I recently caught the entire run of “666 Park Avenue” on Netflix recently. It was a clearly expensive, good-looking and well-designed series, though its portrayal of evil, personified by Terry O’ Quinn, was somewhat bland (due less to O’ Quinn, who can play sinister with the best of them, than the writing, which leaned toward soapiness) as the owner of a hotel who could be Satan (or someone relatively high in that unholy hierarchy).
I mention it because I read recently that “Ironside” was cancelled on NBC after airing only three episodes. I am getting the feeling that Blair Underwood needs to steer clear of NBC, considering that his last show for the network “The Event,” had a similar fate (though like ‘Park Avenue,’ it at least lasted a season).
The problem with this is that sometimes a show needs time to find its footing and build an audience. A prime example is “Breaking Bad,” which has reached viewership highs for AMC, though people seem to forget is that, prior to Season Three, the series wasn’t doing well, ratings-wise.
It began to air on Netflix later in its run, allowing it to build an audience, and the rest is history.
An interesting idea is that perhaps Netflix could develop series’ with the networks, splitting development costs. The benefit to this approach is that the cost would be significantly cheaper for both parties, which means that both parties could afford to have a series run longer – at least two seasons, perhaps more – so that there’s time to build an audience and greater returns for both parties.
Who knows? Maybe we’ll discover the next Breaking Bad in such a fashion.