Thursday, March 06, 2014

Sleepy Hollow cancelled

A few weeks ago, Pro7, a German TV station, added the series “Sleepy Hollow” to their rooster. From the beginning, though, I was suspicious about the scheduling. Running a horror series with a high body-count after two episodes of a ‘chick’ series like “Grey’s Anatomy?” Very suspicious … or stupid.

There was hardly any advertising for the series which, while very popular in the US, is not widely known in Germany. Sure, we know about the headless horseman (since Tim Burton, if not before…), but we don’t know all that much about the oodles of series that run in US television. Yet, hardly any advertising for a new series. Other stations have done better. So has Pro7, with other series.
Why the placement right after “Grey’s Anatomy?” Sure, the actor playing Ickabod Crane is rather cute and can pull off fashion that’s not just a year, but 250 years ago. Apart from that, though, there’s not much that would suggest coupling the series with classic ‘chick’ material. “Sleepy Hollow” is bloody, dark, full of corpses, and full of demons. So, if I had to couple it with a series Pro7 already airs, it would go before or after “Supernatural.”
Why the break from the ‘15’ schedule? For decades, German TV has adhered to an unspoken rule. After 8 pm, series and movies start at 15 past. They start at 8.15, 9.15, 10.15 and so on. When did “Sleepy Hollow” start? 10.10.
Given the placement behind two episodes of a ‘chick’ series like “Grey’s Anatomy,” the possible audience for the series would have had to switch stations. Now, is it likely they would switch 5 minutes early? The placement at 10.10 means that either the viewer has to discard the last 5 minutes of whatever they were watching before (and not seeing the end of a an episode or movie sucks) or turn in 5 minutes late to “Sleepy Hollow” (which means missing the first 5 minutes, deadly for a series as complex as this one).

“Sleepy Hollow” clearly was misplaced, therefore, but was it intentional? I can’t really believe that, since buying the licence of a successful TV series can’t be cheap. They will eventually show the series completely, I guess, but where? Hopefully not their ‘chick’ station Sixx. They have some mystery and dark romance there, but no full-fledged horror so far. Could they run it during one or two nights? Quite likely, perhaps around Halloween. It wouldn’t do the series justice, though. It’s another TV series broken by stupid placement and missing advertising, like “Doctor Who.” (And don’t get me started on that, please…)

Shame on you, Pro7! If you spend money on a TV series, put some thought into the scheduling and do the series justice. You owe it to the series and the viewers.