TV shrug

I used to care about the TV upfront and the announcement of new fall series — and not just because I used to be a TV critic. Now I couldn’t care less. That has been the case for a few years. But it’s even more the case now because I simply wait for the public to tell me what the hits are and then I might watch those; the rest will just fade away. The irony in that is that in a post-blockbuster economy, TV is all the more dependent on blockbusters. Television is, indeed, becoming more like the movie industry, as The Times notes today. Oh, there will always be big hits. But it’s going to get harder and harder to count on them.

  • Toblerone2

    Seems to me that the major networks’ refusal to let mediocre shows stay on for a while is what dooms many good possible hits. I never criticize a show in it’s first season, esp if the actors haven’t worked together before. Many shows shine in their sophomore season and struggle through their first year. The networks have to give things time to incubate, time to “gel”, time to mature……hmm now I’m thinking about wine for some reason…..well its the same thing really.

  • Mike G

    Gee, I hope your wine isn’t gelling…

    I wish to hell they would make new Firefly episodes for DVD. Not just because I’d happily watch them (I’m not gaga about it like some folks, but it’s better than most things) but because it seems the perfect candidate to prove the viability of a post-network model selling series TV direct to the public, no middleman. If Firefly Season 2 was successful that way, somebody else would produce a quality show purely for DVD, and apres Mal, le deluge.

  • You know what’s gonna really change TV? WiFi. No channels, you’ll be able to buy episodes over the net and live stream ’em whenever you wish. Smart television networks and stations will be come providers, and aggregating services will pop-up with listings. Federal, state, and local governments will get in the act.

    You’ll know we’re getting close when Apple announces their first iMac with a 30 screen, and a port for a second monitor.

  • dfrisme

    A lot of Japanese series anime is produced directly for the retail market. Called OVAs in the trade (Original Video Animations) They are typically sold by the episode for $10-$50 per, at least in first release. While the number of units sold aren’t as high as the ratings numbers, as long as the shows make a profit, the producers are happy. Obviously the shows are aimed at very targeted demographics.

    That is one of the main differences between the markets. In the US entertainment industry, if its not a potential blockbuster, they aren’t interested. The notion of a small, but profitable show is alien to them.

    Netflix understands this model, but they can’t rent what isn’t being produced…

  • It seems to me that if I like a show it usually only stays on for a few seasons, somethimes only one season. I do understand that the markets vary and the US market is really mainstream but come on….