Dear CW Braintrust:
cc: Mara Brock Akil, Chris Rock, Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall, etc.
I’m too lazy annoyed at this moment to look up your names and individually point fingers. The news that came out last week is still disappointing, especially when you consider that I’m an educated pseudo-metrosexual black man (No E. Lynn).
You decided to cancel the last two good African-American black sitcoms. Now, we must again rely upon “The Cosby Show” re-runs. Yes, we’ve supported the likes of Friends, Seinfield, Cheers, Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives for years because they apply to our lives, too. But we need something fresh and for us.
That’s why “The Game” was so great. It showcased the ins and outs of relationships from all angles — newfound likeness, burgeoning love, differing perspectives on life, marriage, homosexuality, mother to son, teammates and girlfriends.
Then there’s “Everybody Hates Chris,” which I call “The Black Wonder Years.” “The Wonder Years” is my favorite sitcom ever. I love reflective storytelling. That I mention “Chris” in the same sentence as Fred Savage’s lifelong paycheck should tell you what I think about Julius Rock’s headstrong accounting of every penny spent of his three paychecks (he could have run PricewaterhouseCoopers).
It was amazing, and I’m pissed that I’m writing about it in the past tense. It was “40 Rock” times funnier than “The Wonder Years.” But that’s not surprising because of the life story it’s based off of: Chris Rock’s. I’ll say it again: He’s pure genius.
So why did you cut these shows from the CW’s lineup? You tell me. Because of low ratings, right? Well, I’m going to come at you with something I’ve been thinking about since the final season of “Girlfriends.” (Yes, I watched it faithfully [Again, No E. Lynn]. It was great writing, and I am still enamored with/by Toni Childs. Yes, I know she’s crazy.)
Some of you want to blame black people for not watching/supporting these shows. That’s not what it is. More Black people and some others would watch if not for the following ridiculous slotting strategies:
You and your minions lined these shows up on the worst possible days — Monday, then Sunday and finally Friday — the last of which is like putting the show in a lidded fish tank with a jellyfish, and wanting it to get its Macarena Makaveli on (sorry people, Tupac is dead). There aren’t too many upwardly mobile, young blacks people watching television on Friday nights.
Yeah, that’s righ; we’re out at some happy hour hoping to come across Tupac Shakur same as you’re still searching for Elvis Presley. So seriously, why would you stick the best black sitcoms on that night? **crickets**
Before that, there was the Sunday/Monday foolishness. Do you understand why the ratings on these days were so low? Black people are watching football at church all day on Sundays. The next night we’re watching Monday night football so we can see cousin “Ray Ray” Lewis mic’d up on ESPN as he collects 13 tackles, an interception and “conversates” with his teammates.
Thus, you provide us with the dilemma of choosing between family and/or our people. Well, we’re going to choose family first, as you should as well.
I know you all understand this. I also know that you know why you placed these shows in those deathtrap time slots. Kanye would say that you don’t care about black people. Michael would say, “all I gotta say is that they don’t really care about us.” I’ll just say you don’t give a (poop), period.
As I think this through further, your parent company, CBS Corporation, is controlled by the same Redstone family that has majority control of Viacom. And you know what else Viacom owns? VH1, BET and MTV.
I’m no conspiracy theorist, but … you know it wasn’t just Lee Harvey Oswald, don’t you? I’m positing that your superiors see that cashcows in the aforementioned graph doing nothing more than producing more beef — money and drama — in the coming years. This includes: “For The Lust of Brandy’s Brother 2,” Diddy’s “Making The Band — That Will Never Drop B.I.G. Like Voletta ~ Luda” and “Parental (Non-)Control.”
It all makes sense now. My apologies to Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, Chris Rock and all of the other good black writers, producers, comedians, actors and viewers who have been shorted by these cancelations. We needed this for us.
But you, the CW Braintrust, have left us with nothing viable to watch. Now, “House of Payne” is a last resort. No, I won’t watch it. I refuse to talk back to the television unless I’m watching my Kansas City Chiefs. Sorry, Tyler.
Turning My Television to The Weather Channel,
P.S. I guess that’s why “Everybody Hates Chris” ~ Ludacris.