The Los Angeles Times runs a pretty comprehensive Page 1 piece today detailing NBC’s ambitious plans to capitalize on the London Olympics.
It only drops the baton, rather conspicuously, in one area: History.
NBC, after all, has somehow managed to find itself in this desperately-needs-a-hit predicament despite having controlled broadcast rights to the Olympics for nearly 25 years. So questions about how well the Games do in terms of launching new series have been asked, and answered, many times before.
What I found myself looking for and didn’t see, anywhere in the piece, were at least one or more of the following: “Kath & Kim.” “Knight Rider.” “My Own Worst Enemy.” “Crusoe.”
Those were the shows, all canceled pretty quickly, which NBC launched after airing the Summer Olympics in 2008.
Or for that matter:
“Father of the Pride.” “Hawaii.” “Joey.” “LAX.” “Medical Investigation.”
Those were the short-lived newcomers of 2004.
Obviously, there’s no certainty this year’s shows will fare as poorly, and it’s become standard operating procedure for networks to try cashing in on such marquee events. I don’t blame NBC for trying, or the Times for exploring the strategy.
But absolutely no mention of the Olympics’ shoddy track record as a launching pad for NBC, in a story on that very topic? “Success is not assured,” the story allowed.