Just as ABC TV was talking up to media buyers “Buy It Now,” a feel-good reality show revolving around families trying to fulfill their dreams by placing their prized possessions on eBay, the auction site pulled out of the deal.
The program’s premise was based on a popular genre that has proved a major showcase for Sears with “Extreme Home Makeover” and was slated for the same network in a prime Monday and Tuesday 9 p.m. slot. Moreover, the series was created by Madison Road Entertainment, one of the partners behind the heavily hyped new NBC series “Treasure Hunters.”
So why did eBay bail out of a seemingly golden opportunity for a TV series for the second time since 2004 (two years ago it quashed a Sony Pictures TV syndicated show based on the auction site)? Its reasons for not going forward could serve as a cautionary tale for marketers and producers looking to develop concepts for TV.