Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The sincerest form of flattery

I was on vacation last week, and one afternoon I found myself peeking at daytime television. One afternoon, I ran across a show on our local CBS affiliate that featured a group of women sitting around, talking about stuff.

Yes, it was afternoon, and I was watching CBS.

So I obviously wasn't watching "The View," which appears on ABC in the mornings. I was watching an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT show.

"Wonder how long this copycat will last," I thought to myself.

It turns out that the show is called The Talk. Notice the significant differences between The View and the Talk:

(1) They appear on different networks.

(2) They appear at different times of the day.

(3) While their titles refer to the five senses, the shows feature different senses. (NBC, Fox, and everyone else after left with The Touch, The Taste, and The Smell.)

Oh, the The Talk is in its fourth season already, despite the fact that this show demonstrates no innovation over the original.

Contrast that to a take on The View that did innovate a bit - "The Other Half." The gimmick of this show is that rather than having a bunch of women sitting around and talking about stuff, it had a bunch of MEN sitting around and talking about stuff. The men, all of whom were popular at the time the show aired, included Dick Clark, Mario Lopez, Danny Bonaduce, and a doctor who posed for Chanel. (Maybe Phil Robertson can tell me who Dr. Jan Adams is.)

Despite this innovation, The Other Half only lasted for two seasons, or half as long as its less innovative successor.

The business lesson here? Sometimes you can be successful by sticking to the same formula, rather than tinkering with it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to refine my pitch for a TV show in which amateurs sing songs in a competition.
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