ADHD On the Ropes?

Written by PTC | Published September 4, 2013

Fox’s profane and graphically violent sex-and-drug cartoon block ADHD appears to be losing its focus – and presumably, its sponsors and viewers. As the PTC has repeatedly warned, the Fox network’s late-night, animated programming block ADHD features some of the most vile content ever aired on the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves. Fox’s bosses hoped to make the block’s mélange of naked, dismembered female corpses, “anatomically correct” cartoon animals, and stories about axe murderers and teens having sex into both a showplace and a breeding ground for new prime-time programming, with Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly boasting that “Ultimately, the goal is to grow and skim off the best of the best for prime time. I’d like to find the next Family Guy out of this block.” The show did experience an uptick in the week after its premiere, drawing 100% more teen viewers than in the first week (and thus belying the presumption that teens and children won’t watch “because it’s on so late”). But since that time, it has not done as well. Last week, much of the show’s content consisted of reruns; this week, ALL of it did (apart from one 90-second short feature). In fact, a major portion of the August 31st episode comprised a rerun of promos for Fox’s fall prime-time schedule…hardly scintillating viewing for anyone, let alone ADHD’s putative audience of teens. For a show that has been on barely a month to be airing nothing but reruns and promos seems a clear indicator that the show is not performing as hoped. Perhaps local affiliates have gotten wind of the show’s content and have refused to carry it; perhaps advertising sales are not performing well. Certainly, the show has garnered little attention in the Hollywood trade press. Though nothing is certain, these facts may indicate that Fox is allowing ADHD to die a swift and quiet death. Perhaps someday, the entertainment industry’s so-called “creative” personnel will realize that, if they want to attract viewers, they should offer more than warmed-over sex, gore, and toilet humor.

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