Date: 2nd February 2001

Network TV Movies Failing To Attract Audiences

Commenting that "the made-for-TV movie has sunk to a new low," today's (Friday) Wall Street Journal observes that several recent network TV movies have scored atrocious ratings, even those that have been heavily promoted, including NBC's John Lennon Story and Living Love: Natalie Cole, which aired in December.

The newspaper observed that the TV networks have been unable to compete against HBO and Showtime films, which have the advantage of bigger budgets, fewer content restrictions on speech, and more sophisticated scripts. Steve White, NBC's movie and miniseries chief also blames the primetime news magazines for making it difficult to produce ripped-from-the-headlines movies. "The news used to whet appetites for the dramas," White told the WSJ. "Now, often they can use up the appetite."

Source: Studio Briefing