Doug’s Place Flashback: Two relatives of mine – who shall remain nameless because I don’t want to embarrass them – lived in Greenville, Mississippi, for 19 months. We agree they stayed 19 months too long.
When I visited them in Greenville once – and only once – it didn’t take long to realize how depressing it is to live in the area. Sure there are museums — saluting area native sons such as B.B. King and Jim Henson — and other tourist attractions. But, as I remembered, the downtown area of Greenville looked fantastic – in my rear-view mirror as I was heading home.
I’ve since gotten to know the Greenville television market through one of my peers in the business. He routinely blogged and criticized the products of the labors of WABG, marketing itself as “the Delta’s number one news station”. He criticized everything: production values, anchors, flaws in reporting, etc. One of his friends reacted, “If this is the number one station of the market, I’d hate to see what the number three station looks like.”
Truth be told, there are only two stations in the market airing news full-time – WXVT and the aforementioned WABG. These are the stations that serve as the main settings for the truTV series “Breaking Greenville”.
Long since my visit, WABG, an ABC affil, is now producing news briefs for its low-powered sister station; it’s an NBC affil. WABG also provides programming from the Fox network on channel 6.2 — a common practice in other small markets as “the big four” networks have looked to increase their reach in recent years. WXVT’s network of record is CBS – offering nothing else on any subchannel.
I’ve seen only a few clips and promos of “Breaking Greenville”. Knowing what I know about Greenville, the clips provided nothing really surprising and made me think, “Eh, that’s typical of the area.” I just question why the powers-that-be at WXVT and WABG consented truTV to give an inside, and supposedly hilarious, behind-the-scenes look at local TV news.
“Breaking Greenville” doesn’t do my chosen profession justice. I won’t be watching. If you remember TV Guide Network’s “Making News: Texas Style” and the sequel set in Savannah, Georgia, I recall they did a much better job of looking inside local TV newsrooms. It was a nice mix of humor, drama and, dare I say, realism.
“Breaking Greenville” goes for the laughs and, from the previews I’ve seen, fails.