• Time for NBC to Pop the “I Feel Bad” Bubble

    by  • January 7, 2019 • Television • 0 Comments

    I Feel Bad

    Every fall when the networks roll out their latest crop of sitcoms, it is rarely the comedies that rely on cheap innuendo and gratuitous anatomical references that rise to the top, garnering a devoted following of loyal fans, attracting top advertiser dollars, and immediate renewal. No, such shows are usually first on the chopping block. What’s left are the shows that successfully blend gentle humor with a heart. Nevertheless, every year the networks still offer-up a handful of gutter-level comedies destined for quick cancellation.

    One such comedy, I Feel Bad, debuted this fall on NBC. In our review of the series, we pointed out the hypocritical way this series presents itself as a critic of our hypersexualized culture – only to exploit it for cheap laughs, while also employing multiple profanities, vulgar anatomical references and sexualized dialogue.

    The PTC has reached out to many of the program’s sponsors, and many appear to be distancing themselves from the show, and many of the ad  availabilities are being snatched up by bargain-shopper advertisers.

    Although we have noticed that the show toned-down some of its edgier content — despite the promise made by producer Julie Ann Robinson at this year’s Paley Fest that such content would continue and even expand, and that future episodes would “explore issues never done on TV before.” — but it may be too little, too late for I Feel Bad.

    The series has been plagued by low ratings from the get-go. Not because it had a bad premise – it didn’t. But because of the execution: namely, the producers’ and writers’ over-insistence on being “edgy” at the cost of connecting with an audience.

    The season has wrapped for “I Feel Bad,” and multiple news sources place it “on the bubble” which means that while it is not officially cancelled, it is unlikely to return.

    It’s time for NBC to pop the bubble, let the show end, and let us hope that this series’ failure serves as a lesson and a warning to other TV executives not to pander to audiences or sink to the lowest-common-denominator when they are developing new comedies in the future.



    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

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