Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Monday, March 01, 2010

NBC: Let's Not All Be There --- Of Dropping the Ball ... AGAIN!

Well! I see that yours truly and Yahoo!'s Chris Chase are not the only ones who are pissed off at the Peacock this morning! From this morning's Winnipeg Free Press:

NBC opted to break up its coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games' Closing Ceremonies Sunday night to squeeze in a new reality show.

The finale to the Games at B.C. Place Stadium kicked off at 8:30 p.m., Eastern time, and wrapped up around 11 p.m. Eastern.

NBC, the U.S. host broadcaster for the Games, scheduled their coverage from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern before switching to the debut of The Marriage Ref, a reality series excutive produced by Jerry Seinfeld.

Local news then followed, with a return to the coverage at 11:35 p.m. Eastern.

"Apparently the Closing Ceremonies are no longer being shown on NBC or its sister networks," the New York Times at around 10:43 p.m. Eastern. The Times' blog went on to describe the musical show unfolding LIVE on CTV. "Here's what you're missing: the ceremony has now morphed into an all-star rock concert, with the athletes, most of them wearing foam-moose antlers, invited to descend onto the stage and sway along to favorite hits from some of Canada's best-known pop and rock entertainers."

Attempts to reach NBC for comment were not immediately successful.

An Associated Press story reviewing the coverage called the decision "spectacularly wrongheaded."

"Those enjoying the festivities were told to come back in an hour --- at 11:30 p.m. on a night before work or school --- for the conclusion. Incredible that NBC would wrap a show it has high hopes for, not to mention one of its biggest stars, in such ill will," the AP article continued.

The decision also drew angry comment on Twitter.

Said Canadian Jamie Calder, "So they still think we're just a bunch of Mounties, & hockey players....?"

"NBC, interrupting the Olympic Closing Ceremonies for that show, was incredibly crass & self-serving," Genny Carter growled in his tweet. "All those feel-good montages .... wasted."

"Did anyone else watching the Closing Ceremonies on NBC think that it ended rather abruptly?" wondered RMCenta. "Did NBC just cut away from it?"

"They did," replied Shelley Rogers. "They got the gold medal for coverage cut off :) ."

"Damn NBC!" (Why) couldn't you just have streamed the ceremonies live?" ranted jellotreeparty. "I'm really bummed out that I won't get to see all the GOOD performances."

Well, thank Merlin for YouTube! Doubtless in the weeks to come, there will be tons and tons of footage from Sunday night's party posted there. As for you, thou vile dunderklumpens from NBC Universal, know that it is now YOUR turn to feel the Dragonmaster's foul displeasure! Again, you simply DO NOT go to commercial in the middle of an important production number! Really, dearests, does variety entertainment mean anything to anyone anymore, even in the age of American Idol? Obviously, the answer is no. I, for one, hope that The Marriage Ref gets canceled after one --- and I do mean ONE --- airing! Take heed, Leno --- for while others may blog harshly at you, I, on the other hand, choose to remain silent. Besides, there are other matters, namely the Oscars, that demand my immediate attention. C ya!

Master Blackwolf

Vancouver 2010: The Morning After .... Blackwolf's Thoughts

Welcome to the first of these, the next 500 entires in Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft. They've turned the lights out in Vancouver, which is to say, the XXI Olympic Winter Games has concluded. And, as Yahoo! blogger Chris Chase tells us, NBC Sports' attitude was tantamount to uttering an awkward and rather abrupt "Screw you!":

How did NBC choose to end its 685 hours of Winter Olympic coverage? By barely acknowledging that the said coverage was ending.

In a bizarre conclusion to its telecasts of the 2010 Games from Vancouver, NBC awkwardly cut away to the premiere of the much-hyped Jerry Seinfeld-produced reality show, The Marriage Ref. Viewers were abruptly informed that Closing Ceremony coverage would continue at 11:30 p.m., Eastern time.

But here's how it went down: At 10:29 p.m. Eastern, the network went to commercial after singer Michael Buble wrapped up swingin', big-band-style, Sinatra-like rendition of "O Canada." Following a few spots, the NBC team cut back to a wide shot of the Ceremony happenings, notably several inflatable mooses, caribou and other critters, which made the icy floor of BC Place Stadium resemble an indoor edition of Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At that point, viewers heard this from primetime lead anchor Bob Costas:

"We're back in an hour with the Closing Ceremony party from Vancouver. Nickleback and Avril Lavigne are among the acts that will be performing. But right now, we take you to the premiere of Jerry Seinfeld's new series, The Marriage Ref."

Suddenly, the show was over --- and the intro to The Marriage Ref kicked in.

All that NBC does to overdramatize the Games, and this is how you choose to end your coverage for a vast majority of viewers? (Because, let's get real here, most folks probably didn't tune in for the continuation at 11:30 p.m.) No Costas closing comments? No end credits video? Not even one cheesy summation of the triumphs of the Olympic spirit? Where's our closure?

Some very astute questions, Chris. I would presume that if it was closure you were after, you might have wanted to turn to CTV's Closing Ceremony coverage, which is presumably still available in its entirety online. Judging by Chris's rant, it is apparent that NBC failed its viewers, caring more for the bottom line than what the viewers wanted. And, again, you DO NOT go to commercial in the middle of a major production number! So, y'know what? If it's a real classy closing sequence you want, might I recommend this?