Ever since NBC was mired in last place in the early 80s, I have had an affinity for the underdog network. So when comedies like FAMILY TIES and COSBY SHOW and CHEERS gained in popularity, I was cheering loudest when NBC went to #1. It's Thursday lineup of eventuals SEINFELD, FRIENDS and WILL & GRACE only sustained my being proud as a peacock. But then FRIENDS left, and disaster struck: NBC fell to last place again! And has remained there for the last 6 years.
Yet still I supported the network in spirit and kept hoping it would dig itself back out of the pit. It didnt. In fact, seems like its just gotten worse! Ben Silverman further destroyed things, and now Jeff Zucker wants to only think about the bottom line and NOT quality by airing JAY LENO 5 nights a week, and ditching most of what made NBC so great in the first place: quality!
I can no longer idly be proud of a network that has given up, or in the very least doesnt care anymore about its viewers enough to reward them with smart, good TV choices. NBC? If you dont care anymore, then I dont care anymore.
So, if NBC is no longer my favorite network, who is then?
Well, CW has a few faves of mine (witness SUPERNATURAL and SMALLVILLE, and to some degree MELROSE PLACE). But CW demo audience is girls and young women. I am a 40 year old gay man. So...sorry CW!
And CBS just doesnt program for me. Other than their MOnday night comedies, I can't stomach procedural TV. If anything, CBS is the network I loathe the most.
That leaves FOX and ABC. Fox is still too hung up on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and AMERICAN IDOL and their animation domination. The only real show that I connect with on FOX is GLEE.
So...drum roll, please!...the network that I am a huge fan of now is ABC!
Sure, ABC has some clunkers (witness HANK, THE FORGOTTEN, DANCING WITH THE STARS and Friday nights). BUt in terms of laughs and drama, no other network comes near what ABCs output is. My favorite drama in the history of television (sorry FREAKS AND GEEKS, still luv ya lots) is LOST. The fact that, five years later, LOST still has me guessing and loving it is paramount to a classic. FLASHFORWARD as the new LOST? NOT EVEN CLOSE! THen there's SCRUBS and BETTER OFF TED, two brilliant comedies that I fell in love with last year. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES still has me loving SUnday nights, and even UGLY BETTY has made a creative return. New comedies MODERN FAMILY and COUGAR TOWN are totally fun to watch, but it's the BEST NEW COMEDY OF THE YEAR: THE MIDDLE that has me so proud of ABC. The alphabet net also has my favorite sci-fi show this year: V!
So there you have it! This season alone ABC is delivering 10 (V, LOST, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, UGLY BETTY, BETTER OFF TED, SCRUBS, THE MIDDLE, MODERN FAMILY, COUGAR TOWN, EASTWICK) fave shows (with the promising ROMANTICALLY CHALLENGED and HAPPY TOWN still to debut). NO other net even comes close to that...except maybe..guess who?--NBC! (THE OFFICE, 30 ROCK, SNL, COMMUNITY, PARKS & RECREATION, CHUCK).