Time is ticking for TV shows

Television is a cutthroat business. I have mentioned it before in this column but I can now give you a specific example of just how quickly things can change.

Here’s the inside scoop about how celebrity interviews can work for radio.

TV networks send a notice to partner radio stations about a “radio tour” – that is when the network schedules interviews with various radio hosts to interview the talent from the TV show.

These blocks of time are usually one to three hours in length and your station (or show, in the case of my syndicated programming) gets an eight-minute spot. You generally have to start your chat and end it before the time runs out or you get hung up on or the operator interrupts and tells you to wrap it up.

With NBC’s reality dating show called Ready For Love, there was a tour with executive producer Eva Longoria (of Desperate Housewives fame). It was scheduled on a Tuesday morning because Ready For Love aired Tuesday nights after The Voice.

Before the operator connected Longoria to my studio phone line, I was told to refer to the three men from the show as “the guys” and not “bachelors” – I am assuming so there is no comparison to ABC’s The Bachelor – and moments later Longoria was on the line and we started the interview.

We chatted about the second episode of the series that was to air that night. Because of my show’s production schedule we couldn’t air the interview the same day, instead scheduled it for the following Tuesday and slightly modified it so any references made to the previous week’s episode were edited out.

But what a difference a few days makes.

NBC cancelled Ready For Love days after parading Longoria through the press in the hopes of drumming up an audience. The show was yanked from the primetime lineup after two episodes failed to win an audience.

Maybe a bit of embarrassment for Longoria, but so too for my syndicated radio shows.

Because my radio show was pre-taped the next week, not only did we not air the interview in time but we ran an interview hyping up a show that was already cancelled that viewers couldn’t watch anymore and encouraged them to tune in.

I guess I can look on the bright side: this week I celebrate seven years on the air hosting my show Top of The Charts but a major TV network can’t even boast having two successful weeks of its show.

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