Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Downfall of the Network Television

So the new fall line ups have been announced. Out with the old and in with the new. There has been a lot of uproar from people from around the “net” about shows that have been cancelled that were not given a chance only aired for a few episodes before the networks pulled them and so on.
Why is this done you ask? Well there are many reasons it is done. The main reason in my opinion is $$$$$$$$. With the advancing technology of DVR, On Demand, Hulu, You Tube, America’s short attention span and our drive for competition they have to grab their audience and do it quick. If not they lose money or lose viewers to other cable channels or gasp even another local network which in turn makes the networks lose money. Do you see a pattern here?  No one likes to lose money! So they are sacrificing the shows for the sake of the dollar. Some shows in my opinion really do suck but others can take time to develop (I thought Mad Love had some potential but CBS and I don’t see eye to eye on this one.)  Back in the day when we had fewer channels and before the rise of cable you would see shows last longer until it caught on. (Look at the Cosby Show that was a slow start but look at the major following it got and became a critically acclaimed show) But now with all of the options we have out there that is not an option for the networks. Too much emphasis is placed on ad revenue and if the show sucks and there are low ratings the advertisers are going to pull their slots forcing and the networks hand.
There is also the fact that America is infatuated with being number one, the networks are constantly trying to outdo one another. Such as NBC’s new show the Voice (seems a lot like American Idol doesn’t it…the figure Fox cashed in on it why shouldn’t they?) The rise of all of the cop dramas, fifteen years ago it was really just Law and Order and now every network has at least one if not two cop dramas in their line ups. And do not forget the sad pathetic “reality” shows on each of the networks.  If you look at each broadcast networks line up there are pretty darn similar.
  Lastly, the cable networks, they are garnishing a following of their own. USA has some really creative stuff out there and look at AMC and their huge success with Mad Men. Unlike broadcast networks cable networks don’t need to sell advertising and their “seasons” are vastly different from broadcast television. Broadcast TV always starts and ends around the same time and sweeps do not mean a thing Cable Networks their shows air throughout the entire year and start at different times. So there you have it folks my take on why you are seeing shows that have such a short life span, it’s all about the Benjamin’s baby!

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