Friday, January 16, 2009

A Little Lipstick Can Turn It All Around

Sometimes when you are outside of the corporate conference room, it is easier to see how foolish the decisions made inside of it can be.

Take NBC. First the network says it will cancel Lipstick Jungle and then they follow that up with announcing five nights of Jay Leno in prime time. Five nights of nothing on NBC at 10PM but Leno’s couch!

I don’t watch much on NBC, but I am a fan of Lipstick. And apparently I am not alone. Even those who don’t watch are surrounded by the many that do. Check out what Ben Grossman has to say in B&C this week.

Lipstick is well written, engaging, and great escape, which if the folks at NBC looked up from their spreadsheets long enough to notice, is exactly what people want right now, given the state of the world. Escapism. A good story. Likable characters.

My theory is they are paying attention only to the state of their bottom line and that these decisions were made not with a lot of thought to the long term but with a lot of sharpened pencils.

NBC is not alone. Story after story is out there of business decisions being made on what will yield the most to the bottom line in the shortest amount of time. Panic is prevalent as opposed to real thought and perhaps some sense of a long term vision.

Of course, I understand that revenue is key. This is business. And long term vision does not necessarily make the stock price go up. But decisions based only on the short term and the bottom line are what got us into this economic mess in the first place. Leno for five nights is nothing more than cheap programming. Canceling Lipstick Jungle after two brief seasons given the viewer feedback, the lack of good drama on NBC and that group that advertisers so desperately want to reach, Women, is just short sighted vision.

Rumor has it that the fate of Lipstick Jungle is still in limbo and there is hope that the folks at NBC will come to their senses. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the network has renewed “30 Rock” and “The Biggest Loser.” The article goes on to say that despite the Leno decision, they are still looking for six dramas. My suggestion would be to look a little past this month’s revenue projections and give some thought to what we women all know. A little Lipstick can a long way to turning it all around.
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