“Who Wants to be a Millionaire” returns to ABC this summer for an eleven-episode “event”: Regis Philbin will reprise his role as America’s money tease in hopes of attracting eyeballs inexpensively with otherwise mundane content presented breathlessly.
(”… and that’s how I parlayed a ridiculous catchphrase into a house in the Hamptons and a production shingle at Sony. Now go get ‘em, Irish!”)
Of course, ABC smothered the franchise a decade ago by discovering they had a massive hit almost accidentally and then riding Regis like a thoroughbred until the show collapsed from overexposure and shuffled off to syndication while Regis was sent back to his daypart pasture. However, programmers never learn, which is why ABC (via ESPN) and the NFL seem bent on ruining the NFL Draft by expanding it to three days and showing it in prime time.
As early as next year, Roger Goodell (who already wants to expand the regular season) would push the Draft into Thursday-Saturday (during the NBA and NHL playoffs?), sucking in those movie ad dollars for the early blockbusters.
Also, don’t forget injecting more of the gauzy human interest features and trumped-up drama like the green room to pull more females into the draft. Isn’t that right, Commissioner Goodell?
People are so infatuated with the reality aspect of it. Are their teams going to improve? Should they get a quarterback? Should they trade up? It combines so many great elements that people love to talk about.
At this rate, Commissioner More-Is-Better will oversaturate his product in a shocker to all Americans, leaving us with a watered-down impression of the NFL.
Then we’ll only have one place to turn to save the league: Commissioner Philbin. With those guns, he’ll have no problem keeping everyone in line and not pushing for the next closest dollar at the cost of the long-term health of the league.