Too Much ‘Parenthood’ Already Turning Viewers Off?

Posted: February 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

If you watched the Olympics lately, you’ve seen NBC’s numerous repeated commercials for Ron Howard’s ‘Parenthood’, coming March 2. It looks like a great  typical family comedy.

Look at the big cast for NBC's 'Parenthood'

The problem is all these repetitive advertisements have the opposite adverse effect. Instead of making viewers want to tune in, it looks like every other family television show that’s already out.

The previews show what is supposed to be funny clips of what parenthood is. Awkwardness, drama, and silliness ensues. Each parent’s action seems like they don’t know how to deal with their children and are just as confused about life as their kids.  While this could make for a funny drama it has been done before. Many people won’t even understand the exact premise of the show if they don’t know it is based loosely off a movie Ron Howard did with the same name.

There are big names involved with the project. Ron Howard is producing it. Lauren Graham from the beloved ‘Gilmore Girls’ plays the surprising role of a single mother. Once up and coming Erica Christensen is also in it playing an overachiever. Peter Krause, Dax Shepard, and Craig T. Nelson also star. While these are good actors, this dramatic story with some comedy might seem not that original. Afterall it draws parallels from ‘Brothers and Sisters’, which is already on the downturn.

See a preview below:

If that’s not enough this idea has been done already by NBC. In 1990  they already tried the sitcom….. and failed. Really they are bringing it back to compete with ABC’s popular ‘Modern Family’ television show which also shows siblings dealing with their messy,funny families.  I happen to love ‘Modern Family’. I mean it’s different. It has a gay couple, an interracial couple with an age gap, and just a funny,quirky family. ‘Parenthood’ doesn’t seem like it can truly compete with it. While it might have some whimsical story lines with Lauren Graham’s character as a mother trying to cope with a daughter trying to move in with a loser, it’s not enough to really draw distinction from other shows like it.

Really it is just one of the attempts NBC is trying to create a comeback for their network with the decline of the once esteemed ‘Heroes’. (Which is a blog in its own right on why that show should get canned). The Olympics might save the network for the time being, but their lineup has got to get better to keep momentum up. I still don’t think their relentless promotional efforts with ‘Parenthood’ or the actual show is the way to go,however.

If anything promoting it as the “greatest show ever” should go away, instead try telling people some more about the actual show. Hopefully it is good enough to hit a target market, although that’s unlikely.

While the PR people are trying to get the word out and promote the show with the hard sell approach, I just don’t think they have enough to work with. All PR people know if the product, service, or company you’re representing is trying to pitch something to the audience that isn’t good quality there is no spin involved that can make it a home run.

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