patrick.
Viewers need that special line as a reminder. CBS's "Survivor" has "The tribe has spoken." And then there is everyone's favorite -- "You're Fired!," which comes from Donald Trump as he is about to banish one unlucky prospect from "The Apprentice" boardroom.
Now, "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" is looking for the same trick. At the recent Promax & BDA event, the TV marketing conference in New York City, Stewart says indeed there will be a catchphrase to send one home arts wannabee packing. But she isn't disclosing it yet.
A number of Martha Stewart Living company's staffers have made suggestions but were dismissed out of hand - especially those that riff off her noted line from Kmart commercials, "It's a good thing." She says there will be no -- "You're not a good thing" or "You're a bad thing."
But we here at TV Watch hope Stewart will propose something akin to that home arts style and wit in all of us. How about: "Wrap yourself in pashmina and shawl out of here. "
For those inclined to the culinary arts, there's always, "You're sauteed. You're flambeed. You're too ripe for this job." For those with allusions of "Seinfeld" (another NBC show), there is always the good standby: "No more soup for you!" For those landscaped-challenged, she should consider: "Trim your hedge somewhere else" or "Go root in another backyard." What ever Stewart chooses, she should make it fit like a finely pressed cooking apron.