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October 26, 2014

Does the new 90210 suck?

by Brett Love, posted Aug 19th 2008 9:04AM
90210That question in the title may be a bit unfair, and slanted, given that I haven't actually seen the new 90210 yet. I could have just as easily titled this, "Is the new 90210 like totally awesome?" What I couldn't do is actually give you an opinion one way or the other, because The CW isn't going to let anyone see the show before the September premiere. Get a look at the message that drifted into TV Squad HQ from The CW.

"The CW and our studio partner CBS Paramount Network Television have made the strategic marketing decision not to screen "90210" for any media in advance of its premiere. We're not hiding anything . . . simply keeping a lid on 90210 until 9.02, riding the curiosity and anticipation into premiere night, and letting all our constituents see it at the same time."

Now, call me a cynic, but I'm calling shenanigans. Perhaps I've just seen too many movies and TV shows that weren't available for screening that ended up sucking out loud, but it's still a red flag. While there may indeed be someone at The CW or CBS Paramount that thinks this is a shrewd marketing decision, I think it is just the opposite. Like it or not, there is a stigma attached with not previewing things like this.

Furthering that idea is the fact that The CW needs every last little bit of press it can get. It's no secret that things are not going well there. A host of websites, TV shows, and magazines all putting out early looks can only help, right? Get the word out, make sure everyone knows about the new show. And with all those mentions of 90210 will come some much needed press for those other CW shows that could surely use it. That is, unless the show really isn't very good.

Of course, it couldn't be bad. After all, it says right there that they're not hiding anything. They just want to ride that wave of curiosity and anticipation. It seems a short sighted claim. Yes, curiosity may be diminished if people can read about the premiere ahead of time, but that's only good for one episode. If the show really doesn't have it, viewers won't be back in week two anyway, so it's a one week gain at best. On the other hand, if it's good, and the media is going on about how they pulled it off, there are viewers to be gained for the premiere. Holding it back just makes no sense, unless, ya know, it's not good.

It has all the makings of a poll question. What does the TV Squad readership make of the decision?

Strategic marketing, or damage control? You make the call.
Damn, it must be really bad.219 (58.4%)
It's clever marketing. More people will tune in now.71 (18.9%)
Undecided, but... constituents? What the hell?85 (22.7%)

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18 Comments

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Andi

Just watched the first episode last night. Let me see........bad writing, stilted dialogue, poorly planned scenes, no depth, barely passable acting. Do any of them actually look sixteen? Who planned their wardrobe?! Is there some kind of plot other than a complete regurgitation of the most predictable moments stolen from about a million other look alike teen dramas all squeezed into the first two hour episode? And I'll never get those two hours of my life back! Damn. What a waste!

September 10 2008 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
90210comment

I grew up watching 90210, but this new one is just like all the other shows out there. For a min thought was watch one tree hill (think that what it's call). I can't believe some of the actors/actress. Hate to say it but this show going to bomb. Nothing like the old 90210 did you see the cars they drive, Come on now!!

What's up with Nat, can't believe he is still manage the peach pit lol.

September 03 2008 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rose

To make this show a success (and it CAN be the biggest new show of the year) the producers need to recruit as MANY of the old cast as possible to participate. The new teen actors look dull and average, with none of the spark of the old gang, I am already compeltely uninterested in them. The more the show focuses on the "where are they now' angle of the original cast, the better off they will be in terms of ratings.

August 28 2008 at 5:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark O. Estes

I agree with the last poster. I think its good that there isn't anything wrong with the show. TV Critics can make or break a show even if it's good or not, which is not a good thing if you think about it. What one critic considers a good setup or great dialogue might seem contrived and repetitive to another critic or the viewing audience. It really comes down to what the viewers want to see and not what critics say is good or not. Like someone previously posted, a lot of the critically acclaimed shows end up being cancelled or struggling in ratings, because they are not the cup of tea for the MASSES. If the studios compared the handful of TV Critics to the millions and millions of TV viewers then they would probably figure out a new way of previewing their shows for the fall season. Not knocking the writers of TV Squad, but anyone can make a website and call themselves a TV Critic and there are people who will let these critics dictate what they watch without seeing anything for themselves. To quote Doris Lessing: "Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases, think for yourself."

August 19 2008 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mark O. Estes's comment
Todd

I call bunk!

August 19 2008 at 9:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anita

I think it's smart. So far, every single casting decision has been publicized and scrutinized. So, I'm assuming that if they did an advance screening, by 9.02 every plot point would have been blogged and the ep possibly leaked -

August 19 2008 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1iPete

It may suck, be great or mediocre but the WB/UPN/CW have had critically acclaimed shows in the past that didn't draw viewers. This may just be a strategic decistion to heavily promote but not letting anyone watch it in advance.

An attempt to let the audience decide in the first few weeks as opposed to critics and the internet weighing in weeks before the first show airs. If I was the CW, I certainly would be trying new strategies to break the history of the netlet's failures.

August 19 2008 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melissa

I'm not sure when critics and the press decided they had a right to view everything before the rest of the public. Just because you're in the business, doesn't mean every single network has to give you first look. I mean, it is a signal they might not have as much confidence in the show? It's possible. But I think they've got a built in audience for the first episode anyway. We grew up on 90210 in this house and I haven't met anyone in my day to day life this summer that isn't going to watch -- just to see what's going on. They've hyped it enough with promotional ads and word of mouth, they don't need television critics tearing it to pieces because it might not be their cup of tea. This might be a case where the public might actually be the better judge of it -- after all, this is the television they want to watch.

August 19 2008 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Melissa's comment
The Pepto Pimp

Are you Dawn Ostroff or Nina Tassler in disguise?

August 19 2008 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Pepto Pimp

I was hoping the CW folks weren't going to be taking any more cues from their CBS partners. After all, CBS is the highest rated network that nobody talks about. CBS has never tried to spin any good news, only bad.

I think that if this show had anything going for it the CW crew would use the same marketing team that has created so much buzz about Gossip Girl.

August 19 2008 at 9:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Man

So it's just like the original.

August 19 2008 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Man's comment
Shaun

Exactly... I mean I thought everyone thought the original was just a guilty pleasure, did people think it was actually good?!?!

August 19 2008 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edd

I'm gonna hate seeing Jessica Walter in a role that's not Lucille Bluth!

It's a shame that a show that's likely going to be teen dross will get millions of views, when a quality show like AD couldn't get the figures.

August 19 2008 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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