Tiffany Vogt

“Did BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’s Rabid Fandom Seal its Show’s Fate?”

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Opinion columns, Beauty and the Beast (CW) on March 26, 2014 at 9:19 pm

 

"Beauty and the Beast"

“Beauty and the Beast”

Ignorance of how the television world works is usually forgivable.  But this year, TV shows with savvy fans thrived; whereas, television shows with ignorant fans suffered.  One good example is the CW’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

Wrong Demo

From day one, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST had a huge hurdle to overcome: it was a show based on romance.  Sure there was the hero with genetically-mutated genes who could partially transform into a beast when his hormones raged out of control; but the essence of the story was a romance between the woman who loved the beast and how they would do anything for each other.

It was a TV show that was hard to sell to advertisers as it was clearly ear-marked for a young female fanbase with little to offer male viewers.  Unfortunately, due to the casting of 30 year old actors in the show, it failed to land even the young teen female viewers who deemed its leads too old.  That audience went fleeing instead to the greener pastures of younger casted TV shows or shows that were more relatable to their generation.

So BEAUTY AND THE BEAST limped through its first season with modest ratings, mostly skewing towards a 35-49 year old female demo, which is less valuable to advertisers who will pay higher ad dollars for 13-34 year old viewers, simply because they are so elusive and harder to reach.

Loss of Audience Retention

In addition, in its second season, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST then lost 50% of the audience it had managed to carve out in its first year by eschewing its strong, core romance and separating its lead characters through various frustrating obstacles.

See my previous article: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: The Curse of The Sophomore Slump?

“Live” Viewers vs. DVR Viewers

Another fatal flaw was that the remainder of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’s viewing audience was dominated by those who did not understand what “live” viewing meant versus DVR-viewing.  The bulk of its remaining fans assumed that watching the show on the same night via a DVR was equal to “live” viewing.  And that’s where an uneducated, un-television savvy viewership really hurts a TV show.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST not only alienated half its viewership in its second season, its remaining fanbase was woefully ignorant of how things worked in the television world.  “Live” ratings is when a viewer watches a TV show without the aid of a DVR.  It forces the viewer to watch every single commercial without the option of skipping it.

Time and time again, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans (who proudly called themselves “Beasties” – someone really needs to tell these folks how many negative connotations go with that particular moniker) proclaimed that their show had one of the highest DVR-lifts of any show on television.  That is not something to be proud of when your TV show is pulling in less than one million “live” viewers a week.

DVR-ratings only reflect delayed viewership; accordingly, DVR-viewers are rated at a significantly lower value when it comes to advertising dollars.  For example, a “live” viewer may be worth $1.00 each, but a DVR-viewer may be only worth $0.05.  So DVR-viewers are only noteworthy, and not as really contributing towards the profitability or economic-viability of a television show.

This is a huge factor for a network or studio in determining whether a television show is worthwhile to continue or should be canceled to make way for a show that can carry its weight and pull in advertising dollars.

Failure to Pair

Another huge misstep in its second season was the pairing BEAUTY AND THE BEAST with HART OF DIXIE.  Based on both shows’ previous year storylines, it made perfect sense from the outset — as both shows favored strong romantic storylines.

Unfortunately, during the 2013-14 television season, HART OF DIXIE decided to downplay its romance and focus on its small town comedy; and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST decided shed its romantic-focus to try to crank up its dramatic element by having a storyline where the main hero had his memory wiped and was turned into a beast-like killing machine.  So BEAUTY AND THE BEAST essentially jettisoned the romance and tried to be a straight action-hero story.

So both shows suffered by being paired with another show that did not appeal to the same audience.

In one last ditch effort to try to find a show that BEAUTY AND THE BEAST could pair with successfully, the CW selected its new series STAR-CROSSED to air with it in the mid-season.  Since STAR-CROSSED offered a very romantic storyline of an alien boy and a human girl falling in love, yet kept apart by warring factions, it stood a strong chance of appealing to the same audience who had stuck with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (those who were hopeful that the show would return to its strong romantic storylines).

Unfortunately, the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans were in panic-mode by the time STAR-CROSSED debuted.  Believing that STAR-CROSSED was only one more show that could prevent their show from having a chance at renewal, the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans did everything in their power to send the message that STAR-CROSSED had to be avoided at all costs.  They flamed the fires of anti STAR-CROSSED passions across Twitter and social media.

What the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans failed to see was STAR-CROSSED was its best bet at survival.  Only by showing that fans would “pair” and watch both shows, that the CW would think it had finally found a successful television block to add to their upcoming Fall 2014-15 schedule.

Since BEAUTY AND THE BEAST had failed twice at “pairing” with THE VAMPIRE DIARIES in its first season and HART OF DIXIE in its second season, STAR-CROSSED was its last chance to prove it could “pair” with another show.

Alas, that was not to be simply because the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans failed to see how “pairing” may save their show.

(Fortunately for STAR-CROSSED, it was given a second chance to “pair” with the CW series THE TOMORROW PEOPLE, and it paired with quite nicely with it.  Fans were tuning in for both shows, establishing a solid demo rating and making that “paired” block a strong contender for the Fall season — increasing both shows odds at renewals for their second seasons.)

Twitter Abuse

Yet another terrifying trend amongst ignorant television viewers is how to use social media.  The BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans were boastful of their ability to trend on Twitter every Monday night when their show aired, or whenever they deemed it an appropriate time to inundate Twitter with their trending campaigns.

But passion and slavish devotion to trending does not equate to advertising dollars.  Ad buyers only look at “live” viewership, which guarantees that their product commercials are being seen and perhaps may influence a viewer to buy/use their product.

Studios and networks may take note of Twitter trending to assess how engaged viewers are during a “live” airing of a TV show, but Twitter trending does not equate to ad dollars or direct revenue.

So Twitter trending is only a boast-worthy mark of a TV show.  What made the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans’ Twitter trending so terrifying was how they chose to use it as a destructive tool.

They not only began the campaigns to destroy STAR-CROSSED before its premiere by vowing to not watch it and encouraging the rest of the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans to do the same; once STAR-CROSSED did begin to air, they deliberately scheduled their Twitter trending efforts to take place during each STAR-CROSSED television broadcast airing in an effort to undermine STAR-CROSSED’s efforts to trend and demonstrate that it was establishing its own strong fanbase.

Astoundingly, once BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was on hiatus for an indefinitely break, its fans thought it was their god-given right to still claim Monday nights as their night to wreak havoc with their Twitter campaigns.  Unfortunately, they were not content to only trend during the now-vacated BEAUTY AND THE BEAST timeslot (which had been 9 pm on Monday nights), they moved up into the STAR-CROSSED timeslot (8 pm on Monday nights) in an effort to actively destroy STAR-CROSSED’s ability to trend during its own airings.

It was even more stunning to see that one of the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST stars, Austin Basis, encouraged these destructive Twitter trending campaigns and flamed the passions of the Beasties into waging war against STAR-CROSSED, by merely saying that there was nothing wrong with a little competition and protesting:  if not Monday nights at 8 pm, then when?   (Answer: Maybe a day/time when it was more likely to be noticed favorably and not seen as a poorly chosen weapon by desperate fans.)

This poor Twitter conduct was hurtful in several ways.  For one, both BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and STAR-CROSSED are owned by CBS, then sold to the CW.  They are sister-shows from the same studio and air on the same network.  CBS has just as much to lose if one or both shows fails to get picked up, as does the CW, which will then have to see if it can successfully launch two new shows – which in the current television climate has become increasingly difficult to do.  There is less risk with renewal than with launching new shows.  Thus, both networks and studios tend favor renewal if there is an established, solid fanbase for a TV show.

Second, it illustrates how vicious, negative and entirely self-serving the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans were.  They were not interested in the economics of what makes a television show successful and appealing to a broadcast network and advertisers, they were only interested in proving that their favorite show was the only show worthy of their slavish devotion.  But devotion does not equate into dollars.  Ad buyers/networks are looking for committed viewers who will not just tune in for one TV show a night, but will stick around and keep watching subsequent shows and give the advertiser a second chance at capturing their attention.

Advertisers also need to know that such television fans will not bail at the first sign that a TV show is not living up to their dictated-mandates of storylines.  BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans have proven not only will they bail when they are dissatisfied with the storylines or characters, but they are a fanbase willing to use hostile, negative means to achieve their personal goals.

No advertisers wants to be associated with a fanbase known for such poor attitudes or ethics.  Advertisers want to be associated with fans that can be held up as exemplary citizens.   For example, just like Justin Bieber or celebrities from “Duck Dynasty” can alienate sponsors and advertisers with their outlandish behavior and unflattering opinions, so can television fanbases scare off advertisers.

THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fanbase has established itself as two things:  (1) fickle and (2) destructive.

No advertiser finds those attributes attractive.  It’s bad enough that the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fans do not fit into the most desirable age demograph, but to have such negative connotations associated with them, just sends advertisers fleeing in another direction.

This is how the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST fandom slit its own throat.  Ignorance of how the business world, advertising world, and the television world works is no excuse.  Similarly, there is no excuse for poor conduct in public forums.  It has put itself in a poor light and marked the TV show they want to save for death.

Television viewers cannot afford to be so blindly ignorant anymore.  If they want to save a TV show, they must understand how to be a positive influence and appeal to advertisers.  Ignorance is no excuse.

 

[NOTE: This article was removed from TheTVaddict.com today after my editor received numerous death threats and threats of bodily harm. Should any such threats continue, they will be reported to the FBI and any other appropriate law enforcement agency.]

On hiatus . . .

In * By Tiffany Vogt on March 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm

TVset

Dear faithful fans and readers of the TVwatchtower:

I am taking a mini-break from posting at this site as I try to focus on my articles at TheTVaddict.com

So be sure to keep an eye out for my articles at TheTVaddict.com.

I look forward to sharing more exclusive interviews, opinion articles and promoting all my favorite TV shows there.

- Tiffany

STAR-CROSSED Post-Mortem: EPs Meredith Averill and Adele Lim Talk What’s Next for Roman and Julia

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Interviews, * TV Addict, Star-Crossed on February 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm
"Star-Crossed" (Julia and Roman)

“Star-Crossed” (Julia and Roman)

Last night was the premiere of the CW alien drama series STAR-CROSSED and it set up some wonderful storylines as the humans and Atrians began to take tentative steps towards integration and getting to know their fellow planet-mates.  The sweeping romance of Roman (Matt Lanter) and Emery (Aimee Teegarden) is but one of the storylines being explored.  Another storyline to be explored is now that Roman has healed Julia (Malese Jow), how will that effect them?

So if you watched the premiere of STAR-CROSSED, then these are likely to be a few of the burning questions on your mind that I got to pose to executive producers Meredith Averill and Adele Lim:

In the pilot, Julia gets exposed to Roman’s blood and is kind of healed through his blood, does that create a link and a bond, and does that then give her the ability to tap into some of their supernatural abilities?
ADELE: There is going to be an effect.  But we’re also mindful of how everybody knows about vampire-culture right now, and if you share blood with a vampire, suddenly you’re linked in all kinds of these different ways. So we didn’t want to retread some of that territory.  So there is an effect on Julia that we will see and it will be kind of exciting, which you’ll see very early on by the end of episode 2.  Again, I don’t think it’s something anyone has seen before, and they are going to have to deal with it.  But it will be different from the vampire-link.
MEREDITH:  In terms of the bond that she then shares with Roman, it’s certainly something that we are playing with and it’s something that she has to keep secret from Emery.  So that’s something we also want to play with.

But isn’t Emery is aware of the fact that Roman healed Julia?
MEREDITH:  She saw the cyper but when she confronts Roman about it, he has a very good explanation for her.  So that’s a little bit of a secret that they have to hold from Emery, and that creates a little bit of a confusion for Emery seeing her best friend and Roman kind of whispering off in a dark corner.  So that is a story we are playing.
ADELE:  When you do know the truth, even if everything is out in the open, there is that weird feeling of your best friend in the whole world and this boy you have feelings for and you know you have a connection with, and then they have their own special connection and how do you feel about that.

In episode 2 which airs next week, look for more to be discovered about a potential bond shared by Roman and Julia.  Roman may not even be aware that by sharing his blood with a human that there could be a connection; and things are about to get just a little bit more interesting in the STAR-CROSSED world.  So be sure to tune in for an all new episode on Monday, February 24th at 8:00 p.m. on the CW.

Where this article may also be found:

http://www.thetvaddict.com/2014/02/18/star-crossed-scoop-2/

"Star-Crossed"

“Star-Crossed”

%d bloggers like this: