Thursday, May 19, 2005

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Pssst.... religious conservatives... here's some red meat

CBS chairman Leslie Moonves has revamped his Friday lineup. According to this MSN Entertainment story, both his decision and his explanation is likely to rile up religious conservatives:

CBS canceled "Judging Amy," "Joan of Arcadia" and the Wednesday spinoff of "60 Minutes" while adding Jennifer Love Hewitt to its prime-time lineup all in search of a more youthful appeal....

CBS is convinced it can draw more younger viewers on Friday, where "Joan of Arcadia" had a puzzling decline in its sophomore season and "JAG" finished its last year. It will try two new supernatural stories: "Threshold" features a team of experts called in when the Navy discovers aliens have landed in the Atlantic Ocean. Hewitt's "Ghost Whisperer" finds her talking to dead people.

"I think talking to ghosts may skew younger than talking to God," Moonves said. (emphasis added)

The Reuters account makes it clear that Moonves said this in jest, but religious conservatives might not get the joke... plus, they'll be too angry about the cancellation of "Joan" to make way for a Jennifer Love Hewitt vehicle.... particularly if Hewitt's wardrobe conforms to her stereotype.

UPDATE: Yep -- Drudge has the story. Again, it's worth stressing the Reuters account ("'I think talking to ghosts may skew younger than talking to God,' Moonves joked at a news conference before the upfront presentation).

I suspect this is a case where reading the quote in cold print strikes a dramatically different chord than the effect of hearing Moonves say it.

posted by Dan on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM




Comments:

Don't assume all religious conservatives are stupid or reactionary.

Many of us will miss JAG more than Joan.

And who has respect for CBS anyway? :))

posted by: Tom E on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



At the end of the day, CBS is a company just like Burger King and if their product isn't stellar, then they don't have any buisness putting it out there. Christians should try to make a great product or deal with the fact that mediocre shows will be canceled. And is it that big of a deal that a show that not that many people watch anyway gets canceled in the long-term goals of Christianity?

posted by: blorge on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



As long as they leave NCIS alone, I don't care what they do with JAG.

posted by: Achillea on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



Ah, yes. Religious conservatives talk to angels, secularists talk to ghosts. Tell me, if there are no souls, what's a ghost? I'm not even religious and this kind of hair splitting makes me nutty.

posted by: Kelli on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



Bear in mind that "skewing younger" is relative at CBS. The network's target demographic has been the group between retirement and fossilization for years now.

posted by: Zathras on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



If Joan had decided God was dead, could she have kept talking to him/her/it?

posted by: art hackett on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



I think it is a fundamental misunderstanding of Christian Conservatives to think that they thought highly of Joan of Ark. If many of my friends' reaction to Seventh Heaven is any indicator, they think of it as a false depiction of God, etc.

posted by: christopher Brandow on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



My wife is a big fan of "Joan", but I could never get into it. Even she was starting to admit that the plots were becoming repetitive.

posted by: Hunter McDaniel on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



Regarding the headline on this entry, it only took a couple of hours for Matt Drudge to start pouring gasoline on the fire. This battle in the culture war has officially begun.

posted by: art on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



I'm a religious conservative (I guess the definition would be someone who believes in God and conservative values, gee how horrible), anyway. And since I do, my beliefs are reinforced by this new show actually. Anybody that sees Jennifer Love Hewitt in those outfits you linked to Daniel, KNOWS there's a God...

posted by: Mike on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



a team of experts called in when the Navy discovers aliens have landed in the Atlantic Ocean.

A team of experts?

posted by: Bernard Yomtov on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



Shouldn't conservatives be happy that 60 minutes II is off the air ?

posted by: erg on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



"Shouldn't conservatives be happy that 60 minutes II is off the air ?"

We should ALL be happy when any Entertainment Program mascarading as a News Program goes off the air...

posted by: Mike on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



I agree with Christopher. Being at least a nominal religious conservative, I find it unlikely that TV will supply me with anything that would satisfy. If I wanted God, I'd either crack open the Bible or go read Donald Sensing's sermons.

"Touched by an Angel" and "Joan of Arcadia" and that ilk are palatable-for-TV versions of Christianity; I'm not sure anyone is served well for it. You're right -- JAG will be missed much more. (If only for more Catherine Bell.)

posted by: Klug on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



CBS canceled "Judging Amy," "Joan of Arcadia" and the Wednesday spinoff of "60 Minutes" while adding Jennifer Love Hewitt to its prime-time lineup all in search of a more youthful appeal....

Hey Moonves, us Boomers aren't dead yet. More youthful appeal? How could network television get any younger, short of getting rid of all the adult characters?

posted by: Alan K. Henderson on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



There are few TV programs that are worth the time, especially now that commercials are threatening to get more minutes that the program itself. Are we there yet?

Now we get ghosts, angels and aliens. wonderful.
I guess "younger" means the 6 to 12 year mental bracket. So-named Christian programs seem to work the gimmick of miracles too hard, or else are too pius and stuffy to pull good ratings.

One thing I will give the Brits: they know how to put on drama shows and documentaries, and time was that the good ones weren't cluttered with ads for personal hygine and sex performance.
We, however, are constrained by less and less time to develop a story.

posted by: mannning on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



But talking to ghosts DOES skew younger than talking to God. Does anyone deny that the teeny-bopper audience for Buffy and Angel was better than that of Joan of Arcadia?

posted by: Iron Lungfish on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



Hmm, good old fashioned stereotyping.

Of course when it works against a person, it's not so good.

Do you look suspiciously at minorities when they drive through your neigborhood?

Or is that different, . . .

posted by: Ray on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



I stopped watching Judging AMy when the slid into the slime of Liberal propoganda seeral years ago.

As for Joan of Arcadia, I;ve seen ti once, and didn't see much it in that had anything to do with biblical Christianity. Moonves is a moonbat if he think Conservative Christians give a flip about either show. If his comment was in jest, then it just shows his antipathy for Christians. Not surprised, I have to say.

posted by: Danny Carlton on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



"As for Joan of Arcadia, I;ve seen ti once, and didn't see much it in that had anything to do with biblical Christianity. Moonves is a moonbat if he think Conservative Christians give a flip about either show. If his comment was in jest, then it just shows his antipathy for Christians. Not surprised, I have to say."

What I find humerous as well is that none of these shows, at least the ones I've seen such as Touched By and Angel, etc. ever even mention "Jesus". Funny, I kinda thought he had something to do with Christianity. These are 'Christian" shows, they're modern versions of Lassie Come Home without a Dog. Dreck.

posted by: Mike on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



"These are 'Christian" shows, they're modern versions of Lassie Come Home without a Dog. Dreck."

Sorry. "aren't" Christian shows. Damn keyboard...;)

posted by: Mike on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



Um, who could have read this comment, even without the ' joked' portion cut off, and not realized that he was joking?

Give people some credit.

posted by: John Smith on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



The only dramatic show on TV worth watching is Law and Order, particularly the SVU version.

But it's hard to take seriously any mass medium that can only make money by catering to the lowest common denominator. If any of the networks could make money by showing farmers cutting off the heads of chickens and then chasing the headless chickens around the barnyard, they would. As the late, great Congressman Ozzie "Abscam" Myers once put it (on videotape, courtesy of the FBI), "Money talks and bullshit walks."

posted by: DBL on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



Don't assume all religious conservatives are stupid or reactionary.

Very true. Just happens to be the ones we hear from the most.

(the 'headless chicken' theme would sell)

posted by: wishIwuz2 on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



(sorry - that was uncalled for. Bad day at office)

posted by: wishIwuz2 on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



If you'd been reading Ann Althouse you'd know why Joan of Arcadia went downhill. The people who were making it essentially decided to knee cap their show. No, I'm not kidding.

posted by: lindenen on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]



Many of us will miss JAG more than Joan.
Ditto that*. Never watched JOA and never had the desire to.

* Although I will miss Enterprise more than JAG since the former actually got better its last season.

posted by: Thorley Winston on 05.19.05 at 12:38 PM [permalink]






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