You might want to check out JJ’s comment on yesterday’s “Thought.” It a rare glimpse at the working of network television from an insider (and thanks, JJ, for taking the time to share it).
Having said that, in my completely uninformed outsider way, I think there is a place in prime time at least for a variety show. The public has certainly shown an insatiable appetite for variety shows cloaked as competitions (Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, Last Comic Standing, Nashville Star, the two Rockstars, the show to pick the leads for Grease on Broadway, etc., etc.) It seems like there has to be a way to translate this into a prime time variety show with an appealing host/hostess. Yet JJ’s quite right that the best minds in all of network television have failed to come up with a winning variety formula (aside from the competitions) for quite a few years now. It’s mystifying.