Feb 22, 2006

Fox Launches Second Network with a MiNTy Aftertaste (*yawn*)

It's been boring these last couple of weeks. Sure, that was that Oswald story, but that's a story for another site. Today, News Corp, those fine purveyors of fair and balanced programming, announced plans to launch a second network beginning on September 5, 2006, the day after The CW relaunches from the ashes of UPN and The WB.

The network's name?

My Network TV.

Guess since they own My Space, they have to name a new network to attract the demographic that's drawn to that domain to them. Still doesn't excuse them from creating the stupidest network name since, well, The CW.

At least The CW makes sense, considering the "C" is from CBS Corporation and the "W" is from Warner Bros. Television, the parent companies of UPN and The WB, respectedly.

What does My Network TV have that other networks don't? Well, you can't say Telenovellas since every broadcast outlet is planning on producing one or two this fall. And you can't say reality shows because, well, scripted television is a rarity since network execs can't read. And you can't even say American Idol because MNT will air an international version of the series. Yippee! Can't you see the excitement in my words?

So why would I, a prime member of the 18-35 demographic, want to even glance at MNT? Don't know, because at first glance, the lineup looks like a bunch of failed Fox pilots. That is to say, a show that will be on Mondays through Fridays, a pair of reality ripoffs, and a news program that I'm sure will be thrilling and tabloidesque with that Fox style we all know and loathe. No animated series (yet), no kids-themed animation block (Fox gave up on kids a long time ago), no sitcoms, no urban-oriented shows, it just seems like another dull broadcasting network. We already have six (soon to be five) of them, why do we need another?

We don't.

Let me tell you WHY News Corp had to create this network.

Because UPN screwed them before they screwed UPN.

Here's the skinny. News Corp bought United Television, the Chris-Craft Industries unit that was an equal partner in UPN back in 2001. United Television owned the UPN affiliates in many of the nation's largest markets, including Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New York. Fox wasn't really happy with the growth of UPN, so they threatened to cut off their affiliates by the end of 2001. However, UPN had signed a five-year agreement with News Corp to keep those affiliates running. Five years would be up on August 31, 2006, and Fox still publicly disdained UPN. Knowing they could kill a network like that, they had no intentions of extending the contract.

Knowing THAT, UPN broke bread with the other "fifth" network, The WB. Competitors since day one, they knew that to stay alive, they had to form an alliance. They both had their own network-owned outlets in major markets. They both have popular shows and franchises. And they weren't News Corp. So, that January morning, the same January morning News Corp execs were telling NAPTE visitors about plans for a "Fox 2" spinoff network, UPN and The WB announced plans to merge into one network, The CW.

News Corp, feigning outrage to the media, went forward with their plans for a new network, putting their two telenovellas, which were going to air in syndication in the fall, in the forefront of the new network, dubbed My Network TV, a network purely made just to make money for News Corp. Nothing more, nothing less.

I'm not saying that MNT is going to be a failure, but looking at what they're planning so far, I can't see a silver lining in that.

Maybe The CW isn't a bad name afterall.


Duke said...

Well, the only show I watch on network TV nowadays is NCIS, so this really doesn't affect me at all. In all honesty, I don't really care one way or the other about this new deal.

Emperor Fred said...

Gee, and here I was hoping that any new network/entity that rose from the ashes of UPN and the WB would be unique and innovative and interesting.

But, telenovellas? Like, in Spanish? Is this some kind of new trend, because that's the first I've heard of it.

jh said...

Well, the telenovellas are going to be dubbed in English . . . so Fox is essentially Americanizing live-action just as anime distributors like 4Kids does to Japanese animation.