- The Washington Times - Friday, September 15, 2017

A trio of programs hitting U.S. airwaves this fall are patriotically themed, making them poor choices to appeal to foreign markets, The Hollywood Reporter said Friday, citing television executives in Europe who spoke recently to the trade publication.

The programs in question are NBC’s “The Brave,” CBS’s “SEAL Team,” and CW’s “Valor,” THR said. All of them are action-dramas that revolve around the operations of U.S. military units.

“These shows are all really well made and the production values are great, but some of it is pretty jingoistic: lots of breast-beating and flag-flying,” Swedish broadcasting company SVT’s Stephen Mowbray, head of acquisitions, said, THR reported.

“Really patriotic, nationalistic shows are really hard for us to place,” added Silke Regier, an executive charged with buying rights to American shows for Germany’s RTL network.

While some executives said generally negative sentiments among Europeans to President Trump played into their concerns, the larger issue is a competitive television market where American imports are not the sure-bet they once were, according to THR.

“I don’t think international viewers are anti-American, but they are escapist,” German TV executive Rudiger Boss told THR. “That might be why ‘This Is Us’ didn’t work. It’s a great show, but it’s got a slower pace, with more complex storytelling. It takes more commitment than a ‘MacGyver’ or a ‘Lethal Weapon.’ “

Both of those programs have proven generally successful internationally, THR noted.

Oddly enough, the first show Mr. Boss referenced was a ratings disappointment in the U.S. market this past season, despite centering around a heroic central character who thwarts terrorist plots for a clandestine U.S. government agency.

As Deadline Hollywood noted in April, “MacGyver” actually saw a season low in the ratings for its season finale. The program has been renewed by CBS for a sophomore season, but is slotted at 8 p.m. on Fridays, a decidedly undesirable place to air a television program that’s already been suffering less than stellar ratings.

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