ABC family or now know as Freeform has been creating its own tv content for a while now and many of them have become hits. Personally you may not have liked them but their shows have gone on for multiple seasons. Shows like Pretty Little liars, Baby Daddy, Secret Life of and American Teenager and of course Greek. Greek was highly original, a little outside the realm of the traditional ABC Family television show. It was their first step to becoming a channel for young adults audiences rather than a family program. Of course it was still appropriate, but a little more mature than previously aired shows. In my opinion it was the test run of how things would run if they made the step towards being a more
mature television program. Greek had four seasons, airing in July of 2007 and ending the series in march of 2011. A show with four seasons is up for debate on whether its a successful TV show. While shows like CBS’s Big Bang Theory has nine seasons and seems to have no intentions of ending any time soon. But Freaks and Geeks a highly successful show and a cult classic was barley able to rap up its first season before being booted of air. So what qualifies or makes a TV show successful?
When determining if a show is a success you have to look at it from two aspects. One was it a success in terms of reaching its audiences and being entertaining? And two was it successful the program as a business? It needs to attract and bring in advertisements for the program. Was it in a primetime slot for everyone to see? Greek can be argued as being both. Having made four seasons tells that the program had faith, people were coming back ever week night to watch it. It was in a prime time slot for ABC Family, its first season was aired every Tuesday night then after getting positive reviews it was moved to its top spot on Monday nights at 10/9c.
Having a Monday night slot shows success, viewers wanted to see this show. So they placed it in the best possible time and day slot. The writers did a fantastic job with this show. The message or intentions for the audience was captivating, each episode had something bring them back whether that was for the humor or drama. The audience gets the assumed intentions and interprets them in the best they can and in their own ways. Depending on the genre of the television shows writer will have different goals they sets out to do, a show like Lost sets out to create mystery and the element of surprise with drama filled moments. And some comic relief but primary mystery and drama. The intentions of the writer(s) of Lost are going to be different than the writers of Greek. Greek had drama but a slightly different type, also it’s focused on the comical aspect of it. Poking fun at light hearted college drama, at least in comparison to Lost.
Entertainment should be one of the top priority of the program but to provide information comes with that. Writers should be considering the message they try delivering to their audience. When writing about sensitive situations, people may take it the wrong way. So Writers should keep the message in mind, making sure that it is respectful and engaging of the audience. Greek isn’t one to really tug at the heart strings or venture into highly controversial topics. But a few pieces to the show have some complexity to them. Calvin Owens, one of Greek’s main characters is a gay African American man that pledges to Omega Chi, the most prestigious fraternity on campus. A portion of the series touches bace with the struggles he faces coming out as being gay and how his fraternity brothers deal with it. The writers don’t play to much with it, but for ABC Family this wasn’t there typical character story. Really other than that I couldn’t see anything that is of any controversy or goes off the trail of what most shows are like. Greek was first aired in 2007, so the topic of being gay wasn’t anything new to our society but what makes it stand out to me is that it was one of the first for ABC Family, and if you look at the program now it isn’t anything out of the ordinary. So it was a big step for the program to expand to a larger audience.
Providing entertainment to the viewers is the goal of the writers, because the show brings the views to the program and the commercials that air through the shows time slot is what rakes in the dough. If the show is providing entertainment it’s successful while simultaneously make them money because companies want their advertisements to air during this show. Making the show successful both in entertainment and as a business.
The show is structured in a way that makes it authentic, the frat house looks, sounds and feels like what a frat house should be. Whether you’ve never been to college or have been you get that its exaggerates for entertainment purposes but you still have the ideology that this is a frat house. The episodes that are all about parties are over the top, with the over consumption of beer and alcohol just like you’d imagine. The music sets the tone of each episode, whether its music from transitions or in the background of a party, even one episode had the Plain White T’s play live at a house party. The characters help re-enforce the picture you’ve created about college life. It has the stereotypical stoner Cappie, rich white boy Even, Perfect sorority girl Casey and Rusty, the nerdy kid that has a cinderella story and becomes the “man”. The settings of the show also strengthen the idea of this being a real college. I’ve mentioned in a recent blog that this show was filmed mostly between two college campuses, UCLA and University of North Carolina.
With this all being said, these can be tools for the creators of the show to make it entertaining but in reality this helps the business side of things. The companies that are having their commercials air during the show know what type of people to cast in the commercial and what products need to be presented. Because if viewers are watching to fulfill this fantasy life that will see these products that support the fantasy the show creates. Clearly a show can be successful, but in what ways? And is this while it’s on TV? or has it become a cult classic that has been revived and supported by a few? Greek had its time, with four great seasons and personally I felt it was cut short and many others agree. It was a success gaining the prime time slot for about 4-5 years, and was also revived for a short while by Netflix’s on demand streaming. Greek had its glory days.