Gladys Santiago

Sitcoms as Venue for Media Research Industry Criticism

Posted in Television by Gladys Santiago on January 7, 2009

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I have long stated that sitcoms serve as a venue for media industry criticism because of their use of parody and satire.  I believe that Married With Children started this trend by taking swipes at what market researchers claim to know about audiences and the television ratings system.  In “The Goodbye Girl,” Kelly takes a job at TV World, a television-themed amusement park.  Her job is threatened when she receives “low performance ratings” and three viewer complaints that could lead to “cancellation.”  Her boss is named Mr. Nielsen, which is an obvious reference to Nielsen Media Research. 

The trend of media industry criticism has continued with the ABC season premiere of Scrubs.  At the very end of the episode, J.D. notices an unhappy couple to which Elliot responds, “The Nielsens didn’t like their ratings.”  This was a clever reference to NBC dropping Scrubs from its Thursday night lineup.  With the media and research industry in flux, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of this creative commentary. 

Married With Children Finds a New Home on TBS

Posted in Media, Television by Gladys Santiago on October 9, 2008

I have almost every released season of Married With Children on DVD, but I still preferred watching episodes on F/X because they included the signature “Love and Marriage” theme song.  F/X stopped broadcasting reruns midsummer, but TBS has picked up the slack and began airing the show in September.  SpikeTV also purchased rights to MWCand the two cable networks agreed on timeslots to broadcast the sitcom.  According to Sitcoms OnlineMWC is the only new show TBS has purchased for 2008.  SpikeTV and TBS have rights to the show for five years, so we’ll be seeing a lot more of the dysfunctional Bundy family.       

In addition to being the greatest sitcom ever created, MWC has a global appeal and is a highly profitable and marketable license property.  Click here for a NYT  article discussing MWC’s popularity in Russia. 

MWC’sairdates on SpikeTV are bit unclear, but TBS airs three consecutive episodes of MWC beginning at 5:30am.  I’ve never looked forward to waking up at the asscrack of dawn until now.  WHOA BUNDY!

via: Sitcoms Online