You can’t buy publicity this good.

NBC affiliates; especially those in the south within the so-called Bible belt must be getting hammered these days. I’ve heard that if you try to contact the GM at the station on Union Avenue, the receptionist wants to know if it’s regarding the series “The Book of Daniel”.

The “Hollywood Reporter” describes the series as depicting “ an Episcopalian minister, played by Aidan Quinn, struggling with an addiction to Vicodin, among other problems in his diocese. Jesus is actually a character on the series, depicted in imagined conversations with the minister”. The Reporter goes on to say that two NBC affiliates in Arkansas and Indiana have decided not to carry the show.

There’s nothing like this kind of publicity to drive people to a show that they might have missed otherwise. Remember the movie “The Last Temptation of Christ”? I understand the reason people rally to protest something. But on the other hand, if the movie or show is crap, people won’t watch and it will fade into obscurity. On the other hand, if you rant and rave and try to block it, it just draws attention to the object of the protest. It becomes the forbidden fruit and may whet the appetite of those who otherwise really wouldn’t have bothered to see it. I’ve never seen the show and now I want to see it.

Still, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of those phone calls from people not wanting to watch it.

I’ve dealt with phone calls down on the river from people who were angry when weather warnings interrupted their favorite soap operas. I’ve had what sounded like elderly women give detailed descriptions of my ancestral lineage because we dared to break into their soap operas. I actually asked one woman if she “ate with that mouth”. She could have embarrassed truck drivers and sailors with the venom she was spewing. Besides, I know who my father is and what the caller was suggesting was not physically possible anyway.

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7 Comments on “You can’t buy publicity this good.”

  1. Tvnewseditor Says:

    My statoin keeps their call logs on the Intranet so that anyone in the building can look at what types of calls the switchboard gets.

    On Jan 3, we got 43 calls about Daniel.
    On Jan 4, we got 103.

    Toward the end of December, we averaged 25 calls/day.

  2. mike Says:

    On the third hand, if people don’t protest offensive programming, the nets think no one is bothered by it and keep making more. It’s a no-win situation for viewers.

  3. LeftWingCracker Says:

    Mike, so if I complain about Fox News, they’ll stop putting crap on the air? 🙂

    Joe, LOVE the blog, it’s terrific!

  4. Joe Larkins Says:

    Interesting points on both sides but I still contend publicity is publicity. As a former news director once told me, he didn’t care what the local paper said about what appeared on our newscasts as long as they got the call letters right.
    And leftwingcracker, here;s a note to share about Fox News. I was talking to my father last spring about something on the national news. His quote to me was “I don’t watch the news anymore, I watch Fox.” I don’t think he realized what he said, but he actually spoke volumes.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I watched it and thought it was a crappy show. There were just too many storylines and more personal problems than Biblical plagues. I liked Jesus, but the rest of the show was too far out in left field. I can’t see the show lasting very long.

  6. AMNewsBoy Says:

    KPLC-TV’s General Manager actually stands up for himself and his station re: Daniel… I gotta say… that’s one of the best things I’ve ever heard a person in TV management (news or otherwise) say.

  7. Joe Larkins Says:

    Thanks amnewsboy for the link.
    Folks, if you want to read a letter from someone who makes no bones about where his station stands on a hot button issue, check out the link provided by amnewsboys’s posting.
    It’s a great read.
    I didn’t see the show Friday. Actually I forgot about it and didn’t bother to TIVO it.


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