Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #779: It's The Furious D Channel All Furious D All The Time

Lionsgate is pondering whether or not to go through with setting up a Tyler Perry cable channel.

Others would say that it already exists, and it's called TBS.

But that's just internet snark and sarcasm, and that has no place on this blog.*

Instead, I'm going to take this seriously, and take a glib, shallow look at the pros and cons of a Tyler Perry themed cable channel.


THE BRAND: Tyler Perry has a sizable and dedicated fan base in the African American community, who make almost anything with his name slapped on it a solid money maker. It's a pretty safe bet that at least some of this dedicated fan base would at least give a Tyler Perry Channel a chance.


THE BRAND'S A ONE MAN BAND: When you dedicate an entire channel to the brand of a single individual you are endangering the investment made to create that channel. Here's why:

IMAGE: Dedicating a channel to one individual, and that individual agreeing to it, makes said individual look like a raging egomaniac in the eyes of ordinary people. That's not a good start.

THE PROGRAMMING: Tyler Perry's a prolific filmmaker and television producer, but he can't fill all the programming slots for a channel all by himself. You can't just rerun his past projects either because that dedicated fan base that makes creating the channel so tempting have probably seen everything he's done already. People can only stand seeing the same things run so many times before they tune out completely.

He's going to need other people making stuff that he can then call "Tyler Perry's ________."

Therein lies the problem. Every show has to somehow reflect positively on Perry and his image, and the messages he like to profess in his movies. That leaves a lot of genres, sub-genres, and subjects in both fiction and non-fiction TV that can't be touched, because they might be viewed as too low-brow, or too edgy.

THE AUDIENCE: Oprah Winfrey had a long running talk show that dominated daytime ratings, and had a dedicated audience of women from all social strata that stuck with her for over 25 years. She retired from her show to dedicate herself full time to her Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, an all Oprah themed cable channel. Since its creation OWN has hemorrhaged money, viewers, and even top executives.

Tyler Perry's been a national phenomenon for a little more than 10 years, his audience is a sizable part of the African American population. That's less than 10% of the overall population of the USA. Oprah has a little less than 50% of the overall population behind her, as well as a wider range of subject matter at the heart of the channel, and it is struggling on just about every level just to survive.

In conclusion:

After weighing the pros and cons, my advice to Mr. Perry would be to say: "Thank you, it's nice to see that you think so highly of me, but no. I'd love to participate making programming for a new channel, but I don't think calling it after me would be good for me and my brand. Also the spread of individualized channels might someday lead to an All-Donald Trump Channel, and I will not have that on my conscience."


*This statement was a blatant lie, this blog is almost entirely comprised of snark and sarcasm.

1 comment:

  1. With OWN and The Hub underperforming, is it too early to say Discovery should stick with non-brand driven edutainment?