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Re: Seinfeld

On Wed, May 20, Bill O'Neill wrote:
>If NBC had not mega-promoted the final episode no doubt 
>fewer would have watched.  I believe the episode would 
>have been better received without the lead-in fanfare 
>that started weeks ago.  I think NBC blew it.  Their 
>hottest show is GONE!  All of their current shows have 
>FINALES!  Message?  Turn off your TV?  Surf the cable 
>dial?  Pray that Frasier doesn't trash the Thursday
>slot?  I fail to see any upsides to the strategy (aside 
>from the minor detail of $1.7M per spot quick 
>hits). Never before have all of the networks done such 
>a job of reminding viewers that there will be no new 
>episodes (or reasons to watch) until a month into fall 
>semester!  This is the telling message of the May 

Better received maybe, but by fewer viewers. The network 
had promises to keep to sponsore re: ratings. How did
they "blow it"? They offered the earth to Seinfeld, and
Seinfeld said no. So they made the Finale an event,
built a huge audience, and brought in vast numbers of 
viewers, giving themselves a promotional window to an
audience of about 76 million viewers. How's that for an 

Those "Finales" - be they season or series - that were
so heavily promoted, were designed to bring in the 
viewers for the all-important [to affiliates, at least]
May sweeps. This will determine much of the buying for
the remainder of this year and the beginning of next.

As there is lower viewing in the Summer, the July
ratings book is less valued. But there are quite a few 
"new" programs in the summertime, including Summer
replacement tryouts, episodes of series that had been
cancelled and replaced midseason (due to poor ratings).
And some networks (although usually the weakest) have 
started up series in late Summer. 

- - Henry Dane