by Dorothy Anne Seese
An open letter to ABC
This is an open letter to network giant ABC, which seems to be having a bit of a problem lately with its ratings, resulting in high turnover in its entertainment division. I have this suggestion:
SHOW US SOME DECENCY!
Have writer-producers like the late Roy Huggins, who gave us "Maverick" all died? Is there no new talent coming up with a later version of "The Beverly Hillbillies?" Did "Talk of the Town" die with the late Ed Sullivan? Did all homemakers with decency and self-respect, in your minds, fade into oblivion with Donna Reed? Did zany, funny gals all jump into the grave with Lucille Ball? Did great actors like Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart perish with them?
You think the demand for decency on television is dead?
Then how do you television execs explain the annual popularity of the 1946 Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed movie, "It's a Wonderful Life?" That's one movie where the parents don't have to check the ratings before turning on the television set. It appears every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and if it didn't get ratings, it wouldn't be there.
It is reported that your target market is the 18 to 49 age group, those who apparently appeal the most to sponsors. Those sponsors want you to make money because they are making money ... and yet you network execs don't think decency pays? In spite of all the media tripe and hype over pacifying Islamics, gays, exaggerated multiculturalism, and disgusting "titillation" shows, there's a huge audience out here that buys cable television simply to watch FOX News Channel, Discovery, History, and old movies.
TAKE A HINT!
People are still out here by the millions who would love to have one network that could be turned on without fear of putrefaction immediately appearing on the screen. Maybe the success of "The Lion King" should have told you something.
If your highly paid "creative writers" cannot think of anything more creative than everyone going naked, turning gay or jumping in bed with whoever happens to be standing around doing nothing else, they aren't creative writers, they're twits. Yes, there's a market for sin, there always has been and always will be 'til the end of this present age. IT ISN'T THE ONLY MARKET.
There are also a few million of us out here who would watch a lot more television, ads and all, if we had something decent to watch in the evening. It might be a bit difficult to find stars for the programs who don't look like candidates for a brothel (let's do away with stringy-haired blondes ... even Meg Ryan looked better as the shopgirl with the cropped haircut). Or male stars who don't look like gays pretending to be men.
But there have to be aspiring actors and actresses out there who represent what most Americans look like ... average human beings. We need some. All the old, clean television series were based on either average people in unusual circumstances, or the absurd made plausible. The heroes were folks we want to be and most of us are not. Remember the success of "Bonanza?" It's still running on some channels.
Your present thoughts may be on how you can get sludgier than the other network competitors. You are overlooking a huge market for your sponsors, and that is the crowd that gave up television because it's so filthy, raunchy, gauche and stinking. How about some role models for a change? We've already got a society that's soaked up in slop. We need some people on television in whom we can believe, to whom we can point as the type of people the kids and grandkids should aspire to be when they grow up. Let someone else point out the gays and the kooks, we'd like one network to point to normalcy as the desired outcome.
Go decent. Be daring enough to be what 90 percent of American folks are ... normal, regular folks who have a lot of challenging problems to face, to endure, and to overcome.
GO DECENT! Be different!
It just may get you back on top of the ratings, much to your surprise.
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