In the upcoming season, NBC will have 7 shows or events that air live on its Summer/Fall schedule. 3 are competition shows, 2 are variety/sketch shows, one is a comedy, and one is a musical. Are they worth watching live?
NBC is trying to be “the live” network and create “event viewing” in an effort to get people to watch these programs the night they air. They aren’t the only network with live shows, but they are making a huge push this season. The tactic of making Undateable live every Friday night is interesting because they will likely have to to do two shows a night, one for the East Coast and one for the West Coast. When they did this last season the East Coast version felt more energetic. It also means that they will probably be in the bar even more than before. My issue with live episodes of series is that it feels like the characters are stuck in one place and there’s very little passage of time, usually the events take place in one day or night or hour. I can’t wait to see how they do it, though. If anything it should be a creative challenge worth tuning into.
While I think it’s great NBC is getting audiences interested in live musical theater productions on TV again, and inspiring others to do the same; FOX is doing a production of GREASE live in January of 2016. Fair warning to your eyes, FOX decided it best to use a red background on that Grease:Live page. I don’t know how much of a draw it is to watch some of these shows live. With the musicals especially I think it depends on casting.
I will tune into The Wiz Live because it has a great cast, Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige and Deadline just reported that Uzo Aduba has joined the cast as Glinda! The Wiz Live will air Thursday, Dec 03.
Competition shows are easier to skip, especially when watching online or on HULU gives you the ability to fast forward if things start to get boring. There are plenty of episodes of The Voice that I watch next day on Hulu and nothing is taken from my viewing experience. I might get spoiled online by who was eliminated or who won, but being there for that few seconds of reveal isn’t really a huge reason to tune in for me. The same can be said for most of these game shows where someone is trying to win money and a record deal/modeling job/spin-off.
Overall, I think Undateable, The Wiz, SNL, and at least a few episodes of NPH’s Best Time Ever are worth checking out. I’m going to skip the competition shows this season.
Sports are broadcast live, but I don’t watch except for a game of hockey here and there. If you know more than I, please comment below!
Which shows do you watch live? Do you have to tune in if it’s a live finale or reunion special or do you wait until you can watch later? Are you watching any of NBC’s live offerings this fall?
A new post will be coming Monday!