Are you hooked on Desire or Fashion House, checking in with this site for the latest recap of the Anglicised telenovelas? Don’t feel bad. Neither are too many other people.
Fox’s MyNetworkTV venture, the new network that rose from the ashes of UPN and the WB, is tanking so badly that folks inside Fox are calling it “MyTitanicTV.”
And how are the bosses at Fox responding? With more five-night-a week telenovelas! MyNet will premiere its second batch of the 13-week cheapos– Watch Over Me and Art of Betrayal next month, and production is already underway on the fifth and sixth series, set to debut in March.
“Why ride all those pretty telenovela faces and asses all the way down to Davy Jones’ Locker?” a Fox insider asks Tabloid Baby (as if we’d know!). “That’s what they’re doing. And that’s why it’s like the Titanic here!”Variety reports that despite all the heavy advertising on Fox, the new network is a stiff, and that the Latin fans of the Spanish language telenovas have not been flocking to see English-language versions of the same (and too bad, because Tabloid Baby‘s pal, Hollywood animal activist Chris DeRose (below, right), is a star of Desire.
Since its launch on September 5th, MyNet averaged under a million viewers in primetime, and it’s ranked below the top 15 cable networks (including Spike TV and A&E). Some stations saddled with the all-telenova-all-the-time prime time schedule have seen their ratings fall ninety percent! Then again, Fox syndication is also hanging in with five nights a week of the sruggling Geraldo At Large.
The all-telenova MyNet was a rush job from Fox stations CEO Jack Abernethy and Fox TV stations chairman Roger Ailes, who needed to fill a primetime hole on their UPN affiliates after Warners and CBS announced in January they were shutting down the WB and UPN. Instead of creating new programming or collecting old series, they pulled the telenovela series that were being developed for syndication.
“MyNetworkTV is sinking under the weight of tele-never-gonna-work-novelas!” our Fox insider rails. “When you put all your eggs in one ship and the cargo weighs more than it’s worth, you should face up to your mistake and start re-running The Simpsons or Married with Children– or even the funny stuff on the Fox Reality channel like behind-the-scenes of Temptation Island.”
The insider’s not far off the mark. Abernethy says he’s encouraged that MyNet apparently inched up to over a million viewers last month (Nielsen’s not always accurate with such low numbers) but that Fox is already “looking at what’s new out there, what’s hot, who are the best people. We’d like things that would complement the telenovelas as a lead-in or lead-out. But the idea that we’ll cut and run is not correct.”
Yeah, right. If that “MyTitanicTV” label spreads, we’ll be seeing something new or something old on MyNet– definitely something else– and sooner than later.