I miss NBC.
After Steve Jobs' coup of Disney (and really, that's what it was), UPN and the WB merging into some sort of teensploitation megatron, and FOX turning into the American Idol network, NBC is just sort of left there, in the dust.
It's so sad. I mean, I came into my own with NBC at the top of the world, the network that could do no wrong, when Seinfeld, Will&Grace, Freaks and Geeks, Mad About You, ER, Fraiser, West Wing, Cheers, Golden Girls, Saved by the Bell, Conan, Jeopardy, and Third Rock from the Sun ruled the airwaves. I could probably come up with more classics from the NBC vaults, but these are the shows that came quickly to the tip of my tongue/fingers when thinking about my teenage television viewing habits.
These are some classic shows. NBC practically owned the late nineties and early oughts, in my formative years. It was beautiful.
NBC is still my favorite of all the networks, even though I barely watch any of the shows on there anymore. They cancelled or are in the process of cancelling my favorites, even though the West Wing and Will & Grace which are slowly regaining some of the magic that they had back in the day. The Book of Daniel, which quickly became my mom's favorite show, the only show she watches in primetime other than the Simpsons, caved into conservative hogwash and was cancelled.
Its affiliates, like Bravo, the History Channel, A&E, TRIO, and the Sundance Channel still rate amoung my favorites. Why can't NBC stand up anymore?
I've been trying to watch more NBC this week. Even though I'm not a Nieslen household, I still like to think I'm doing my share. And overall, it's not so bad. Sure, it may be a little stale (I mean, how many Law and Orders do we really need?)
NBC needs a breath of fresh air. It needs the quirk. It needs more shows like My Name is Earl or the Office or the Book of Daniel or Scrubs. It needs quirky, metatextual, forward-thinking, critically acclaimed shows. It needs to lure Curb your Enthusiam and Larry David to NBC, it needs to revive Carnivale from HBO, to grasp the new Aaron Sorkin show, it needs to snatch up Arrested Development from the gutter.
The problem is, now that America is getting much dumber, NBC has been struggling to get the rednecks, the lowerclasses. And they need to stop. They need to stop grasping for the lowest common denominator; Fox already has a strong hold on that niche market. It needs to be the high-class, elite, it needs to be Fraiser and West Wing and Freaks and Geeks and all that sort of stuff.
C'mon NBC! You can do it! Live up to your potential!
Oh NBC we love you get up!