The Olympics are destined to be the top-rated program on television this summer. Big ratings. Lots of NBC crowing about the success of Rio. Get ready for it.
I won't be watching.
I'm not anti-American. I hope our guys and gals bring home bags of Gold, Silver and Bronze. I find most summer Olympic events to be a lot of hype - you blink, and they're over.
Unlike the Winter Olympics, I can see how much better shape all of these athletes are in than yours truly. That's depressing. I'd rather watch baseball, or even pre-season football.
But forget about my Olympic viewing preferences, here's a little secret about summer TV success - there's hardly anything else on worth watching, so it's not very difficult to be number one (on network television anyway).
I don't get this. We all watch TV year round, but most networks simply punt for the summer. The viewership IS there. People WILL come.
This was poised to change with the summer success of Survivor back in 2000 with roughly 50 million people tuning in for the Richard Hatch finale. No one watches during the summer, huh?
The network television landscape 16 years later? Find a reality or competition show that clicks (AGT, Bachelorette, etc.) and that's that. 40 million of us have decided to do something else with our time.
If anyone was actually working at a network during these months, I'd ask why they don't use the summer to air quirkier pilots or other shows they've invested in?
I don't mean burning off shows - I mean serving up some quality stuff that someone there once believed in. There's a good chance brilliant higher-ups might have misjudged one or two of those programs. Why not take some chances?
Well if you're not all caught up in Rio, there's still cable, Netflix and Amazon.
Here are my Top Five summer programs:
The Night Of (HBO)
When HBO gets it right, their dramas are simply the best. There are so many layers to this NYC murder mystery explored in each episode. It's slow paced, gritty, and truly fascinating. I continue to look forward to Sundays at 9 on HBO.
Mr. Robot (USA)
My favorite new show of 2015 picked up right where it left off. You must pay attention to this show. It's trippy, smart, and has characters who continue to grow multi-dimensionally. It's another slow-paced show that feels like a movie. Fine by me. Can't wait to see how things turn out for Elliot (don't hack this post).
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Believe the hype. I'm not going to spoil a thing here. Nice job, Duffer Brothers. Binge and enjoy.
All Or Nothing (Amazon)
I thought I knew what happened to the Arizona Cardinals last football season. I love Hard Knocks, and will watch anything NFL Films puts out. This show is a football fan's dream, even if you're not a Cards fan (here we go, Steelers!).
I don't watch this, but my oldest daughter Rachel swears by it. A behind-the-scenes look at a fictional dating show (as if network ones are actually real) is biting satire. I'm no reality show fan, but I do value my daughter's TV expertise.
The networks might change their summer programming minds one day, but it'll be too late. They have no one to blame but themselves.
Hope you're having a good summer. Thanks for reading.
P.S. - Following the rousing success of the Ryan Fitzpatrick Beard Challenge that Chris Carlin and I did on Loud Mouths (not shaving for 44 days), I've decided to bring back the beard. Very excited not to be shaving, but it won't be 44 days this time.