Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Too Old To Be Sexy?

Barbara: I was gobsmacked the other day to read a Facebook-linked article about the fact that Harry’s Law—the TV show featuring Kathy Bates—was cancelled … not because there weren’t enough viewers, but because they were too old! Too. Old. How depressing is that?

I always knew that networks favoured the younger demographic, but I truly thought it was because they must watch more. Even if that didn’t actually jive with my reality (my daughters are NOT loyal TV watchers). But when the viewer-numbers totally support a show and then to find out that those great numbers still aren’t enough to secure a show’s future because it's geared to older viewers is soooo disheartening.

I hate to rant about this inequity because it’s kinda like ranting against bad officiating at an Olympic soccer game between Canada and the US ;) –if you can’t change a bad call, might as well accept it, right?

But do we have to accept it? According to the article, baby boomers spend—get this—400 BILLION DOLLARS MORE THAN ANY OTHER GENERATION. EVERY YEAR. Yeah. Every year!! See? I’m hoping that if I yell it loudly enough, advertisers will want to not just take my money, but maybe, maybe, tell my stories too.

In fact, you don’t have to look farther than Deb and I to hear tales of authentic and charming film and television ideas (if I do say so myself) that have been embraced by producers for these qualities … and then rejected by networks for their target demographic.

I know young people are sexy for their youthful glow and hot bods, but surely our money and spending potential should be waaaay sexier. I mean, you can sell us houses and cars and vacations and insurance and investment opportunities and expensive creams and, well, I could go on and on, right? My girls? The supposed ideal demographic for advertisers? They struggle to pay for their inexpensive goodies, and then have loyalty to exactly none of them afterward.

Every time I hear another story about how no one wants to tell our stories because we’re not sexy enough, the more I want to go all “cougar” on the networks and prove them otherwise. Except, of course, Harry’s Law, with its 8.8million loyal viewers (for NBC, second only to Smash in popularity) should have paved the way for us and still couldn’t do it. And if they can’t do it, how can any of us older viewers/creators hope to stake our place in storytelling?

I mean, I love the “young people” shows and movies. I’ll go to Batman and I’ve watched and loved Girls. But I can also say that 21-year-old Stefanie is very excited to see the new Meryl Streep film, Hope Springs. And why? Because she “loves watching middle-aged people navigate life”. I swear to god, direct quote. I think lots of young people like to watch older people do their thing. It’s about knowing what to expect down the road. It’s about relating to each other, learning from each other, speaking to each other from all different vantage points. It’s about accepting each other, age spots and all.

Life is interesting in every shape and size. Please open the door to this reality and don’t dismiss us because … I don’t know, because we aren’t as sexy as our kids.

Deb: My blood boils as I read this. Barb is too classy to refer to an exact recent incident because in fact she was my co-writer, but the project was rejected not because of the writing, but because it was felt that Colin and I are too old to be the “leads” in a series. Our middle-aged plot lines are not interesting to the general population apparently.  GENERAL POPULATION???? See above for Barb’s rant regarding just who is doing the spending!!!! But, nonetheless, a few months ago after peddling our pilot around, we were told in various subtle and not so subtle ways that we were, well ... past our TV prime. Now I am pretty darned good at moving on with stuff like this, but I told Barbara that I was frankly daunted by this for a few days. It is the first time in my life, next to the day I found out I was menopausal and could no longer have children, that I felt redundant. So I hope that some other middle-aged couple comes along and does it for us, and for the considerable audience that is waiting to see their stories represented.

76 comments:

  1. What is wrong with people? Harry's Law was a wonderful show! TV show are getting worse and worse......there are too many boring reality shows and not enough creative entertainment. Wow, this makes me so mad. And who wouldn't take your show????? I'd like to know!!!!!

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    1. I know, Jo, I know. Like we said, nobody (yet!) wanted it -- for this exact reason. I also think that people need and want scripted stories that go beyond the crass simplicity of the reality shows or the boring formula of the crime drama (which, btw, I'm SURE is being watched mostly by that older demographic!)

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  2. You'd think that networks would learn these kinds of things. Betty White has made a huge comeback and she's not your average spring chicken. In the past, shows like Murder She Wrote had huge followings and they weren't because of hot, skinny, 20 something bodies. Angela Lansbury was (and is) fantastic! There are 800 channels on TV! 500 of those channels are kids shows and 90% of the shows on the other stations are stupid reality shows. I mean really, how many more hospital/police shows or talent shows do we need? OK, my numbers may not be factual, but that is the way it feels.

    I'm so sorry that you guys' show didn't work out. I would love to see Colin and Deb star in a show. I hope your show can find it's home someday. We need more shows that are fun and intelligent and less NY-MD-see-someones-blood-and-guts "reality" shows.

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    1. Thanks, Molly, we hope so too! I have to add to your wise words about all these amazing shows that feature older characters. So many of them -- provided they're well-written and appealing -- do so well. What do we have to do to keep these kinds of shows supported?!

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    2. I don't know. Do we write the networks? I've tried that before with other shows, but it never amounted to anything. I'm willing to continue, though. Older characters can bring such a huge range of experiences and subjects. With older characters things can be so much funnier and so much sadder. There is a deeper level of feelings, understanding and experiences for good, bad or ugly. I don't know what has to be done or what it will finally take for networks to get the message.

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  3. Too.Old???!?!??!! WHAT THE FUCK??? And they rejected your project??? (Was it Mind over Matrimony? I was soo excited for that!) OMG and Deb and Colin..OLD? ARE YOU KIDDIN' ME ????? So age is more important than talent ???? WHAT THE HELL...They cancel your project and Kathy Bates' show when that stupid Kardashian CRAP is still on??????? (no offence to anyone...Its just I REALLY dont get the POINT of its EXISTENCE)

    This is soooo unreasonable. And Barb you are right. We DO love watching older people work. Because of their experience and not to mention the amazing talent. I mean there are some really great shows.. But the AGE FACTOR...Has nothing to do with them being ...AWESOME! I mean C'MON!! And They rejected Colin and Deb...Because they are TOO OLD??? I MEAN....Have they SEEN THEM WORK?????? Have they seen how Friggin AWESOME they are...?!?!?! This news is so depressing. I mean these Douchebags are the REASON so many talented people are not getting that perfect exposure. There are so many boring reality shows out there...because what? "THATS WHAT PEOPLE WANT"...What crap!
    Ya know these people really need to learn to put themselves in the shoes of the people they reject for this reason.
    I Personally believe that the "GENERAL POPULATION"..appreciates anyone...ANYONE who is talented. And they dont really care if they are old or young as long as they are AWESOME!

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    1. I agree! It especially irks me that these kinds of shows can and DO prove themselves with loyal fans (of every age) and yet that's not good enough.

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  4. Hope Springs looks good. And I LOVE Meryl Streep. That seems like such a bummer to me. Seems they're throwing away really good talent. :/ Shame.

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  5. And I dont get it....Doesnt OLDER means 'MORE EXPERIENCE'...and isn't more experience ACTUALLY...BETTER ??????? Isn't that normally HOW PEOPLE ARE HIRED?

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  6. What the heck?
    That's so wrong...

    I don't care how old people are...if they're awesome at what they're doing, and if they are talented and adorable, I will love them.

    Of course, I love to watch young, hot actors (sorry :D)...but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate "older" people.

    The only thing that is sad about older actors, singers, writers is that I fear that they won't be with us forever...and that someday they may be gone (sorry, if that sounds like rubbish, but that creeps me out).

    I do love Take That (I feel sooooo sorry for Gary Barlow, who lost his little baby), and they were young and hot, and now they are older...and nobody says they should retire, because they are more successful than they have been in the 90s. They are so talented, and they are doing the best live shows ever. I will still love them, when they're 80. I don't give a damn (and they have young fans, too...).

    Deb and Colin and Barbara...you are amazing, and I would watch every show, if you were in it. :) xoxo

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    1. Amen to that last sentence!

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    2. Thanks, guys! I've been trying to post a comment for ages and nothing was working. So thrilled you guys are feeling the same way.

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  7. Disheartened to hear that ageism is still going at such a strong rate. I want to be entertained and that comes from talented individuals, regardless of their age. I am so pissed at the amount of junk that networks are spewing out and how much is being lapped up by viewers. It is also sad to see how some get so excited to watch crap like Jersey Shore and possibly think that this is the norm for their age bracket. Loved hearing that your girls want to see how experience can help us navigate through life. Sex sells is a given, however sales must increase when it's rammed down your throat and there are few alternatives to turn to! Sorry to hear about your show being turned down. I love being entertained by quality performers, especially proud when they are Canadian. Too bad that aspect isn't important :(

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    1. What people seem to forget is that older people are having -- and loving -- sex too. Maybe more (and better ;) ) than their younger counterparts.

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  8. I really don't get it, if the show was pulling in that many viewers, why would it be axed? I thought more viewers meant more money, and TV execs would make all decisions based on that, not on the age of the people watching..? Is it maybe that they've found that older demographics are less susceptable to TV advertising? Maybe shows like Harry's Law just can't attract the big bucks advertisers because older generations put more thought into their purchases and are less swayed by large on budget but low on substance ads...? That would really be punishing middle aged people for being a bit smarter and wiser huh!

    I hope your show gets picked up, I'm sure any script the two of you wrote would be fabulous!

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    1. I don't know, Samara. As I think about this, I realize that my husband and I always decided which of our kids' desires (that might have been swayed by advertising) we gave into (now they make those decisions themselves with their own limited resources). So the advertisers need to win me over whether they want to or not.

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  9. Grrrrrrr... People today get on my nerves. If it is a great show or movie people will watch it. It doesn't matter the age, race, sex, orientation, or anything of the performers. Some people need to just relax and realize talent when it is staring them in the face, and be able to distinguish talent from just a pretty face who can't act at all.
    Good luck with that script guys <3

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    1. Ain't that the truth, Kelly. And thanks :) !

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  10. I loved Harry's Law and even signed a petition but to no avail. I believe the reasons networks like reality show is that they are way cheaper to produce than quality TV. I rest my case.

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    1. That is very very true, Madge. Although I don't think we were being passed over for reality shows (although I could be wrong!)

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  11. I hope you keep shopping it! With the internet, social media, and sites like kickstarter, you shouldn't give up! I just learned not too long ago that amazon has its own studios. Times and options are changing. When the few in suits are blocking our bliss, it's time to take the power from them!

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    1. I LOVE how you phrased that, Eileen! Power to us :)

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  12. This shouldn't surprise anyone - in fact, I'm disgusted in general with what the general population DOES want to watch. Reality shows totally disgust me - I'm not even the least bit curious. How can they be "reality" anyway? They KNOW they have a camera on them!!! UUGH!!!! The ignorance of it. But anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that is disgusts me what DOES interest society. It disgusts me that media prints the gory details of for example, a kidnapping and murder - such as the one where I'm from in Woodstock Ontario. I do not understand the interest or what good can come from knowing the gory details of such a horrific tragedy. Oh and also, forgive me but I have to comment about the soccer reference. I'm an American citizen living in Canada for 7 years now and I'm really frustrated with all the verbalized hatred of Americans. It's such a generalization and it's no better than being racist. I just recently deleted a former school teacher of my daughters for using the f'word combined with the statement "I hate Americans". Nice eh? He's too stupid to be ashamed. Aren't the schools lucky to have him?

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    1. I live near Woodstock, and for me it wasn't the details, it was the fact that the whole thing was played up like a sideshow at a circus. Jersey Shore couldn't have done it better. Although I suppose if people love reality TV so much, treating a murder like one would sell papers. :(

      I agree with the idea to keep trying. I'd love to see a show from you guys!!!

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    2. Lana, I totally hear you re the verbalized hatred. I think that kind of behaviour is ridiculous. We can debate the call all we want, but it has NOTHING to do with America vs Canada. And, as the Canadian coach said himself: "A bad call that goes their way one day goes our way another. It's the nature of the sport." And, wow, that teacher's behaviour is abominable!

      Thanks for the support, you guys!

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  13. Thanks for bringing this up. My husband & I sit down with our dinner on TV tables and watch Murder She Wrote every night because there is so little else on TV that interests us!! And now we're watching re-runs of very old re-runs.
    Would love to see a show starring Colin & Deb!!
    And yes, maybe we're boomers who aren't buying the big ticket items any more,but we are helping our kids who are and will be buying such items....

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    1. I do think we're buying many big ticket items, and I TOTALLY agree that we are also buying the stuff for our kids. So it's lose/lose for us every time!

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  14. Souzan Rezai from Vancouver, BCAugust 8, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    I preface this by saying I'm 25:

    My silly girlfriends and I can afford to spend maybe 20 bucks on visual entertainment...Catering to our needs is quite as silly as the stories they tend to cater to us.

    We LOVE watching stories with real characters of the phase of life we hope to get to someday, having our eyes opened to seeing the picture the wide, that full. And as a single 25 year old, I SUPER love watching middle-age love stories because it gives me much more hope than young love stories with Ryan Gosling being perfect...

    I cannot comment on Harry's Law as I don't actually have t.v. (from the fact that I'm too young and broke for these high class extravagances, hence catering to t.v. to ME, again. Silly.) But I do have netflix, and the show I'm watching on continuous loop right now? Murder, She Wrote. Why? Because Angela Landsbury is the shit. The hot, sexy, shit who gets more action in each episode, than I do in a year. (Rightfully so).
    And I will end with a plea to Deb: Please please please don't give up shopping your show around! Just the idea of a show starring the two of you made me go a little nuts with excitement-- and since when your husband was finally in my town (Vancouver, the Kay Meek Theatre show) and tickets were well nearly two hundreds dollars (cough, cruelty) this may well be the only way I could see him...

    Good luck ladies; beautiful, INTERESTING ladies, who should absolutely not accept the inane idea that you're too old for your stories to be told. Wow, honestly, even typing out that sentence made me sick.

    Sincerely,

    Souz

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    1. Souz! Awesome comment, thank you!! We have a lot of young readers here and we've always considered their input invaluable -- and their support absolutely amazing. You've pretty much summed up my own daughters' outlook (and spending ability). Thanks so much for the support, and for the Colin love :)

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  15. Okay so i'm not really going to say things very well, but darn it this makes me so mad. Add my name to the list of people who are sick of the reality shows and the demographic targeted stuff. I almost don't ever watch normal tv now because very little on it appeals to us. Except of course Trust us with your life ;)
    We would love to see a show with real quality especially with You and Colin in it. We need a new station that would air the really good stuff, sigh. To bad there wasn't a way to get around the stations and get the show directly to the public and still make it profitable. Ah well such is the stuff of dreams. The dreams of the forgotten demographic.

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    1. A.R. you speak real words of wisdom here. Hmmmm, if only we could do that. I say we need to give it serious serious thought. Thanks!

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  16. deb have you and Barbara thought about making your TV show independently and having it downloadable online ( for a small charge or not as you choose) . I have seen this done before. I'm thinking of english actor Robert Llewellyn and his show carpool, which went from being online and downloadable via sites like i tunes and on you tube to a series on the BBC (though I grant you it was much easier to shoot the a TV series based in a car then one in a studio). it would be a shame to see your show go to waste cos of the narrow mindedness of network executives . the fact that there is nothing for people my age on TV is why i rarely watch it now .
    at least they have explained why the TV schedules are full of crap reality TV shows trying to get young people watching tv . they don;t realise with this thing called the net tv watching is more or less a thing of the past now ! i am with Lana i hate reality tv . there is not a single person i can relate to on it . give me a well written or well improvised show any day .

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    1. Linda, like A.R. above you, you suggest a really interesting alternative. I think we need to imagine the possibilities! Thank you.

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  17. golden girls was on for like 7 seasons, and it was a great show!

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    1. I know, right???! Why no more support for that?

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  18. This makes me mad, annoyed, frustrated... optimistic? A while back I read a comment by Richard Branson (virgin mogul) about the boomer generation. He said (I'm paraphrasing) that the boomer generation is flush with cash, sophisticated with smart tastes and anyone that can figure out a way to appeal to them will hit a goldmine of opportunity. When I look around and see all of the moronic television executives (who probably got promoted after they cancelled Harry's Law) programming shows that refuse to reach anyone over the age of 29 I think about all the opportunity out there for entrepreneurial producers to target other demographics and create great content.

    With the ability to shoot quality stuff for a fraction of the cost and deliver it in new ways that bypass the networks I think anyone with a great idea for a show should be able to find a team to help them get it to an audience. The networks are shooting themselves in the foot with this kind of stuff and its going to be the death of them. At least I hope so.

    This is a big reason why my wife and I have been working our $%^'s off trying to develop businesses and a production company that reach more people than just prepubescent tweens.

    In fact, we just produced our first project last month (woohoo!) with Colin's buddy Ryan Stiles here in Bellingham, WA. It was an improv based show that we're looking to pitch to Ryan's contacts down south in LA but our goal is that even if they don't want it we've already got a plan in place to put it on the air locally and online. It's so cheap to produce this thing that we can target our sponsorships and advertisers to fit our audience and bring in enough revenue to create jobs for a lot of people here locally. Win/win. Why can't Hollywood think this way? (Scratches head)

    Hollywood guys are so obsessed with fresh young faces but I think they forget that people still love a familiar face as well. Harry's Law worked because people love Kathy Bates.

    Man I wish I was Canadian. I'd move heaven and earth to figure out how to get your and Colin's show made.

    Love your blog by the way... been reading it for a long time and love it!

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    1. Hey Ryan! Thank you so so much for this thoughtful (also full of thought) post. I am thrilled to hear your game plan and ideas. A few people have mentioned variations on the same thing now and I think you are all onto something truly interesting. Thinking caps are ON. So glad you decided to weigh in today! And good luck with the Ryan project!

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    2. hi Ryan . can I ask you a question please . if you do find a way to get your project with Ryan stiles online , and lets hope you do , could you make sure us Europeans can see it too . I can;t use the web sites of the main american networks to see shows , on the rare occasions they have good shows on , due to the fact I live in Ireland . i hope things would be different with your show. thanks a million !

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  19. In my real life I see and interact with people from all walks of life, of different ages, shapes, sizes, lifestyles and that's so much more interesting than what is seen on the shallow unintelligent garbage which is tv these days. Variety is the spice of life after all.

    One thing that also continually bothers me, which is why I would have loved to have seen you guys make a show, is that there seems to be no Canadian content anymore. Canada has produced some amazing shows but I can't think of any great ones that are currently in production. There is a wealth of talent here and I wish I could see it being utilized like it once was.

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    1. From your lips to a network's ears, Erin. Especially the part about Canadian content. So much talent, so little place for it...

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    2. No kidding. They cancelled Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays. I mean, what was more excellent than that, in Canadian series tv right now??? Things would be different if I ran the TV world. And I do, in my house. I just turn it off and go read instead. Too many commercials, too much advertising, too much baby food called comedy, I'm afraid -- I admit I have never once laughed at Big Bang Theory, much as I've wanted to see the humour in it as others do. Take out the laugh track and they've got nutthin.

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  20. Thanks so much each and every one of you for your indignation! And thanks also for your support of our project. I did not want to belly ache when it happened because I thought I would sound like a whiny actress but since Barbara brought up the subject I thought I would give it as an example. And of course the reviews for Meryl Streep's new movie today were great! Middle aged love. Mind you, she IS the great Meryl Streep...still.

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    1. Just remember: "they" are wrong sometimes. More than sometimes. Lots.

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  21. Ok first of all, the baby boomer generation is HOT just like any other. It may not be in exactly the same way but they ARE.

    Secondly, I'd watch any show that had Colin and Deb in it.

    Thirdly the money thing is so true. I'm right in the age demporaphic but I never respond to ads of any kind 'cause I've got no money. I'm at university which, although it is MUCH cheaper here than in the US, sucks up every penny I get.

    The other thing is that the content of our current tv shows don't often appeal to me, despite being the demographic. I find a lot of them superficial with cheap thrills or easy laughs and no real substance or intelligence. Of course there are some goodies out there, but there are other complete shockers that somehow have gone international.

    I think I'll stop now before I build up steam ;)

    Good luck with your writing projects =)

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    1. As we've said before, we love it when you guys build up steam :) Thanks for this, Aimee!

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  22. errrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh. TV people are whack. Hope Springs looks lovely, seeing as how I freaking LOVE Meryl Streep!

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  23. My favorite actors are the ones I've admired for YEARS. Alan Alda, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones (SO looking forward to seeing "Hope Springs!").

    One of the things I REALLY hate is that not only are shows geared toward younger people (my daughter's 17 and watches a lot of them), but they're all THE SAME. How many reality shows do you really need? How many vampire shows do you need?

    It seems that, with rare exceptions (HELLO, HALLMARK CHANNEL), programming "execs" have forgotten that EVERYONE watches tv at some point, and want something TO watch that they'll ENJOY. They forget about my parents, who are retired and home A LOT. They watch shows appealing to an "older" demographic, like "Murder, She Wrote," "Diagnosis: Murder," "Matlock," "Perry Mason," "Bob Newhart," "Carol Burnett"... Shall I go on?

    I found a few of these shows VERY funny once I gave them a chance. I mean really, who wants to admit they watch shows their parents watch? Had I stuck to this mindset, I'd never have discovered M*A*S*H, which will forever be one of my top 3 fave shows of all time. I cannot imagine my daughter's daughter looking forward to reruns of shows involving Snookie, "Booger" (yes, really), or pregnant teen moms. (If this does happen, I don't know what I do.)

    The one "saving grace" about these shows is they're available as boxed sets on DVD. That's how these shows stay alive (no pun intended).

    At least the movie producers are getting the idea. The afore-mentioned "Hope Springs" and the ironically titled "The Expendables," which is even a sequel, so there was enough interest after the first one to go for II.

    I don't know what to tell you, Barb, Deb, and Colin, except that you're writing the type of shows I would watch. I won't deny I'd first give them a chance because you were/are involved in them, and on screen in them. But that's how every show goes.
    Why these shows aren't even given the chance, I'll never know. To say it boggles my mind that "Harry's Law" is being canceled BECAUSE of its success is an understatement. The programmers better look at themselves and ask themselves what they'd want to watch, because their demographic spends the most money on more expensive things. WAKE UP, JACKASSES. You're only shooting yourselves in the wallet.

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    1. So true, Dawn! And those shows you list here are (were) so tremendous. As for the boxed set comment, it's true - so many of us are turning to that for our really good quality scripted drama. We hunger for good storytelling. It seems we're just not willing -- or able -- to fund it.

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  24. Wow! I can't believe this. I never saw the show, but I heard it was great. As a 20 something university student, I don't like nor relate to a lot of the trash on TV that is for my "generation." I don't watch MTV and others like it, that show only skinny, drunk, unemployed youths partying. Not realistic and not helpful. I watch shows like Perception and Suits. And I love late night shows, like Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Love it! I love watching I Love Lucy and other shows from past eras.

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    1. I almost forgot! I would totally watch a show starring you Deb and Colin and anyone else! I don't pick my shows baised on if I am part of its target audience but rather on if it interests me. Of course, I do have a couple guilty pleasures that are solely based on the beauty that is that male lead, but still... ;)

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    2. Yeah, I was just saying to Dawn how amazing those old shows were -- especially for their insightful and interesting looks at the different human dynamics. There are certainly some new ones too that are geared to younger people and which have very high standards. It's just frustrating to feel like we can't co-exist on the same airwaves. PS and I too would watch anything those two are in :)

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  25. I. Am. So. Angry.

    I can't figure out what to type. That's how instantly thoroughly pissed off I am.

    So, I'm just gonna tacklehug Barbara, Deb, and Colin. There. {{{HUGS}}}

    And, scream something to the effect of, "Nobody puts Barbara, Deb, and Colin in the corner!"

    Now, I'm imagining Colin lifting Deb a la the finale in Dirty Dancing, and I'm filling a little better.

    But, still.

    DAMMIT!!!

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    1. Rigel, we know you always have our backs. Thanks for the hugs. No need to be too angry. We'll just make you watch our show(s) when we make them ;)

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    2. PS and great smiley last image there!

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    3. I had to get through more of the day 'til I could comment because I couldn't come up with much that didn't involve "FUCKING STUPID" and that sort of thing. Nice to see I wasn't the only one. :)

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  26. Let me start by saying that i'm sorry i haven't been able to respond to the last weeks worth on blogs, but i was on a little vacation :)
    Also, i just got done reading all of last weeks blogs and this blog is the last one i missed, so~ now i'm all caught up ^-^
    And no matter how old the actor is, it doesn't matter as long as the story is interesting or has an interesting factor in it.

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    1. We missed you, Garrett! Glad you're back. Hope the vacation was awesome. And, btw, excellent final point :)

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  27. Wrote a great rant, clicked preview & it disappeared - phooey!

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    1. K. This happens sometimes, and it drives us CRAZY!! So sorry. In fact, I wondered if there were a few comments that appeared on my email notification, but didn't appear here. Argggghhhhhhh. Can we rant about that now :)

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  28. As a 20 year old, I can say I love all film and television starring so-called "older actors". Since the age of 16 my favourite actors and actresses have all been over the age of 50 and the rare films catered to those audiences have been quite excellent. I love the shows featuring people in my own generation but I wish execs would stop labelling the general population so much. I don't care how old anyone in the industry is, as long as it's good!

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    1. So so glad to hear so many young people weigh in saying this same thing. Thanks, Raisa!

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  29. Urrgh, this kind of thing always gets my blood boiling too. The way television companies work now is absolutely ridiculous. It's all about money and looks. I was actually talking with my husband about this the other day, when yet another great show got cancelled after a single season. Not so long ago, shows used to have a little time to mature and settle in, to gain a good fan base, whereas nowadays the ratings have to be spectacular right from the start. I was thinking about how many great shows would never have made it by today's standards when it's all about NOW. Immediate results. Bleh. I think the UK is slightly better than the US in that regard, but it's still an issue. And how old is TOO old, exactly? Is there a magic number that the industry has hidden somewhere?

    I've always preferred the extensive talent, intelligence, and wisdom of shows with 'older' actors, over the frequently shallow and soulless shows for the 'younger' demographic.

    Talent doesn't age; it matures like a fine wine. And, like everyone else here, I'd watch anything to do with you guys (even though I have to trawl the internet for it because nothing ever gets shown over here *eye roll*). Keep fighting the good fight. WE love you. *hugs*

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    1. Thank you, Roz!! As for the magic number -- I actually think it's the 18-49 demographic that advertisers deem more desirable. Crazy, huh?

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  30. one last comment . all my favourite male actors are at least over 60 . they are still hot as hell . Alan Rickman , Sir Patrick Stewart , Jeremy Irons . as we all know you don;t have to be under 30 to be sexy !

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  31. I know that television is a business, but COME ON! How can they not see the numbers?

    Or rather, hang those advertisers who have it all wrong. They're really the ones driving the push for the younger demographic, aren't they?

    Two of my children and I watched a few episodes of Little Mosque, a comedy with a mixture of young adults and mid-lifers in the storylines. Not once did my children note that the scenes with the older actors bore them in any way. They like the show!

    Is it my imagination or does British TV allow for more roles for older actors? And if so, why is that?

    And finally - Kathy Bates! What's not to love?

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    1. See? Our kids will usually watch -- and love -- shows we're watching. No complaints. And no ageism. I do think the Brits are waaaaay better at embracing older.

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  32. I really do wonder if some of these TV programmers aren't just a little bit mentally challenged and simply unable to see the forest for the trees. It surely does seem that way. Stupid stupid stupid.

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  33. Okay, sorry, guys! I have no idea why some comments DON'T POST!!! so so random. Maybe "they" think its spam... Anyway, I don't often correlate my email notifications with the comments here, but I happened to see that Anonymous recently posted an excellent explanation (albeit, no less depressing, but at least it sheds some light) for why no one wants our dollars. So, Anon, I hope you don't mind if I copy and paste it here (and for those of you who I've missed, argh, sorry!)

    ANONYMOUS SAYS: I agree. There are many talented folks out there regardless of age or demographic origin. Colin Mochrie being one of the funniest comedians out there of ANY age (his FB post directed me here).

    But this is the way that Hollywood looks at it: Once people get over the age of fifty, they have become fairly numb to advertising and don't make a lot of impulse buys. They also have products they use in their everyday lives that they are loyal to, and are less willing to try new things. Also, a lot of the money that they have are more tied up in things like mortgages, car payments and healthcare (especially in the last 4 years or so).

    At the same time, those younger people, while not having as much discretionary income, are more free with it. Advertising would have to work a lot harder and spend more money to get the money of older people. Advertising that tries to reach younger people give companies 'more bang for the buck.'

    For that reason, advertisers see shows targeted toward younger people as more attractive. So television produces far more of these TV shows.

    They have done studies that have found this out. That is unfortunate, because entertainers tend to get better the longer they stay with their art. Go figure.

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    1. A PS FROM ANONYMOUS: Especially tragic is the example of MASH. A classic TV show with an unrivaled writing staff. Once the show ended, the writers found a hard time getting jobs writing for other TV shows, because they wanted younger writers. Who they felt would connect better with younger audiences. It probably also didn't hurt that you don't have to pay younger writers as much.

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  34. I was going to comment on this yesterday, but I decided to wait, in the hopes that an extra 24 hours would allow for a less furious and profanity-laden response. But nope, still pissed as hell! Seriously, you network bastards- what the hell?! I think the biggest problem with Harry's Law is that is was on NBC, and as anyone who lives in America knows, NBC is stupid as fuck. More than once they've got in and cancelled their most popular shows for the dumbest reasons. We can only hope that some other, smarter network might pick it up. And as for morons who said Deb and Colin were too old to be on TV? Fuck you, jackass!!! I'd love to see a show with them in it, cause I know it would be brilliant. (How do I know? Cause this gal spent months online tracking down their show "Getting Alnog Famously" on DVD, and it is awesome!) I get so damn tired of the same shit on TV, supposedly aimed at people my age, and every bit of it is trash. *sigh*

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  35. I feel the same as the others. The network guys no nothing of what people want. We have had the same thing happen here that programs were canceled because they were only attracting old people. My granny lost many of her favourite shows this way. There was only two channels that she watched, as all the others were for younger demographic. I do have to admit that I haven't watched TV in a long long time at home. I only watch if I am visiting a place where there is a TV. Mostly because I don't think there is anything good there. If I find anything nice, I can check it out from the channel's website.

    But what I think the younger generation might miss because of these corporate decissions is, a view of what the future will hold. They will only see what should be hip and happening right now. They won't have a plan for the future for the golden years. I fear that more and more people will think that they are no good just because they have been taught that only thing that matters is youth. If you watch the series that are on the tv now, you might get the idea that life ends in 40's or 50's... So what do you do when you hit 80's? My granny was very active till her last two years. So in her 80's she still travelled and did stuff. That is the image that I want to see from the TV as well. That I have a clear picture of what my future could be like.

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  36. What is always relevant is our spirit. Watch the OWN channel- every show is relevant to us, none panders to the lowest, most base elements of our humanity. It is all geared to our highest, best self, which only gets better as we age.

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