With the season one finale in the bag, it seems very unlikely that AMC’s The Pitch will get renewed for another go-around. After all, has a show averaging less than 50,000 viewers 18-49 in its first season ever been brought back for another? Even if you watched the show every week, would you really miss it if it never returned?
Over the past weeks, I’ve posed a multitude of theories for why The Pitch just doesn’t work. Sure, it can be easy to say that advertising’s totally boring to those outside the industry, but haven’t we seen countless shows about other utterly boring occupations somehow take off on cable? Storage Wars, anyone?
If I had to narrow it all down, I would say the show’s biggest problem is that it just didn’t do reality TV right. Reality TV fans want people who are relatable, and showing an ad exec play with his kid for 30 seconds out of an hour-long show isn’t going to cut it for them. It’s just not personal enough to make viewers care about these people and their successes/failures.
Meanwhile, advertising professionals know that when they come to work, especially during a hectic pitch, they have to leave their emotional baggage at the door. Complaining is a sign of weakness, and the more someone bitches and moans about their work, the more they’re hated for bringing down the whole agency. But, this stoic personality that we’re conditioned to have while at the agency just doesn’t work on reality TV. We want to see great work and thinking, while the typical TV viewer wants to see people get emotional. There just wasn’t enough of it on The Pitch to make either type of viewer happy.
But, would AMC go for broke with the season finale of The Pitch, showing that yes, they can in fact turn out compelling storylines, interesting individuals and groundbreaking marketing strategies? It tries, using two foolhardy agency presidents to make or break the case for marketing megalomania. [SPOILERS AHEAD]