Here is the context –
CBS television network announced this week that it was cancelling plans for a Nancy Drew television series — but the reason has left some viewers scratching their heads.
Deadline reported over the weekend that CBS executives had spent additional time reviewing the pilot before making a final decision about the police show Drew, which was being shopped by Grey’s Anatomy producers Joan Rater and Tony Phelan
According to Deadline, “the pilot tested well but skewed too female for CBS’ schedule.”
The implication would appear to be that they don’t want shows that appeal to that demographic, apparently content with what they have now. But I’m still not sure I get it. It’s not quite like a male demographic of 20 – 40 year olds who might number as much as 15 percent of the populations; it’s female and they are 51% of the total population. That’s an enormous demographic.
Are they saying that they are unable to manage a show that is skewed toward a female demographic? Are they uncomfortable with a female show? You know, icky emotions, different body shapes, maybe even feminist plot lines?
From a business ethics perspective, one would think that a television network would set out to serve a wide and varied population. With this purpose in mind, when a show “tested well,” we would assume that it would be acceptable in terms of public appeal and advertising revenue.
But not this time because it “skewed too female.” That a bad thing? (I’m sorry. I’m still confused.) An enormous population of viewers likes the show – so let’s kill it dead?
Here’s what I think –
Males run networks. They are uncomfortable with women and with hard thinking. A program that women like raises issues that males may find difficult and troublesome. It is better to avoid cognitive dissonance even though money would be made with the show. There are plenty of male centered stuff or at least enough that network executives don’t have to rely on the talents and preferences of women.