Do not attempt to adjust your TV screen. Your national and local news anchors and reporters are all off doing outlandish crazy things to get your attention this month.
Yes, it is time for November sweeps gain. The Nielsen rating system uses certain months to analyze who watched what station and when, so they can give the stations the report, then the stations can show the report to advertisers and brag about how many people love to watch their station, then charge the advertisers more money.
Conversely, if ratings are low, advertising revenues go into the toilet, so it behooves each broadcasting company to make sure they have a good month during November (there are other months too, like May and February, but November leads into the Christmas season, which is the super-retail season, so it tends to matter that much more.
The result is what you see right now on your TV. Matt Lauer reporting live from Greenland/North Pole, with cohorts in the Antarctic and equator, all collaborating live with Meredith Vierra in New York (Today Show, btw) to explain to us “dumb masses” why we need to live without lights and gasoline and how the earth is melting. All of this is part of NBC’s initiative to make this week or month “green”, bringing global warming awareness to all who watch TV.
I also noted that NBC is using their real name more now, “NBC-Universal”, as in , Universal Pictures the studio. Interesting they don’t bring focus on the parent company name, General Electric (GE).
I guess it would sound a bit bit odd taking energy saving tips from a company with a name that contains the word “Electric”, huh? So they go with Universal and call this a Universal initiative. Whatever. Have fun with that.
All this means is that I will have a green peacock symbol at the lower left while watching Bionic Woman and Heroes, rather than the rainbow-colored one. By the way, watch for all kinds of crazy plot twists and turns in all of your favorite shows this month. These stunts are also meant to attract more viewers to pad the numbers.
Now, as a consumer, I would prefer the TV stations step it up ALL the time, not just during Nielsen-critical months. It’s almost as if I wish I had a large-scale time-shifting TV, like a Tivo that shifted months, not just days. That way, we can go about our busy lives in November (tell me your month isn’t simply jam-packed??) then watch all of the exciting TV shows whenever we get around to it, say January or so.
True, you can already do this if you try hard enough and have a Tivo with endless amounts of hard drive storage, but c’mon…I want to know what happens to Katee Sackhoff’s bionic character as soon as possible! (Side note: Sackhoff is WAY hotter and more interesting than the actual Bionic Woman (WhatsHerName) …which is sad. Worse even, is that her younger sister, played by Lucy Hale is way cuter than her, too. But I digress…)
Another stunt to watch for is Tuesday when Dr. House ends up having to go help the CIA diagnose someone who is dying/dead from a possible bio-terrorist attack.
OK, maybe that sounds sort of cool, but seriously, that’s not your typical House episode, now is it? Just watch and you’ll see how crazy all of the writers get (urged by the networks, of course) on all of your favorite shows (assuming they all still have jobs this week…Oh, and by the way, the writers know that this is sweeps month and know that it would be a harder blow to the networks to go on strike during this critical ratings review month).
Oh, and you won’t be seeing a single rerun for the entire month, IF the strike ends like….now.