Better Off Ted Fulfills ABC and its 5 Percent Freaky Factor

So right off the bat, I should say I like this new show Better Off Ted. But it’s so weird you have to wonder how it got on the air. UNLESS. Unless, you think about what network the show is on; ABC. See, I’ve been thinking about shows on that station and as I look back over the last few years I see this strange trend of creating shows and canceling shows. For ABC it seems to be all about freaking people out, in a funny way off course of course they’re not NBC and their Fear Factor, but at the same time being too timid to hang in there for any length of time. The show audiences something weird and say “How’s that? Is that too weird? Oh you 3 people didn’t like it? We’ll get that show right off our network post haste!!”


Here’s what I see; a few months ago they canceled Pushing up Daises and I wrote this comment response elsewhere on my blog

Hi Dawn. Yeah the Family Channel is part of ABC and that means they’re a big network. Big networks take shows off the air if they don’t make enough money. Let’s say a show is able to make half a million dollars in advertisement but the show cost a whole million to make. That means they’re losing half a million dollars. So that’s how they do things. No matter how much people like a show they go with the money.

And in that case I was talking about how networks make this choices based on financial outlook. But when you look at ABC you can also see another element-the TYPES of shows they decide to deal with.


And this brings me to my 5% Freaky Factor. ABC had (and canceled) Daises, they also had Kyle XY on cable. The took Scrubs from NBC but then the show is leaving anyway so to keep their freaky factor up they put Better Off Ted into rotation, and that show is freaky enough for TWO shows, so it basically seems to fill their need to weird people out. But think back a little; remember Caveman last year? Or how about the Jerry O’Connell show Carpoolers. And YES! I will admit I liked BOTH those shows. And they killed both of them. Keep in mind; from the MINUTE you see these shows on the air you KNOW they’re gonna cancel them. They just look too damn weird. So WHY do they keep doing this?


Better Off Ted seems to be some weird combination of Mad Men and, I don’t know, Working. Oh come on, you don’t remember 1997’s Working staring Fred Savage from the Wonder Years (yeah, yeah people love the Office and I know the British version is supposed to be the original, but take a look at Working and think about which came first in a chicken and the egg kind of way). But I’ll tell you why I think they keep making this shows so weird. They gambling. They’re hoping to hit the exact mix of Lost. They want people scratching their head, but NOT changing the channel. You could even say that Desperate Housewives, Dancing with the Stars and that Christina Applegate, Samantha Who, were shows originally intended to be quirky to the point of getting canceled. BUT, they survived the Freaky Factor and got to stay on the air.


So when you watch ABC, and you SEE shows that are weird, be prepared for it to be canceled. Even if you like the show you’ve just got to accept that this is part of part of their strategy in their search for hit shows. They liked Sex in the City so much they made Housewives. They like Dead Like Me so much they got Bryan Fuller to give them Daises. They liked Mad Men so much that got Ted (They probably liked Arrested Development too so they brought Portia de Rossi in. But they can’t handle it. It’s almost like there are 2 factions at ware at that network. Maybe there is.

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14 thoughts on “Better Off Ted Fulfills ABC and its 5 Percent Freaky Factor

  1. To the author of this article I am a fan of Kyle XY and it would be truly appreciated if you could write a column about our continued campaign efforts. Fans of Kyle XY are deeply disappointed by the ending of the show and after following the show loyally for three seasons we are hoping for a proper conclusion. The campaign for Kyle XY is still going on and will continue until we have a proper ending to the mystery. Many fans from around the world have banded together under this common cause, 25,000 people alone have signed an online petition.

    Thank for considering my request because the only way for our message to get heard is if columnists like yourself will shed light on the campaign.

    Any fan of Kyle XY who would like to be a part of the campaign please visit,, and

  2. Thanks for calling attention to ABC’s ADD. 😉 As an avid Kyle XY fan, I’m still reeling from the loss. Alas, only the good die young…

    • Haahaha
      Hi Ellen, yeah you’re right! It’s like ABC has Attention Deficit Disorder when it comes to how quickly they loose interest in something they SAY they want.

  3. To anyone reading this that loves Kyle XY as much as I do, please join us in our campaign. We are trying to move Kyle to another network by writing letters to ABC Studios and other networks. Write your letter today and visit for the addresses. Save the tub!

  4. I am here to ask you to mention that there is still a campaign to save Kyle XY going on at The fans of Kyle XY believe that there is still hope for this series if we can get people like you to shed light on our efforts. We feel that we can achieve a true continuation of our show like the fans of Jericho and Firefly did. I ask you to please mention that this campaign is going on and we will not give up.
    Any fan of Kyle XY who would like to be a part of the campaign please visit,, and

    • Well Hello Patty! Thanks for visiting the blog.

      I think people get the idea-they should go to those websites if they’re interesting in supporting the cuase.

  5. Never seen the Ted show, but I couldn’t figure out why Pushing Daisies got cancelled?? ABC is starting to remind me of the “nickel and dime” street hustlers I knew growing up…everyday they got something new to to peddle!

    But I’ll give it up to ’em for Alias.

    BTW: Nice to see you still blogging and this new design is on point man 😉

    • Hey Caleb!
      Thanks for the visit. Yeah well, you see my theory about abc-they say they want to be bold then don’t have the guts to stick it out and kill shows. Let’s just call it timid crack dealer…

      But yeah I’m “busy on the internet” every single day, but I RARELY write for this one because not really a money site but just sort of a “what’s on my mind” site. Even though as you said, the theme is out of this world-when I saw it I was like I’ve GOT to get it. Thanks!

  6. There is something to be said about a show that you can watch over and
    over… and enjoy it more with each viewing. Kyle XY is that kind of

    Many, many people are outraged over the cancellation of this gem.
    However, only a portion of those upset know that there is a campaign
    going to revive Kyle XY! United we stand, divided we fall.

    Those interested in joining the fight to save Kyle XY, feel free to
    join. There are several websites where fans are gathering. Any fan of
    Kyle XY who would like to be a part of the campaign please visit,, and

    Now if only some network would realize that… and pick it up!

    • Hi Ellen
      I think everybody over here has gotten the message loud and clear. I’m not sure if repeating it will really convert people who don’t want to fight for the show into people who do want to fight for the show. So….

  7. We could never watch ABC when we were growing up being so deprived without cable and not getting any reception at all…and even now that I do have cable I don’t think I’ve ever watched it really. Aside from being jealous at some point in the early 80’s that my cousins and friends could watch cartoons we couldn’t on Saturday mornings, I don’t think it’s affected me negatively.

    • Hey Chelle
      Thanks for checking in! My average over here is about one post a month these days, so I appreciate your visits. Not sure if my last comments or EMAIL over at Best of Stupid made it through-but I estimate Feb was your anniversary on that one, so congrats!

      Yeah I’ve rarely met anybody who suffered in life because they missed out on some TV, except maybe one person. I knew a lady who hadn’t watched any TV in about 30 years, so it was a little tough to make references that should could understand. From Gilligan to Fear Factor-it all went right past her.

  8. I think u guys brought up a really good point about ABCfamily having ADD. I cant count how many new shows they have put on their network only ta cancel em after a few seasons. Its riduclous how ABCfamily treated Kyle XY towards the end, they talk about the show losing ratings, well if thats the cae then y after the shows cancelation is there all this effort ta bring the show back, y has there been over 20,000 some thousand signatures for Kyle XY pettitions, I cant seem ta figure out, but I guess only ABCfamily can truly answer y this wonderful show was really canceled because it cant have anything do with ratings, but whatever their reason I’m not ready ta let Kyle XY go without a fight, I love this show with all my heart and I’m not gana see it end like this.

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