Written by Joe Llorens
Published: October 7, 2004 at 12:32 PM
Eisner is claiming that when he steps down in September of 2006, he will, “leave the company so robust that it will thrive for years after he’s gone.”
Excuse me? Did we all miss something? I think Mr. Eisner has finally lost it. He’s done way too many little tribute films with animated Mickey, and now he thinks that the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is actually going to wave his magic wand and make everything better. Aren’t the Disney Co.’s estimates being reduced today? Sounds like a company on the rebound, Mike.
My favorite quote from the article, though, was, “There’s a lot of high-fiving going on at ABC.”
I can picture it now: Hey, I know what we can do, let’s take a proven franchise like the Bachelor, but instead of hot young people we can put a bunch of forty-year-olds on the screen who, no matter how good-looking they are, make you feel a little sad that at this point in their lives they still haven’t found someone and have to resort to this shallow, empty device to try and meet the person of their dreams. Oh, and let’s develop an entire series around William Shatner, an actor who has become a desperate parody of himself. (slap high-five)
To understand the mentality of this network, one must only examine its show titles: "Hope & Faith," "Less Than Perfect," "Desperate Housewives," "Extreme Makeover" and the ever-indicative "Lost."
2. From the Orlando Sentinel:
Just a quick recap of the Halloween-related events going on in Orlando this weekend. You have the obvious listings for Horror Nights, Howl-O-Scream and the Not-So-Scary-So-What’s-The-Point events, but also some info on more local, low-key happenings around the city. The Orlando Ghost Tours seem pretty interesting.
The only problem I have with something like the Ghost Tours is that I have a hyper-active imagination. But I love going through haunted houses. I am a masochistic jerk. The thing is that I get sacred by these things, and it’s all well and good while you’re at the event. The problems start, though, when it’s three days later and I’m in bed trying to go to sleep and I suddenly revert back to age 5 and can think of nothing other than the badly made-up witch that jumped out at me with the cheap rubber elongated fingers and smoker’s cough. I really need to stop doing that to myself.
See ya at Horror Nights!
"I'll have to admit that I didn't think Disney (NYSE: DIS) could do it. When the company's board announced that it was hoping to name a successor to CEO Michael Eisner by June, and with COO and ABC chieftain Bob Iger as its lone internal candidate, I figured the company's next CEO would come from the outside. Would Iger have a shot if ABC was still in the ratings basement? There was no way that ABC could fix itself in a single season.
I was wrong. Like so many others these days, I'm watching ABC again -- even when it isn't Monday night and I have a fantasy football game on the line! The stranded Lost islanders have grown on me on Wednesdays. On Sunday, I caught last week's highest-rated show, Desperate Housewives, and was pleasantly surprised by the Boston Legal follow-up."
ABC is improving much more than anyone could have expected, so give some credit where credit is due instead of taking the easy road of trashing Disney.
(Hollywood Reporter) – New releases flood into the top reaches of the Billboard 200 this week, led by two titles from the Walt Disney Co.'s Buena Vista Music Group. For the first time ever, Disney labels claim the top two slots on the album chart.
Prime-Time Nielsen Ratings
(AP) - Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen Media Research for Sept. 27-Oct. 3. Top 20 list-ings include the week's ranking, with viewership for the week and season-to-date rankings in parentheses. An "X" in parentheses denotes a one-time-only presentation.
1.(X) "Desperate Housewives," ABC, 21.6 million viewers.
2.(9) "Survivor: Vanuatu," CBS, 19.9 million viewers.
3.(2) "CSI: Miami," CBS, 19.7 million viewers.
4.(6) "CSI: NY," CBS, 19.5 million viewers.
5.(5) "NFL Monday Night Football: Dallas at Washington," ABC, 19.4 million viewers.
6.(7) "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS, 18.7 million viewers.
7.(8) "Lost," ABC, 17 million viewers.
8.(10) "Two And a Half Men," CBS, 16.6 million viewers.
9.(X) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 16.4 million viewers.
10.(15) "NFL Monday Showcase," ABC, 15.2 million viewers.
11.(X) "Cold Case," CBS, 15 million viewers.
12.(24) "60 Minutes," CBS, 14.9 million viewers.
13.(X) "The Apprentice 2," (Wednesday), NBC, 14.7 million viewers.
14.(17) "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," ABC, 14.5 million viewers.
15.(X) "Navy NCIS," CBS, 14.3 million viewers.
16.(11) "Joey," NBC, 13.6 million viewers.
17.(X) "Decision '04: Presidential Debate Analysis," NBC, 13.4 million viewers.
18.(X) "Boston Legal," ABC, 13.1 million viewers.
19.(15) "Law & Order: SVU," NBC, 13 million viewers.
20.(12) "Law & Order," NBC, 12.9 million viewers.
(Variety) – Long-suffering ABC appears to be neither lost nor desperate in the early going this season, as last week it enjoyed some much-needed success in the drama arena. With "Desperate Housewives" storming out of the gate Sunday and Wednesday's "Lost" remaining hot in its second outing, the Alphabet swept the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3 in key demo categories.
NEW YORK (AP) – ESPN's regular-season baseball audience was up 7 percent from last season and the highest it's been since 2001. ESPN averaged more than 1.2 million viewers for its 86 games, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 1.1 average rating increased 10 percent over last season. ESPN averaged more than 2.4 million viewers for 19 telecasts of Sunday Night Major League Baseball, the largest average audience since 1998, and up 11 percent from 2003.
I guess that's overkill enough...and about those Orlando Ghost Tours: they're pretty good. I've been on them twice. For a real treat, though, take the drive to St. Augustine and do them in the oldest city in the country...truly eerie.
For one thing, the debate absolutely killed Top Ten shows CSI and Without a Trace, both of which ended up being repeats. New shows this week will push ratings down everywhere else.
Also, Fox hasn't even started their season yet, so ABC is basically playing against CBS and NBC. CBS is still killing them, but ABC is making great ground on NBC, which hasn't had much success beyond Joey. So ABC should be proud of that, if their shows hold on.
Lost appears to be doing so, as it is still first in its timeslot after three weeks. So good for that show. We'll see if Sunday holds up this week, but historically Sundays have always been a decent night for ABC. They've just gotten a lot better. (Which certainly doesn't bode well for Alias, does it? Expect that show to die this season.)
Problem is, all those other nights are still problems. They have three months of football, then back to the cellar on that night. Tuesdays are okay, but no big shows there. Fridays are getting suckier. And does ABC even have shows on Thursday???
Even Wednesdays are a bit problematic as The Bachelor, ABC's usually reliable reality show, is fading fast. I don't expect that to go beyond this season either. Losing three shows that perform fairly well - The Bachelor, Alias and NYPD Blue - isn't something a network as lowly as ABC can withstand well. CBS, yes. Fox, maybe. Just look what losing Friends and Frasier has done to NBC. You climb out slowly, but falling in is a quick process.
I don't want to take away from ABC having those three good shows. Hell, I'm watching them (even though it took me a bit to remember which channel ABC actually was) but I don't think people should get carried away. If they do, then Iger could be running the WHOLE show, and I don't think any of us want that. After all, how long did it take the man to get a hit show on the network after screwing up Millionaire so badly?
I RESPOND: Now THAT was very funny!
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe LOST is a Metaphor for the Disney Company- the survivors is what's left of the different divisions of the company. M.E. is the gargantuan "thing" threatening to gobble them up, there's no hope is sight, and no one is really leading the company towards any viable solution. The pilot symbolizes the traditional animation department- (2D animation "drove" the company in the beginning,) but M.E.'s greed (hunger) already gobbled them up. And the Disney stores...they stood still for too long, and they got sucked up into the engine.
The more I think about it, the more brilliant the show is!
Still waiting for the day the stock will "drop into the teens" as someone here once predicted.
Guess who? :o)
To suggest that I'm speaking out against Eisner just because it's the thing to do is to not really know who you're talking about. I have traditionally been a staunch Disney supporter, as you can plainly see in my post history. But one would have to be fooling themselves if they didn't see how the quality of the product has suffered over the years.
As far as the film aspect of the company goes, with the exception of Pirates, it's been companies that are associated with Disney and not Disney themselves that have been making the Nemo-sized splashed.
While ESPN has continued to be the crown jewel of the television division, you can't honestly say that it hasn't become a diluted shell of what it used to be. (I love poker as much as the next guy, but for Christ's sake, enough!!!)
ABC has been the laughing stock of the major networks for years now. If it hadn't been for Monday Night Football all these years, ABC would have become a non-entity a long time ago. Now they put out shows like Housewives and Lost that are showing some life and people are a bit quick to say that ABC is on it's way back into contention. They need to demonstrate some longevity before they are to be taken seriously again.
Maybe I should have written this in my original post, but it was really early and I was hung over. ;-)
No, Mr. Mills, I did not make such a prediction. That would have been made by someone else. :o)
As for all this other crap, three shows certainly does not erase all the crap. Like:
Last fall where EVERY SHOW BUT ONE was created in-house, so Disney could rake in the syndication bucks. HA!
ABC turning down CSI because they didn't think it would play overseas. That one was actually approved and Eisner said No.
ABC turning away Mark Burnett and The Apprentice because they didn't want to pay that much. How much are they paying for friggin' Lost???
ABC totally ruining the cash cow known as Millionaire. That will forever be known as one of the most incompetent moves in television history.
And let's not all pretend this is something that has lasted 2-3 years! Disney bought ABC in 1995 when it was a money-printing machine and has since turned it into a money loser. The network has been sucking fumes since 2000! And while Eisner certainly shares some of the blame, Iger is the one who should be targeted. The man is a boob.
The biggest problem ABC faces is counting their chickens. What happens if Desperate Housewives gets too silly? What if people have decided they've had enough William Shatner? What if Lost runs out of tricks? Audiences are down all over network television. There's no reason to believe ABC can sustain the sudden interest in their network.
I'll sit here and wait.
I think a more appropriate analogy would be two days of sun can't make up for a monsoon, which is how bleak the ABC ratings have been in recent memory. Like I said before, ABC has been so dismal as of late that people are a bit too desperate to say, "Hey, they're on their way back up," just because a couple of shows show some promise. I'm also not condemning ABC right off the bat, I'm just saying that Eisner's claims that he's going to leave the Disney Co. in as good a shape as he says he will are more than a bit exaggerated.
ABC turning away Mark Burnett and The Apprentice because they didn't want to pay that much. How much are they paying for friggin' Lost???"
Well first off, your ASSuming that CSI and The Apprentice would have performed the same on ABC. You simply do not know that. For all we know, CSI could have bombed on ABC and people would have complained to ABC for picking that show up. An idea that works on one network may not work on another, ex. Wife Swap/Trading Spouces, Apprentice/Benefactor, Bachelor/Joe Millionaire/Every other copy of it. Also, there are more factors to a show's success than what network they are on. For example, ABC may have promoted it differently, and less people may have seen the promotions.
There's a big difference between a carbon copy show not doing well on another network and the ACTUAL show being on another network. Do you honestly think that people who are fans of CSI wouldn't change the channel if it were being shown on ABC instead of CBS? Last I heard, people were fans of shows, not networks.
ABC didn't have anything to help expose the public to CSI, like CBS had with Survivor.
Oh yeah, and nya nya ny-nya nya. ;-)
While I do believe the way a network treats a show has a lot to do with how well it can do - like Fox and the way it killed great shows like Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Futurama and The Tick - I think CSI would have done well anywhere. When fall seasons start, people pay attention to the shows with buzz. Which is why they are watching these three new ABC shows. CSI got great buzz and would have succeeded anywhere. ESPECIALLY overseas, which is the stupidest part of all this. This show has extended scenes where no one says a word and these morons thought it wouldn't play overseas? Retarded!
As for your friggin' obsession with MY allegedly predicting Disney stock would fall into the teens, THC, why don't you grow a brain? I don't expect the stupidity to go away, but maybe some memory cells might start working. I personally did not predict Disney stock would go into the teens. Alleged experts did and I simply repeated it, as was my job writing the Flume. I don't care about stock value, as it is a barometer of exactly nothing or of stock "experts" whose opinions are slightly less biased than yours. So shut the hell up and let the adults have a conversation.
As for the new shows... Lost is still doing well, though not nearly as well as Desperate Housewives, which held up well in its second week. NOT holding up well was Boston Legal, which still won the hour but lost millions of ABC viewers once Housewives was over.
On the other end of the spectrum, life as we know it did horribly and may fulfill my prediction of being the first show cancelled this year. Then again, Disney may wait just so its utter failure doesn't taint the 2 1/2 successes it has right now.
Actually, ABC is making some steps in the right direction this year. Desperate Housewives and Lost are both quite decent and have performed well so far. Spader and Shatner both just won Emmy's for their work on the Practice last year so I would hardly call setting a new show around them a bad idea (this show has also performed well so far). In fact, looking at the recent ratings for all new shows on all networks, these 3 are doing better than most (even better than Joey). I'm not trying to be super defensive of ABC or Disney here, I just don't see a point in continuing to cut them down just because it's the thing to do. Yes, they still have a long way to, but at least give them credit when they make a possitive step toward improvment. We'll see how everybody holds up as the season progresses...