The Eye On Nashville
March 29, 2013
When you're hot, you're hot. Time Warner's TNT is the latest national network to point a camera at Music City. The folks that make the "Housewives" shows are creating a docudrama called "Nashville Confidential."
It's an eight-hour, unscripted look into the lives of Nashville power couples involved in the music business. Starts in Spring of 2014. Meanwhile, the ABC show "Nashville" is trying to keep i's head above water. The 5.1 million viewers of that Music Row mini-soap opera seem loyal, but also don't seem to be spreading the word. I watch the show now, but it needs the 18-49 demo -- and at present is a fairly small number. The show is a giant commercial for Music City. The show is getting better all the time, but that five million in the audience needs to get bigger.
The glamorized version of the Music City builds the egos on Music Row for sure and who knows what "Nashville Confidential" will bring.
ABC's Nashville is a pretty tame telling of the Nashville story; you wonder if "Confidential" will turn up the heat. Sex, drugs and rock & roll. They are all here for sure. Not sure about the sex, but the other is growing by the day.
The city of Nashville and Middle Tennessee have changed so radically since the late 1950s. That's good and bad. The small-town charm still is in the air, but the corporate culture has chilled so many things.
RCA was never a gentle giant, but replace that with the multi-national folks owning the place now ... add to that the never-should-have-been-allowed mega-broadcasters and boom ... you are at today. How many of you really like where things are now? I doubt many of you. I know broadcasting is far from a better place, I know that firsthand. For the record company people, what record business? You are in the download, computer software business now.
Even the toll-takers at the Golden Gate Bridge got tossed this week. It is a Brave New World. I still can't get friends to get a smartphone or sign up for Facebook. Some will never open their eyes.
If you want to see how technology and consolidation have radically altered things, look no further than Comcast and NBC. Want to learn how not to run a company, look only to "The Today Show" and "The Tonight Show" franchise for a lesson in bungling. Get the New York Magazine issue where they get a behind-the-scenes back stabbing at "Today." (I wish I could light up on radio bungling, but that hits a little too close to home.)
The heavy hand of top-down leadership. Corporate offices setting down the way it will be. Just make sure you have a plan B, Leno staffers, you may go to Fox and you may not.
What's up with our Music Row talent feeder show, "American Idol." Every week the ratings drop! Is Kree our next AI-to-Music Row graduate? I would think so.
"The Voice" seems so much better now that the now-out-of-style Cee Lo and the quiet Christiana are on break. She has more lives than a cat and will be back; Ce Lo ... flopping currently in Vegas, we shall see. Still the show has not produced the recording stars of the "Idol" machine. Sure is producing TV ratings, though.
Salute to The Jordanaires ... Music City's most-famous group of singers. Go read their credits. Longest running member Gordon Stoker died this week. He was 88. A class act. They were witness to the birth of Rock and Rock and to the birth of Nashville as the great recording center.
The Country Music Hall of Fame announces its new inductee April 10th. That is always a surprise. I'll say it now: PLEASE get Kenny Rogers in! With Ronnie Milsap right behind. Two of the best ever!