Thursday, January 18, 2007

All of Today

The easiest way to know when you've gone to far is to try going all the way and seeing what happens.

In a bid to cement their dominance over the television ratings in the morning, NBC's Today Show is soon to be expanding to a four-hour format, according to the network. It makes sense, given the name of the program, since "today" encompasses not only the early hours or the good morning period, but by rights the entire 24-hour period.

From their beachhead of 7 to 11 (Eastern, that is - and could there be a sponsorship opportunity there), they could occupy a chunk of the midday with a talk-show in the style of The View, putting their male hosts a chance to rest and putting the others around a table to exchange catty comments. Then in the early afternoon it would be so-called daytime drama which they could easily do by pushing a little bit over the edge of celebrity-obsessed non-news into more unreality-based speculative plots involving some familiar villains we know from their regular news factoid segments. In the later part of the afternoon, they could string some of their concert footage and entertainment features into a variety show. The easiest trick would be to rebrand the nightly news just by moving the set and subduing the lights a bit.

The rest of the primetime hours could be some thinly veiled true crime story recast as a police procedural slash courtroom drama. Then some fake news, simply ripping off Comedy Central material from the night before maybe, followed by the Today-Tonight Show and the Late Night/Early Today Show. After that, I figure they have enough personal electronics and cooking and home improvement gadget segments to populate a few hours of infomercial programming until it's time to begin over again with the Today Show proper.

Of course if some earth-shattering news event breaks, such as some forgotten aged official passing away or a war erupts or something, they could just cast off all their canned programming for marathon news update special reports the way MSNBC does. Obviously they must already have broken the bathroom-break barrier somehow, and can just apply that secret knowledge to these rare and ratings-enhancing circumstances.

If MSNBC goes ahead with this idea, remember, you read about it here first.


Kelley said...

Nick mentioned this yesterday and I thought he was kidding.

What are they thinking? It starts going downhill at the first cooking segment! They can't fill another hour!

RichM said...

So you don't like that hour sans Meredith and Matt? I am shocked.

Kelley said...

Maybe if they use a lot more Willard Scott. That can only be a boon for the ratings.