There's something to be said for someone who speaks honestly and critically about a TV network while live on that network. Wondering what the positive-thinking executive producer in the control room was thinking? ("Wait. We can use this!")
During the Critics Choice awards show on the CW earlier this week, presenter and actor Seth Rogen said the CW itself received no nominations for awards.
And then he remarked about the live TV show: “We’re on your least favorite network.”
Rogen commented on some other issues -- musing about why they “always give two awards out at the same time,” a reference to the supporting actor/actress category: “Why do they do that? Are we crunched for time? Get another hour! It can’t be that expensive. You know how I know that? This show airs at 4 p.m. on the CW. That cannot be pricey… time slot, from my understanding of how this all works.”
Nice. Was there laughter? Nervously, I'm sure.
Mind you, this is not the first time a live on-air host/personality/performer ripped a TV network while on that TV network. For example, David Letterman regularly skewered CBS execs on his late-night show with his comic touch. This was Letterman's cranky thing -- part of the act, so to speak.
Perhaps Rogen's comments were more troubling because they come as the CW is transitioning -- in part -- to new ownership under the Nexstar Media Group, where the new owners talked up a shift in programming to more unscripted fare.
That is the cheaply produced stuff -- a la many economically frugal cable TV networks.
It was an open secret that The CW was regularly losing millions of dollars a year -- only saved by selling re-run airings of its shows to Netflix.
But when two owners of the network -- CBS and Warner Bros. -- realized the streaming TV universe was growing, they needed to keep all library content for themselves..
All that put The CW in a tougher financial situation, which spurred the two owners to sell a majority stake to the big, independent U.S. owner of TV stations, Nexstar Media Group.
This can now work two ways. On the one hand, potential TV show producers might use the Rogen flap as a kind of some fun, ribbing going forward.
At the same time, the opinionated comments of Rogen has already driven up word-of-mouth interest in the CW overall -- at least for a few days. All that said, maybe we shouldn't expect Rogen to host any future game shows on the CW in the coming TV season.
Perhaps in the meantime all this might result in a reverse-psychology promotional thing. “Watch The CW: Your almost favorite, non-award-winning network lets talent roast TV networks live to entertain you.”