Monday, Jul 28, 2014 04:29 pm est

‘Happy Endings’ marketing strategy insults fans

Posted on April 9, 2013 | by Josh Johnson

via facebook.com

When the critically adored but ratings-challenged comedy “Happy Endings” returned to ABC after a hiatus that began at the end of January, the show found itself not just in a new time slot but with a new slogan as well. Commercials promoting the return of the show implored viewers to “Save ‘Happy Endings.’”

This new promo is troubling for two reasons. The most obvious is that ABC is essentially admitting that “Endings” has garbage ratings, and any hope for its renewal is gone. However, the other reason is far more irritating. By telling viewers to “Save ‘Happy Endings,’” ABC is implying that it is the fault of the viewing public that “Endings” needs saving.

ABC could easily save “Endings,” and the network would be completely validated in its choice. “Endings” is a critically acclaimed show in an era where television criticism has never been more ingrained in our culture. ABC could also cancel “Endings,” and it would be well within reason. The show’s low ratings more than justify its cancellation.

Hence, the implication that the fate of “Endings” rests solely in the hands of the viewer is false. Moreover, it’s also incredibly insulting. One only needs to take a quick look at the show’s time slot on ABC to realize that the network bears much more blame for its low ratings than the viewer does.

Does ABC not remember when it repeatedly aired episodes of “Endings” out of order? The network aired a season 2 episode in the middle of season 3, despite having aired the series chronologically in the United Kingdom.

ABC has probably also conveniently forgotten how it played musical chairs with the show’s scheduling. During its third season alone, “Endings” has been moved from Tuesday, to Sunday and Tuesday, then back to just Tuesday and, finally, to Friday — aka television’s graveyard. The especially egregious Sunday and Tuesday experiment paired “Endings” with the now-canceled “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23,” which, unsurprisingly, failed to significantly help either show gain ratings traction.

ABC has seemingly done everything in its power to sabotage “Endings,” and yet, its newest marketing strategy is commanding viewers to save the show? Even NBC’s “Community,” the poster child of network mistreatment, wasn’t dealt with this poorly. A show’s continuity hasn’t been this blatantly disregarded since Fox aired the intended pilot of “Firefly” as the show’s season finale.

After all of the scheduling and airing mishaps, ABC should be thankful that “Endings” has any semblance of an audience. At this point, it seems preferable to let the show die gracefully or move onto another network instead of giving ABC the impression that its inane marketing plan may have worked.

The “Veronica Mars” Kickstarter project proved that fans are willing to financially support the shows they love. But the “Mars” Kickstarter gave fans a clear, tangible objective. Fans of “Happy Endings” have no idea how many viewers it will take to save the show, and, when it inevitably is canceled, ABC will only have itself to blame.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, April 10 print edition. Josh Johnson is arts editor. Email him at jjohnson@nyunews.com.

Comments

CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
CLOSE [x]
profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

AS
Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.

 

DY
Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

CLOSE [x]
  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    NEWS FEATURES MULTIMEDIA SPORTS ARTS OPINION
    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.

    Next