Last week, we brought you the news that “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Knight Rider” both got surprising full-season pick-ups by Fox and NBC.Â The pick-ups were considered surprising by many because both shows have struggled to deliver solid ratings this year with “Sarah Connor” considered on the hot seat for cancellation just a few weeks ago.
And while it’s nice to see the networks having some faith in their shows and giving them time to build an audience, a new report in the Hollywood Reporter indicates that the networks may have been more willing to give a season pass to these shows (and several other struggling series) due to the current state of the world economy.Â Â The current state of the world markets combined with the cost of marketing a new series, the lack of new programming inventory because of the WGA strike and the anticipated difficulty of locking down new advertiser commitmentsÂ is leading network executives to “play it safe” and stay with known commodities.
“Most years there would be more cancellations then there have been to date,” said John Rash, senior vp/director of media negotiations at Campbell Mithun. “But the dual dynamics of schedule stability keeping ad dollars in place is combining with delayed programming development from last season’s writers strike.”
An August survey by the Association of National Advertisers reported that the majority of marketers expect their advertising budgets to be reduced in the next six months.
“The way the economy is going, there might be cutbacks in regard to advertising,” said Brad Adgate, vp research at Horizon Media. “And there’s always frustration from advertisers when shows get pulled too quickly, but if advertisers exercise their options to get out, it would be because of the economy.”