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Monday June 4, 2007 7:05 pm

Will FOX Yell “Cut” On the Lot?

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Prime Time, Reality, FOX, Ratings,

FOX logo FOX is banking on a bevy of reality shows to ignite their summer season. After big ratings from American Idol, the network often scrambles to pull in viewers throughout the hotter months. This summer, the most-touted series has definitely been On The Lot, a reality  competition that features aspiring filmmakers. FOX attached Steven Spielberg’s name to the project early on, but even this star power hasn’t helped. The show premiered right after a promising lead-in from Idol, which should have helped make On The Lot a rousing success – after all, it worked for another FOX reality show, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? 

Despite a ton of teaser ads, post-Idol hype, and big names like Carrie Fisher and Garry Marshall, FOX’s On The Lot isn’t enjoying a whole lot of success. The show pulled in less than three million viewers – a dismal total for FOX. More viewers watched re-runs on a competing network than the brand-new moviemaking series. If ratings continue to be this low, On The Lot could be cut from the summer line-up – though, in truth, FOX probably couldn’t stand to have the programming gaps, as the show is scheduled for two nights per week.

Read More | Variety

Here’s the real problem: On The Lot Is, actually, pretty good. Sure, FOX has been known to turn out some real stinkers (both in their scripted and unscripted series), but this show really isn’t one of them. Though it is impossible to make a whole lot of sense out of Carrie Fisher’s critiques, and there isn’t a judge who gives the Cowell treatment to competitors, and the hostess seems totally wrong for the gig – all the other stuff is actually totally entertaining. The film shorts are good, and judging people based on short TV clips is a favorite American pass-time. The ingredients for success are definitely there On The Lot, but the show still needs some changes if FOX expects it to work. The first thing the network needs to ditch is the hostess Adrianna Costa – there’s not a whole lot of personality coming through, and looks can only go so far.  Another big issue is Carrie Fisher. She is taking more of the Paula approach to judging, but I think fans expect more from her. As it is, it’s hard to make sense out of most of what she says. Garry Marshall can’t get through a single episode without mentioning his sister Penny, and keeps trying to push the fact that he’s pro-female directors – to an overkill degree. Why not get at least one judge who’s not involved in “the biz” as a director or actor – perhaps a movie critic or even a regular Joe who just likes movies? This will immediately inject more comedy into the show, something it’s sorely lacking at the present time. This is one summer show that could be truly great, but FOX has some changes to make if they want lasting success.



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