The Cable Game thinks FNC is taking a bit of a risk with Legends and Lies…
TCG is all for innovation in a world where technology and fragmented audiences are creating challenges for cable news outlets. But I’m not sure that Legends & Lies will be as well-received by Fox News viewers as Strange Inheritance. Superficially they seem like similar shows, but finicky cable news audiences will know better. Inheritance has in Jamie Colby a recognized cable news journalist as its host, investigating and talking to real people. Despite a few restaged scenes, it could be a segment of a magazine-type program like the old Fox Files. L&L, on the other hand, is not structured as a documentary. It uses dramatic recreations to tell its story; in that respect it’s like a movie, albeit a low-budget movie, often employing local semi-professional actors who seem unlikely to earn Emmy recognition for their thespian artistry.
I’m going to go the other way. I think it will do better than Inheritance. Everyone know that show was a big hit for FBN but what they fail to understand is that FBN’s ratings are anemic compared to FNC’s so it wouldn’t take much to turn Inheritance into a hit in the first place. You put Inheritance on FNC with those numbers and in my view it’s an open question whether it gets renewed for a second season.
Legends and Lies will have a bigger installed viewership to take advantage of, especially considering who is pushing it. You put O’Reilly’s name behind this and it would take a failure of colossal magnitude for this show not to do as well if not better than Inheritance did.