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  • Paul Davidson

<i>The Benefactor</i> B.S.

You gotta love the networks.

Reported this morning, ABC has decided to truncate the remaining four episodes of The Benefactor into two. That means they’re taking those last four episodes and cutting out a ton of stuff just so they can air them as two episodes, reducing the amount of weeks they have to endure not-so-great ratings.

It’s another example of television networks bailing when the going gets tough.

There have been a variety of examples in the past of networks bailing on quality shows (My So Called Life, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, etc) because the immediate ratings weren’t there. It takes time, people! It takes time! Obviously The Benefactor probably would have never reached their lofty ideals, but it’s this quick to give up attitude that’s hurting the networks when put up against the supportive arena of cable channels.

It’s yet another example in the continuing trend of “more, quicker, faster, now” which is the reason feature films have to do huge numbers the first weekend and the reason shows are now cancelled within two-three weeks if the numbers aren’t there. Networks are not in the business to nuture shows and make the landscape better – they are in it to make money.

I guess it makes sense, but I think it’s ridiculous.

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