Actually, Harris was steadily confusing popularity with artistic merit. His example of the Jekyll-imitation, Do No Harm, shows this. He talked about NBC's disaster as his prime example of failure of imagination (i.e., a key aspect of artistic merit.) But the thing about Do No Harm is that nobody bothered to watch at all. They have no valid opinion about whether Do No Harm is good entertainment, or whether it was too disemboweld for US television. Do No Harm is a failure of marketing. (I suppose the business and marketing acolytes would define it as a dual failure in marketing for the show and branding for NBC.) Harris attributed it to unoriginality, as if anyone really knows whether the show was original for US networks or not.
Yes, everything Harris said was couched in terms referring to artistic merit, when he was only talking about popularity and financial success. And still doing a piss poor job of doing that.