WASHINGTON, D.C. — Television viewers in the United States are opposed to a potential return of the mid-1990s sitcom “Homeboys in Outer Space,” according to a Pew Research Center study published on Tuesday.
American fans of the medium of television, which is used for transmitting and receiving moving images and sound, expressed both confusion and anger when asked to share their feelings about a potential return of the ill-advised situation comedy, which documented the adventures of a pair of 23rd century African-American astronauts who traveled the universe in a winged car nicknamed “The Space Hoopty.”
Published in the latest edition of the entertainment media ejournal Refractory, the study asked 1,000 participants to share their thoughts about a potential return of the show that was universally panned by critics and largely ignored by audiences. Researchers gauged participant enthusiasm on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Not even remotely enthusiastic, why would you do this?” and 10 being “Please bring this groundbreaking show back immediately!” Participation was limited to men and women between the ages of 35 and 47 who acknowledged watching more than 20 hours of television per week. In addition, participants had to have recalled the show from its 21-episode run in 1996 and 1997.
“There were certainly some hurdles to clear with regard to finding eligible participants,” admitted lead researcher Bill Nesbitt, who noted the study was commissioned by NBCUniversal in an attempt to find shows that might generate buzz, good or bad, for its otherwise lifeless primetime lineup. “For example, only a very small percentage of potential survey participants remembered ‘Homeboys,’ and the vast of majority of those that did had such a strongly negative response to the mere mention of the show’s title that they had to be eliminated.
“We also encountered a number of potential participants who were simply ashamed to admit that they remembered the show, and many more who found the memory of it too traumatic to discuss openly with strangers. So it took quite a while just to find the minimum 1,000 participants.”
Once the pool of participants had been established, Nesbitt says, the study took relatively little time to take shape, as an overwhelming majority of respondents admitted they were unenthusiastic at the prospect of a show that features a low-rider space ship voiced by a talking computer named ‘Loquatia’ ever returning to the airwaves.
“It was immediately obvious when examining the preliminary results that only a microscopic segment of the population would find a return of ‘Homeboys’ appealing,” Nesbitt said. “But that did not seem to deter NBC, or maybe it just didn’t register with their head of programming. But the study shows pretty clearly just how few people would like to see the return of a show that so blatantly ignored many long-since established laws of astronomy while simultaneously inciting the ire of both the NAACP and proponents of even minimally thoughtful programming. Admittedly, I’m not in the television business, but I find it hard to believe this show ever made it onto a network in the first place.”
But in spite of what Nesbitt describes as “overwhelming evidence” that bringing “Homeboys” back to television would ultimately prove disastrous for NBC, the network’s Entertainment Chairman, Robert Greenblatt, has yet to take the project off of life support.
“The guys in lab coats ultimately do not fluff the feathers here in Peacock Country,” said Greenblatt. “If they did, we’d have never let ‘Go On’ see the light of day. And look how great that worked out.”