The new show “Harry” is a high-stakes venture for NBCUniversal, but the show’s fate may have implications that go well beyond one company.
Veteran TV writer Harry A. Jessell, who runs TVNewsCheck, writes on the website that the success or failure of the afternoon variety show being built around Harry Connick Jr. could determine whether the industry gives up on the big-budget, first-run syndicated program.
The series premieres Monday in national syndication. If it goes south, it could be bad news for broadcasters, who depend on those shows to bolster their daytime schedules, Jessell writes.
“Along with local news and a smattering of network fare, [big-budget syndicated shows] distinguish TV stations from the great unwashed masses of cable channels that fill daytime with endless repeats of shows, many of which aren’t worth repeating,” Jessell writes, adding: “People have got to know that when they turn to a TV station there is something fresh and well-produced there.”
“But the studios are not in business to make life better for broadcasters; they are in it to make money,” Jessell adds. “And it’s getting really hard to make money in first-run syndication, at least at the high end where you have to commit tens of millions to produce and market a show — where NBCU is with ‘Harry.'”
We encourage readers to click here to go to TVNewsCheck to read Jessell’s full analysis.