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Network Hype in Hindsight

As everyone digests the hype from last week’s network presentations, B&C offers reminders from the 2004-05 season that were lauded by network executives last May but never lived up to expectations.

Dr. Vegas, CBS: Les Moonves hyped this Friday-night drama, which featured Rob Lowe as a Las Vegas doctor. “It’s a traditional medical show during the day, and during the night, he sleeps with chorus girls and gambles. What could go wrong with that?” he said. A lot, it turned out. Afflicted by mediocre ratings, Dr. Vegas crapped out by November sweeps.Father of the Pride, NBC: “This is an adult comedy, much on the level of Shrek,” NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker said. The animated Pride  which cost a sky-high $2 million an episode, tumbled every week and was toast before Election Day. The Mountain, The WB: The teen drama—think Dawson’s Creek in Aspen—looked promising, but viewers didn’t make the trip. At The WB’s upfront, then-CEO Jordan Levin said, “We believe there is nothing but upside by leading off Thursday night with a show as big and juicy as The Mountain.” By January 2005, however, The Mountain had crumbled.  Tru Calling, Fox: This thriller was paired with sexy soap The O.C. on Thursdays and waited for ratings sparks. “We think it will be as successful as when we paired Beverly Hills: 90210 with Melrose Place, “ then-President of Entertainment Gail Berman said. Not quite. Tru Calling never got the right numbers. At least, The O.C. still rocks.