Wednesday, May 18, 2005

ESPN of Arcadia

CBS Cancels Joan of Arcadia:

I was not a regular watcher of Arcadia, but my mother was and I have to say that the show was much better than you would expect. Unfortunately for its fans, the show ended after just two seasons. First off, I think there is a lot more inane crap out there and I am not sure why CBS felt such a need to change its lineup for a night (Friday) that will always do poorly in the ratings. That aside, it was pretty lame that the justification for cutting a lot of shows on CBS was to skew younger as if people without money are somehow better for advertisers. On the cancellation of Joan of Arcadia, Les Moonves had the lame quote of the day in the AP story on CBS’ new schedule:

CBS is trying two supernatural stories on Friday nights. "Threshold" features a team of experts called in when the Navy discovers aliens have landed in the Atlantic Ocean. Hewitt's "Ghost Whisperer," reminiscent of NBC's "Medium," is about a woman who conveys messages from dead people to the living.

"I think talking to ghosts may skew younger than talking to God," Moonves said.


Apparently, a show focusing on a teenage girl does not skew young enough…


ESPN Needs Competition:

There is one main reason why I watch SportsCenter: the game highlights. More often now, though, the show gets larger and larger but spends less and less time on showing the actual highlights of games. Instead, SportsCenter breaks down each and every controversial story to death, does fluff pieces on popular stars, spends maybe five minutes of interesting and original analysis and wastes time on lame catch-phrases like “boo-yah” and “cooler than the other side of the pillow.” Yeah, I remember being in high school in the late 90s and hearing Stuart Scott come up with those phrases and he still uses them 8 years later. A couple of lame phrases has probably generated a seven-figure salary for the guy and he’s still milking them. I wish both ESPN and him would move on to better things.

SportsCenter certainly does show highlights, but they are focused mainly on the biggest games or the games with the largest markets involved. You a first-place Orioles fan and you want to see the Orioles-Royals game? Well despite the fact of it being a great game, you have to wade through almost an hour of crap before they even get to it. The show is an hour or more long but the highlights are even shorter than they were when the show was just thirty minutes!

It used to be that at 11 you had an alternative when it came to sports. At times the show was called CNN Sports Night or part of the CNNSI network, but the thirty-minute, serious highlight run-through ensured that you had an alternative to the hype and bluster usually found on ESPN. Now that CNNSI is gone, CNN has stopped trying to do sports in this matter. Here’s to hoping that they or some other network starts a show that is strictly about showing the highlights and only the highlights for all the games in all the major sports leagues.

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