The Times reports today on networks backing out of shows even when they look promising. I think we are witnessing the tipping point for Hollywood and the blockbuster economy of entertainment. They’re going to have to figure out how to make entertainment for less and make money with smaller audiences. Networks and movie studios are not built for that. Says The Times:
The quick cancellation of “Smith” elucidates how television, like the movie industry, has become a business where there is little room for the modest success. Network executives might talk endlessly about how, in an era where the attention of audiences is ever more scattered, new shows need time to find themselves. But those same executives are often quick to pull the plug on an expensive production that does not immediately perform to expectations.
Combined with NBC’s announcement last week of plans to cut back on expensive programming, the experience of “Smith” demonstrates how the recent trend in television — costly serializations with large casts and complex plots — changes the basic rules of engagement for networks.
See also the post above about the BBC and linear TV.