One of the prevalent images, and yet most annoying, I have of TV land is the producers and network executives who greenlight certain scripts and pilots, and cut others based on their “experience.”
I question the collective wisdom of an industry that gives us “Whitney,” “$#*! My Dad Says,” and “Pregnant In Heels” when they tell us “they know what America wants.”
If you want to find out what people are willing to watch, ask them.
I would love to see a website where pre-screened viewers can log in, watch a pilot, and give feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about the show. If a lot of people hate it, the network will know ahead of time. If a lot of people like it, the network can air it.
This is crowdsourcing at its finest. If you’re going to share something with the crowd, why not let them tell you what they like and don’t like about it. Then, when it’s time to release the final version, it will already be better, because the crowd, the intended audience, has told you what they want.
The benefit of the system is that the networks can determine ahead of time whether to go ahead with a project, rather than create and promote something that turns out to be awful, or avoid bailing on a project that would have been great. People can share their views about the pilot on social media, and get their friends to watch it too, thereby building the buzz for the show before it even airs.
This ends up saving money for the networks, because they’re not selling ads for shitty programs people hate. They’re not constantly canceling or moving programs people actually loved (see Family Guy). And they’re not putting money into programs that no one wanted to see in the first place (see Pregnant In Heels).
What would also be cool is a website that shows old pilots that never made the grade. If nothing else, that lets the public see some of the things we missed, and even see some of the early work done on series that made it later on. More importantly, we get to see what the executives saved us from, or where they really missed the boat.