November 18, 2021


It looks like 10,000,000(ish) watched the Oprah/Adele show on Sunday night.

Network television enthusiasts signaled to their audience that "... broadcast TV can still perform mightily, when harnessed correctly."

Oh boy.

Oh boy.

Let's start by stating the obvious ... 3.03% of the population of the United States watched this episode. For every person who watched this, 32 didn't ... didn't watch it! By way of comparison, an average episode of Alice on CBS would have drawn in 30,000,000 viewers in 1979, as fans waited to hear the phrase "Kiss My Grits".

Pundits like to use phrases like "harnessed" ... as if the dying medium is so darn powerful that the idiots that use it aren't capable of using it properly.

Network Television is not coming back. There isn't a renaissance. No comeback. It's over. There will be moments when Oprah/Adele team up and create two hours to celebrate, sure. But it is over.

The same concepts apply to marketing tactics. There are times when industry experts will point to a tactic as an example of a tactic that is "being harnessed correctly". Industry experts will gather on an online forum and celebrate the "Oprah/Adele" example in their industry, clinking digital champagne glasses that their preferred tactic is "back".

It's not back.

All that being said, there's nothing wrong with celebrating success. You can hold two conflicting concepts in your mind at the same time ... it is possible that a dying medium provides a success story while at the same time revealing itself as a dying medium. Just don't confuse the former and the latter.

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