I haven’t watched BET as much in my life as I do right now. Although I admittedly don’t watch most of the new shows, I do watch “The Game” and I appreciate how it has slid into more of a dramatic serial than a situation comedy.
I also happen to watch Degrassi on TeenNick. What can I say? Not only am I loyal to the Degrassi brand, I love my over-the-top-yet-somehow-realistic serialized programs.
Which is what “The Game” on BET is to me.
I recently read on Shadow and Act or some similar site that BET’s original programs average in the low millions of viewers. That’s a lot of people watching the same thing. We’ve seen how social media helped bring “The Game” back and create a loyal audience for Reed Between the Lines and the other new BET shows.
I know that network daytime dramas are expensive to produce. I am sure Eric Braeden earns more in a week of work than I earn for six months at my nonprofit. But maybe, just maybe, with some tooling around, a daytime soap could work on BET.
I think the day will come that Y&R will get cancelled from CBS. I think that will happen in the next five years. I hope not, but I am looking at the genre die slowly before my eyes. Days of Our Lives will probably go sooner, but I doubt Days could transition to an “ethnic” network – it has never had the loyal African American viewership that Y&R does.
So here is how I would transition Y&R:
First, before you leave CBS, you begin trimming down the cast. Many of them are lovely actors who would be great anywhere, but let’s be honest here. The Fisher-Baldwins don’t resonate with black folks like the core families do. I wish they did. But they don’t. We talk about the Newmans, the Abbotts, and the Chancellors.
So trim down the cast.
Next, rethink the 52-week season. Why on earth do we have an expectation that we will get a new episode of a soap opera every single workday? That is CRAZY. And that is expensive. So stop it.
When you transition to BET, aim for a 30-36 week season – either two 15 week blocks (like semesters) or four sets of nine-week blocks throughout the year. Wanna know why? Because we are fine with repeats. Let the actors do other projects.
And you know what? I don’t need an hour. I can live with half an hour.
Air the show twice – once in the day and once at night. Seems to me that would save some money somehow. Sure, you’re paying for a scripted show, but you’re airing it twice a day.
The major part of a move to BET, not just the built-in black audience, but the opportunity to bring on another black family just to even up the score a bit.
How come I still don’t know Neil’s parents? How come Sofia doesn’t have aunts or uncles? Where the hell is Mamie? And how about Leslie Michaelson? Let’s not forget that she earned a third of that 1.5 billion dollar lawsuit that Victor lost. That’s right, your girl Leslie is a freakin millionaire. And the DA. And Sarge and Harmony.
Come on. This is a good fit for BET if they play their cards right and if Y&R doesn’t get it together.
What do you think?