I haven't always been a fan of animated television shows in my adult years, but I have been a fan of Halloween for as long as I can remember. Like many audiences, I don't share one love when it comes to television because of the variety, from sports to drama and everything in between is what we love about it all. But recent news involving the last-minute delay of Halloween episodes to be presented in FOX's Animation Domination (The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, Family Guy, and Bless The Harts) in favor of the MLB has me confused for many reasons. As someone who has studied, and is set to graduate at the end of the year, from a subject involving media, tv production, and communication within those areas, it seems there is more than meets the eye than a simple scheduling problem.
One large way a network will bring in profits during the times they showcase their television lineups will come from the advertisers who wish to throw in the big bucks to attract consumers. These consumers, who are also acting as audiences for a period of time, are getting harder and harder to figure out. This is because of the introduction of streaming, and a lack of viewership in primetime when everything occurs on the network, are splitting up attention that networks like FOX used to easily understand.
Baseball isn't new, FOX knows this, as well as how much an event such as championship games and the world series are viewed. This is why I am not quick to ignore and forgive scheduling errors and delays. The iconic legacy of Halloween specials that are "Treehouse Of Horrors" done by The Simpsons, the success of Bob's Burgers seasonal spooky episode, Family Guy, and the newest addition, Bless The Harts, all have recently had to sit out their scheduled programming this year. Their Halloween-themed episodes will now air…AFTER HALLOWEEN?!? The new date for the lineup is on November 1st, typically not a date being hyped up in expectation for the spookiest day of the year.
Sports, especially the ups and downs of COVID results in the MLB teams, have led to rescheduling and their own attempts at navigating any semblance of normalcy in sports this fall. But still, this time of year isn't a stranger to baseball and the world series itself, it's an expected event in October. So, for fans of getting in the mood for Halloween with a new episode from their favorite animated show, year after year, are thrown to the side in an already crappy time. Not much is able to be held onto or used as a distraction as both the election and end of the year approach, but many favorite tv shows have been staples to soothe the exhausted American viewer.
I have to think about what could bring such swift change, when knowledge of baseball schedules and animation domination schedules are present, why would such a thing occur? Maybe it was truly some form of error, but the new date suggests a deep misunderstanding for FOX's potential audience. There are few things, personally, that has brought me back again and again to the network itself, and they just showed how much they care about that with recent actions. I hope to continue to be an avid viewer going forward, many of those shows I'll always still enjoy because it's not the creators or producers who did this, this was on the network.