Friday, April 07, 2006

Brainchildren Should Be Seen and Not Heard

The furor over ABC's "American Inventor" is dying down. According to the weekly Nielsen Ratings, the skein attracted audiences of 14.15, 13.04 and 9.29 million viewers for the first three weeks, respectively. I don't have numbers for last night's show, but I'm guessing fewer than 9 million people watched since "AI" aired opposite a new ep of "CSI," just like last week — its third week. "AI" avoided new eps of "CSI" for the first two weeks and took advantage.

This trend doesn't bode well for Halo Productions. On March 17 — the day after "AI" preemed — Halo filed for trademark protection for "International Inventor." A natural next step.

I don't expect to ever see Halo's international version hit the airwaves though.

Way back in the Fall of 2004, Anson Williams (Potsy on "Happy Days") joined Halo Studios to produce a 10-episode series called "The Entrepreneur." I haven't been able to find the show anywhere. We've seen USA's "Made in the USA" from Realand Productions, LLC and 10X10 Entertainment in association with NBC Universal Television Distribution. And we've seen ABC's "American Inventor" from Simon Cowell's Syco Television LLC and FremantleMedia North America, Inc in association with Peter Jones TV. But nothing called "The Entrepreneur."

Combine waning interest in "American Inventor" with Halo's recent track record in this area and "International Inventor" becomes a non-story.


Anonymous said...

I think that the American Inventor show really messed up. If it had been less exploitative and more informative, I think there could have been something really wonderful that happened. I haven;t given up hope yet, hoping the show now that its finished with auditions will be better.

dr. tv (mike vicic) said...

I hope you're right!

Half of me understands that a general audience doesn't really care about the development process nor the invention and is looking for a touching story. I think "Made in the USA," despite it's warts, provides some support for this statement. No touching stories, focus on product development, and no viewers.

OK. So the show needs a touching story like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," but "American Inventor" does seem more exploitive than the early rounds of "American Idol."

There's a delicate balance between entertainment, infotainment, and explotainment. I hope "American Inventor" provides more balance and then I'll enjoy the show.