NBC Universal may want to review its corporate-synergy strategy. Just as its broadcast network, NBC, is struggling to pick itself off the ratings floor with a slate of ambitious new shows, its cable outpost Bravo is laying odds on when they’ll be cancelled.
At its broadband site BrilliantButCancelled.com —which celebrates TV series that were killed before their time—Bravo is hosting a "DeathWatch" over the fall season’s new broadcast shows and inviting viewers to place "bets" on when the ax will fall (grand prize: a 37" flat-screen HDTV!).
Last week, the list was top-heavy with ABC shows (hmm…), led by Men in Trees at 3-to-1 odds. But things got weird on Thursday when news broke that NBC had put a sleeper hold on new drama Kidnapped, prompting DeathWatch to fire off an e-mail blast to all bettors declaring the show dead.
But reports of Kidnapped’s demise were apparently exaggerated—NBC hadn’t cancelled it, only capped production—and a retraction followed shortly, reclassifying the show as "on life support." (Fox’s Happy Hour got the same premature death notice. At press time, both shows were clinging to life.)
A Bravo spokesperson attributed the flub to "a trigger-happy editor." (Couldn’t they have checked with someone upstairs at 30 Rock?)
Even weirder are the site’s banner ads promoting NBC shows like 30 Rock (63-to-1) and Twenty Good Years (236-to-1). Call us superstitious, but do you really want to plug your new shows on a site called BrilliantButCancelled?
Of course, if they do get the hook, we know exactly where they’ll end up.