So today MeTV sent me an email about their upcoming “MeTV Madness” in a couple of weeks. Just like last year, they’ll have people vote on their favorite MeTV shows over a period of six rounds.
I kind of rolled my eyes that they decided to do that again. If the real purpose of the contest is to try and figure out what shows to keep and what shows to put on hiatus or get rid of altogether, it seems that it doesn’t fairly represent the entirety of the MeTV viewing population. Many viewers likely don’t bother with the Internet at all, and many that do likely don’t bother with the contest.
I wasn’t even sure whether last year’s votes were accurate. While it’s believable that Star Trek and The Twilight Zone are among the channel’s most popular shows, I doubt that they are the most popular above all others.
Because if they really were, why would they remove The Twilight Zone from the schedule for six months or more (unless they were having a problem keeping hold of the distribution rights)? And why would they continue to only air Star Trek once a week? (Perhaps because it only ran for three seasons, but they’ve aired more than one series every weekday that only ran for four.)
It seems to me that in actuality, MeTV’s most popular shows may very well be Daniel Boone, The Rifleman, and our own Perry Mason.
Perry is the only hour-long show that MeTV airs twice a day. When they tried to remove one of the showings for The Love Boat, it apparently was an epic fail. Perry was back before long.
The same thing happened with Daniel Boone. That time, the duration it was booted in favor of The Love Boat was even shorter than it had been with Perry. Even though Daniel Boone still aired on Saturdays, people apparently still really wanted it on weekdays too and balked at having The Love Boat stuck in its place.
The Rifleman airs six days a week on MeTV. When they wanted to put another show in its previous weekday slot, they moved The Rifleman up by three hours and sent The Big Valley packing to Saturdays only. Apparently people are okay with that; they want their Rifleman. And in addition to the six days, they also air The Rifleman online, rotating episodes each week. It, and Wanted: Dead or Alive, are the only shows they have online that they air on the network more than once a week. Wanted does not have the charm of The Rifleman, however, and it is not hard to believe that The Rifleman is the more popular of the two.
Of course, one could argue that perhaps if shows other than The Love Boat had been stuck in Perry’s and Daniel’s timeslots, the viewers might be okay with that. Maybe they just don’t like The Love Boat. But it would seem to me that it’s a combination of both that and the fact that they especially love Perry and Daniel.
It would be interesting if MeTV ran a most popular/most favorite show contest and it really was all-encompassing, taking in every viewer everywhere. I wonder how the results would end up then?
Also, speaking of Star Trek, I must take this moment to acknowledge the sad passing of Leonard Nimoy. A Perry alumnus, he played the bad guy in season 6’s The Shoplifter’s Shoe. MeTV aired it again on Friday night in honor of him. I had missed the airing when they showed it chronologically, so I was happy to tune in on Friday. I had been looking forward to The Decadent Dean, but I half-expected they would alter the aired episode that night, so I really wasn’t surprised when they did.
I am very sad that he’s gone, but I’m happy he led such a rich, full life and left such a legacy for his fans. And I’m glad that he is, in some way, part of the Perry family.