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Network Tries "Random Scheduling" To Boost Ratings
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SETTETN STONE, CA - The Wolf Television Network has announced plans to try a new scheduling technique designed to introduce loyal watchers to new programming and lure new viewers away from their current time slots. "Random Scheduling means we're letting chance decide what airs when," said Monty Myers, Vice President of Programming for Wolf, "essentially we spin the wheel and let the chips fall where they may."

Mixed metaphors aside, jumbling up television schedules is nothing new. Viewers have repeatedly complained that their favorite shows have been rescheduled, cancelled, moved to different days, lengthened, shortened, and even reformatted from episode to episode. One frustrated viewer commented, "I don't want variety in a schedule, I want stability. That's what a schedule means, for goodness sake. Why do they think I subscribe to TV Guide, for the articles?" When told about the "random" plan to be tested next week, this viewer responded, "Sure. Why not? I've been meaning to catch up on my reading anyway."

"I think the viewers may be missing the point," responds Myers, "TV doesn't exist to entertain them. It exists to promote products. A by-product of that promotion is that it entertains them. But if they don't happen to catch every single episode of 'Law & Order: Meter Maid Patrol' that's just too bad. We announce our shows religiously. Watch carefully, and you'll know when your precious shows are on. Tivo THAT!"

"It's hard to listen to that," says Carmen Cahall, a television viewer from Los Angeles, "but I have to admit that it's nice to hear them admit it. Ever since the 'you're stealing if you don't watch the commercials' comment, there has been an air of arrogant honesty about them. It's refreshing in a frostbiting, arctic blast sort of way."

Said a TV Guide insider, "We can't keep up, of course, with all the schedule changes. But we do try to go back and change the schedules to match what actually aired so at least people can see when what they missed was really on."
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