Entries in fringe (1)

Friday
May182012

The TV Landscape - What it Should Look Like

More and more I'm becoming dissolutioned with televsion, broadcast television, that is, particularly the networks. All the major networks have a knack for canceling shows while I and most other fans are just getting into them, all for the sake of advertisers, who ultimately dictate what the TV landscape will look like. What this means is good or great television shows get axed because too few viewers in a certain demographic are tuning in (that over 18 threshold comes to mind). So goodbye quality, and hello trash! We have shows like Awake being axed and Whitney being renewed. Great shows like Fringe (a semi throwback to The X-Files and other sci-fi gems) is also shortened, with Fox complaining that they lose money on it.

The bottom line is I'm tired of tuning in to shows that risk being canceled and therefore leaving me in the lurch with absolutely no closure whatsoever. I'm finding more and more that I'm hitting up my Netflix account and stocking up on older shows via DVD which have had their full runs. At least I can be guaranteed a complete story that way, but then if more people do what I'm doing, then the TV landscape will have to change drastically, because no one will tune in to new series at launch. In fact, that's what's happening now. There is so much competition from other entertainment mediums that networks are scrambling to keep pace, and you'll notice that nearly every major network is now carrying a slew of reality TV shows, the chiefest among them being talent competition shows a la American Idol.

Original series are finding new life on basic and preminum cable channels though, because low viewership takes on a whole new meaning in this arena. Where 3 million people tuning in to an NBC show is considered abysmal, HBO execs would do backflips with those numbers. Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Dexter, and True Blood are all thriving thanks to cable subscribers who are thrilled to keep coming back to the wonderful worlds of grown up, engaging television that is not dependent (or as dependent) on advertising, and the difference in quality really shows.

What I love about 711 Press is that they are pretty much doing with books what cable networks are doing with quality programming: letting the story come first! I'm all for that.

Hopefully one day the broadcast TV networks will catch on and revamp the way they do things. Until them, I'll stick to shows that have had, or will have a chance to tell their stories.