Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Wisdom of Hendrie

Phil Hendrie, the Los Angeles radio personality who does a lot of guest-voicing on King of the Hill (and, previously, Futurama), had a great rant on his show the other week about why Fox is very likely about to stop production on the show (though they'll have about a season's worth of unaired episodes left, so as with Futurama, we'll be seeing new episodes for some time after it stops production). Here's my attempt at a transcription:

So what happens with a show like King of the Hill? Here it is in a nutshell:

"Okay, we've gone ten seasons with it?"

"Yes, we have."

"Okay, is it in syndication?"

"Yes, sir."

"Okay, we've maximized the dollar value of the syndication?"


"Okay, have the ratings flattened? Are they going up?"

"Well, they're still steady, sir. We're getting the same audience."

"Hm. So we're not really pulling down bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger numbers?"

"No, sir, we're holding the audience that we have, and it's one of the biggest audiences that we have on this otherwise putrid network."

"I see. Well, because we're not really making more money than we could, and we've maximized the syndication rerun value, let's see if we can't just take that half-hour on Sunday night and squeeze it as if we're wringing the neck of a chicken, to see if we can't get one freakin' drop of blood out of it."

"Okay, but, sir, if we take that show off and put on some piece of dung like American Dad, and then pull it off in two episodes, and 'retool' it, won't that really be like a money-loser?"

"Don't tell me my business."

And there you've got the TV business in a nutshell.

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