Because they can’t all be winners…
A successful TV show, that’s the goal for every network. To make multiple hit shows that millions of viewers watch religiously for 5-10 seasons. After the season ends, the audience still needs a way to be entertained, so they will then watch the next, hopefully hit show. If it’s not a hit, the network risks losing those dedicated eyes to another network.
A hit show can be very difficult to produce, you need an intriguing premise; then you need the writing to be solid. Next, you need the actors to pull their weight on and off screen… (meaning no scandals, if they pop up on TMZ, it better be because they said a good joke leaving a restaurant.) Lastly, it needs to be the right time, there needs to be a mass audience looking for the story that you’re telling.
A trend that is killing creativity and plaguing both the tiny screen and the big screen is to mimic another story. All too often we witness series after series copying a hit on another network. Take the vampire/zombie genre. One hit will spread into ten or so utter and complete flops. Why? Because it’s easy, the audience already can’t get enough of it. It’s a cheap way for a network to hopefully fill some slots with curious eyes clicking over.
Why are they flops though? Simply put, they aren’t supposed to be good. It’s a filler, an original idea is few and far between. They aren’t going to just throw out an infomercial for a Car Caddy in the primetime slot… Instead, they make an adaptation from another network, and they all do it, some just better than others. Take for instance this new ABC show, Of Kings and Prophets…
it’s a rip off of Game of Thrones, a series dominating on HBO. Now that it’s a few years into the show, ABC is hoping that the audience is getting tired of Game of Thrones convoluted plots but still want some good old fashion killing. Here’s the reason that the ABC show will fail… well, one of them. Graphic images… People love gore, blood, nudity, foul language, the works. All of which is forbidden on ABC because they answer to the advertisers. It sure isn’t stopping them from producing sacks on sacks of garbage… and it’s by no means just that network, they all do it.
Of Kings And Prophets is currently sitting at a 35% on Rotten Tomatoes with an audience score of 54%. After “God”-awful ratings, the show was canceled after only two episodes airing. While we are on the subject, let’s look at a similar story, Netflix’s Marco Polo, a show sitting at a whopping 24%. Netflix is still making more episodes of the show but we’re not going to go as far as saying this Game of Thrones ripoff is a success.
We should mention that some shows can have success in the copy-cat arena. Take Quantico, a fairly new show again on ABC, currently sitting at an impressive 83. Maybe because Priyanka Chopra is the star… This is a take on Homeland, a successful show running on Showtime, which is beating its copy-cat with a 90 on Rotten Tomatoes. We don’t want to ramble on about the special agent style shows, they are pretty much all the same.
With all this said, most copy cat shows don’t last. They come and go as often as a new iPhone. Most have ratings along the lines of the Hindenburg. Finally, a fan base of whoever can’t get enough of the original show. (Which isn’t a lot).