I AM SPO: I DID NOT HAVE LEMONS, I STRAIGHT UP HAD LEMONADE : AKA THE BENDERTHON -
Tonight was my monthly talk show Strangers Wanted with Shannon O’Neill.
I knew the audience would be light, NYC is in recovery mode, traveling into and within the city is a pain. So on my way into the city I decided to enjoy the lemonade I was going to have, because performing at UCB is always…
Josh Patten: Thanks -
(Note: A lot of this is UCB-centric, but I hope it applies more universally.)
This comedy shit is hard. It’s hard to sacrifice money and free time to do an improv practice session when you are tired and busy. It’s hard to head out to do an 11PM indie show when you have to get up to work the next..
Josh Patten: Thanks -
(Note: A lot of this is UCB-centric, but I hope it applies more universally.)
This comedy shit is hard. It’s hard to sacrifice money and free time to do an improv practice session when you are tired and busy. It’s hard to head out to do an 11PM indie show when you have to get up to work the next…
My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court
I’ve been sending out some impertinent tweets about Progressive Insurance lately, but I haven’t explained how they pissed me off. So I will do that here as succinctly as possible. There’s a general understanding that says, “insurance companies— oh they’re awful,” but since Progressive turned their shit hose on my late sister and my parents, I’ve learned some things that really surprised me.
I’ll try to cleave to the facts. On June 19, 2010, my sister was driving in Baltimore when her car was struck by another car and she was killed. The other driver had run a red light and hit my sister as she crossed the intersection on the green light.
Thanks, Nicole. I think that she inspired all women, no matter what direction we knew or wanted our lives to go in. And it’s okay if it’s messy, because we’ll get there. xo
“Prepare yourself for a life of confusion and embrace it.”
- Nora Ephron, Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement Awards 2006
I could have seen her speak that day but I went back to my dorm room and took a nap instead.
That was the main thing I was thinking last night when I stood in my parents’ room in their rented vacation house and cried.
CAN “BEST FRIENDS FOREVER” FIND A NEW HOME?
After secretly airing four episodes of Best Friends Forever, NBC was apparently disappointed that it failed to get huge ratings and decided not to order another season. So, what now? Is it over? Or is there hope?
I’m not entirely sure how these things work, so my assumption is that those involved with the show will give us all some kind of indication as to whether there is any chance that the show can find a new life on another network or on cable.
I remember when The Days & Nights Of Molly Dodd ran for two short seasons on NBC in the late 80s, and then moved to Lifetime where it lived for three more seasons (scoring Emmy nods each year, I might add.) Cougar Town is about to make the jump from ABC to TBS. It has happened to a number of shows over the years, and it seems to me that it could very well happen for BFF.
If this is NOT a possibility, I imagine we’ll find out soon. But for the time being, I’d imagine that it’s still a good idea to try to get as many eyeballs as possible tuning in for the June 1st airing of the last two Season One episodes. If TBS or Lifetime or some other network is interested in BFF, they may be looking to see how much the fan base can rally viewers on a Friday evening. They will also be looking to hulu, the petition and continued buzz on twitter and Facebook. (Don’t bother viewing it on NBC.com, I guess. That ship has sailed.)
Maybe this is all moot at this point, but stranger things have happened. If TBS is willing to pick up the ratings-challenged Cougar Town, I’d imagine they might be open to pairing it with a show like BFF that brings them a ton of passionate new viewers who weren’t watching TBS before. (Also, if they want to maintain their “very funny” branding, it doesn’t hurt to have more new shows that actually live up to their tagline.)
Worst case scenario: all this buzz doesn’t help save BFF but maybe it makes it easier for Parham/St. Clair to get another show on the air. HBO dumped the underrated Lucky Louie after a short season and it wasn’t long before we got Louie on FX.
Whatever this is, it isn’t over. There is a next thing.
Best Friends Forever could get a Second Season!
Thanks to fans’ and critics’ outcry, NBC has decided to air the final two episodes of Season One on June 1st. This is a great opportunity, as it gives us all a few weeks to build word-of-mouth.
The first four episodes are all available online, at NBC’s website and on hulu. This means you can get friends and family to check out the show between now and then, and hopefully grow the audience so that the June 1st episodes demonstrate some improvement in the ratings.
Meanwhile, former NBC president Warren Littlefield has a new book out, Top Of The Rock: The Rise & Fall of Must-See TV, which is filled with helpful reminders that NBC has done very well in the past when it gave good shows a chance to find their audience.
Some key quotes:
WARREN LITTLEFIELD: “I called Dick Wolf and asked him to come see me. It was just the two of us in my office. I told him I was sorry but I was canceling his show at the end of the season.”
[He’s talking about a little show called Law & Order. Turns out they changed their minds and decided to give it a 2nd Season.]
LITTLEFIELD: “At the end of its first season, Cheers was the least watched show on prime-time network television. The chances looked good the show wouldn’t have a second season, much less an eleventh.”
Also, veteran sitcom director JIM BURROWS (Friends, Cheers, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, etc.) weighs in regarding the precarious state of Cheers at the beginning:
BURROWS: “Nobody was watching the show when it first went on. There was no reason for the public to watch the show. No star in it. And nobody was watching NBC generally.”
In an interview promoting the book, Littlefield talks about the show Friends, and why it was such a big success on NBC:
LITTLEFIELD: “Their experiences were actually very universal. Friends played in this territory of being funny, and then also just grabbing your heart. And not afraid of that. It was a comedic soap opera. Not being afraid to have an audience feel something, laugh and cry, was quite extraordinary and quite wonderful.”
Do you see shows on TV now that compare to that?
LITTLEFIELD: “I think the single-camera equivalent today of the Must See lineup is Modern Family. If you were looking for your tentpole show—NBC doesn’t have a tentpole show right now—if you could magically pick one and say, “If I could take anything from any network and it could be the cornerstone of Must See TV on Thursday…,” today it would be Modern Family. They have 20 million people watching a week, and what you feel with those characters is a lot closer to what we were presenting back then. That’s not taking anything away from NBC’s comedies. They’re just not as mainstream.”
While Littlefield doesn’t mention BFF by name, it’s not difficult to infer that it’s exactly the kind of show he’s talking about here. Hopefully, the people currently making decisions at NBC will bear some of these things in mind before making a final decision…
In the meantime, keep tweeting about the show— @NBCBFF, @NBC, #saveBFF, #saveNBCBFF, etc…
Sign the petition. Get your friends to sign it!
“Like” the show on Facebook.
Buy the season pass on iTunes, if you haven’t already.
Watch the show on hulu or nbc.com and send that link around!
Best Friends Forever has not been cancelled.
Amazingly, I’ve seen multiple articles saying it HAS been. (Hey, New York Daily News! Your article is factually inaccurate.) Stuff like that bugs me, because perception is a big deal when a show is “on the bubble” and it doesn’t help matters to have a bunch of lazy articles saying it’s already cancelled.
Fortunately, outlets like The Washington Post and VH-1 bothered to not only get their facts straight but also to shine a light on the online petition to save the show and the possibility that fan support might help get the series a second chance. There is hope, and that’s good news for fans of the show.
The good news for NBC is that Best Friends Forever has everything it takes to be a hit TV show. It’s smart and funny and appealing. Lots of people will watch this if it is promoted right and scheduled properly— I suspect that there are smart people making decisions at NBC who are aware of this, and that’s hopefully why the show hasn’t been cancelled.
This isn’t just wishful thinking on my part— if NBC has any institutional memory at all, they know that there is value in giving good shows a chance to find their audience. And if they have a sense that this scrappy little show has, in less than a month, managed to attract a small-but-passionate fan base, that could be enough to convince them that it’s worth ordering a second season.
I posted the other day that, in addition to the online petition (which you should e-mail to all your friends and get them to sign it, okay?), one could buy a BFF season pass on iTunes for the cost of a New York City movie ticket (or a ticket-and-a-half if you live in the Midwest)— it’s a way to vote with your dollars for this show to continue.
You could also go to hulu for free and rate the show and add it to your “favorites.” You could then send that link around to friends who haven’t seen the show and get them to watch it. If NBC isn’t going to air any episodes this month, maybe a spike in online viewing will get their attention. Every little bit helps, and word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective ways of making something more popular. If you know somebody that you think would like BFF, send them the link and tell them to watch it!
SIGN the online petition
BUY the Season Pass on iTunes
WATCH it & rate it & tell your friends to watch it on HULU
Also: keep it up on twitter— @NBC @NBCBFF #saveNBCBFF #saveBFF and so forth. If people are up in arms for a week and then NBC doesn’t hear anything else about it, it won’t count for much. A tweet or two a day doesn’t require much effort, but collectively it can make an impression.