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Old 10-12-2004, 11:24 AM   #1 (Print)
dswallow
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'Housewives' Prompts NBC to Cook Up a Copy

By Lisa de Moraes
Tuesday, October 12, 2004; Page C07

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...-2004Oct11.html

With ABC's new dark comedy series "Desperate Housewives" scoring big numbers for a second consecutive week, it's only a matter of time before the other broadcast networks put out APBs seeking spec scripts about five families living on a picture-perfect suburban street. Because -- say it with me, class -- Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Television.

In its second telecast, ABC's new ray of ratings sunshine, which the network bought based on a spec script from sitcom writer Marc Cherry, scored a whopping --

We interrupt this column to bring you this breaking news report:

NBC is wrapping up talks to buy a spec script for a single-camera series about five families living on a suburban cul-de-sac, the trade paper the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Calling it "one of the most remarkable show comebacks" ever, THR writes that Todd Holland and John Riggi -- they worked together on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" and Holland also executive-produced Fox's short-lived "Wonderfalls" -- have dusted off their seven-year-old script and are in the process of selling it to the peacock network.

"The story of 'Five Houses' began in 1997," the trade paper begins. Holland said the two wrote the pilot in just a few days "out of love," based on their "collective communal-living experiences."

In the original pilot, a gay couple moves onto a suburban Los Angeles street. Fox ordered it as a pilot for fall '98, but alas, it was not to be.

The script has been reworked and now it's about a young couple from an Oklahoma town who are the newest additions to the cul-de-sac, THR writes, though there still will be a gay couple on the block.


We now return to the regularly scheduled column:

In its second telecast, "Desperate Housewives" clocked more than 20 million viewers, hanging on to 94 percent of its premiere audience.

It retained 98 percent of its premiere audience in the 18-to-49-year-old bracket, ABC noted, that being the group the network claims to target. Who are they kidding? ABC is thrilled anyone is watching the network on Sunday nights. It now has won the past three Sundays; the last time ABC won the first three Sundays of a new TV season was at least as far back as 1991 and maybe even further, but that's as far back as ABC's records go.

"Desperate Housewives" was the most watched program Sunday night, beating NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" by nearly 8 million viewers -- and by 93 percent in that golden demo. Best of all, among younger viewers, "Desperate Housewives" has widened its advantage over the No. 2 new series, CBS's "CSI: NY."

"Housewives" is also the No. 1 new series of the season.
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:34 AM   #2 (Print)
SparkleMotion
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Will be interesting to see if this signals the beginning of the end of the flood of "reality" shows and begins to pare them down.

I can only HOPE so!
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:51 AM   #3 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by SparkleMotion
Will be interesting to see if this signals the beginning of the end of the flood of "reality" shows and begins to pare them down.

I can only HOPE so!


Yeah! What he said.
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Old 10-12-2004, 12:07 PM   #4 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by SparkleMotion
Will be interesting to see if this signals the beginning of the end of the flood of "reality" shows and begins to pare them down.

I can only HOPE so!


You say this now, but wait until we have:

"Frantic Soccer Moms"
"Keeping up with Mrs. Jones"
"Sex and the Suburbs"

and on Fox, "When Exasperated Domestic Goddesses Attack."

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Old 10-12-2004, 12:13 PM   #5 (Print)
Graymalkin
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Well, gee, if NBC wants a real hit like "Desperate Housewives," let's get Joey back from L.A. and have "Suburban Friends"!
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Old 10-12-2004, 07:52 PM   #6 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by SparkleMotion
Will be interesting to see if this signals the beginning of the end of the flood of "reality" shows and begins to pare them down.

I can only HOPE so!


I SO AGREE!!!!!!!
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Old 10-12-2004, 08:43 PM   #7 (Print)
barrettd
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Quote:
Originally posted by SparkleMotion
Will be interesting to see if this signals the beginning of the end of the flood of "reality" shows and begins to pare them down.

I can only HOPE so!


How can this possibly be a better situation? Every network has a different version of each other's shows? Ugh. Fox already has copied, what, 4 shows this season?

The only reason "reality" shows took off is they were new ideas at the time.

Write better shows!
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Old 10-12-2004, 08:47 PM   #8 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by barrettd
How can this possibly be a better situation? Every network has a different version of each other's shows? Ugh. Fox already has copied, what, 4 shows this season?

The only reason "reality" shows took off is they were new ideas at the time.

Write better shows!

The stupidity of netowrk program managers is unending.

Why would you take your strongest show and pu tit up against the strongest show of a competitor?

You should put it up against the weakest show with the most opposite demographic.

What you should program against your competitors strongest shows are those that are directed towards completely different demographics and/or those that are taking completely new ideas/risks in their development.

But no, all the networks droids can do is copy each others successes until the whole concept makes everyone puke so badly they get chased into the bookstore to find something palatable.
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Old 10-12-2004, 10:58 PM   #9 (Print)
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I like this show and am really pleased that its ratings have not only held up so far, but have been really really good. With the decent performance of Boston Legal, also on ABC Sundays, though, I am a bit concerned about what ABC may do with Alias at midseason. Hard to imagine them bringing it back on Sundays, at least with the way these new shows are doing that night. Much as I am thankful to ABC for good new shows like Housewives and Lost, this is the network that wrecked Karen Sisco, one of last season's best new shows. It will be interesting to see how they handle Alias, as well as success on Sunday nights. (Lost and Alias would make a nice JJ Abrams double-bill on Wednesdays, maybe.)
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:39 PM   #10 (Print)
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I wish they'd take "dark comedy" away from this instead of "rich suburb trophy wives." I know, too much to hope for. NBC is in the toilet anyway and they're leaning against the flusher.

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