Saturday, July 15, 2006

How Do You Choose What To Watch?

Serial Dramas Prompt Questions for CBS

The proliferation of quickly cancelled serial dramas on TV led to a questioning of CBS Pres Nina Tassler on Saturday. When shows get repeatedly cancelled without tying up loose ends, what are fans of the show to do? You're left forever wondering what would have happened.

Well, reporters were asking about that and rightly so. Why should you take an interest in a TV show when there is such a high percentage chance it'll be cancelled before the first year is over? These questions led to the following:

Asked if viewers might start to sour on such programs if they're repeatedly disappointed by cancelations, Tassler dismissed it as irrelevant, saying she didn't think audiences made viewing choices that way.

Reporters then asked if Tassler was saying the viewers didn't care about being left in the plot lurch. After taking a couple of stabs at the question, the network executive said she recognized that viewers do care.

Her assertion that viewers don't weigh the possibility a serialized drama could be yanked in deciding whether to watch prompted a disbelieving question from one reporter: "Are you serious?"

Network execs certainly are out of touch with today's market. They've burned they're own viewing audience so many times, that most don't bother tuning in for new shows. Personally, I can't remember the last new show debuting that I was really excited about and followed from the beginning. Certainly my change to working night shifts and different days of the week over the past year and a half has worked against it, but I could always record something if I wanted to. However, in the last couple of years, there's been so little to do that for. Besides, thanks to the DVD market, TV shows are much better that way anyway.

It is too bad that they're so quick to cancel. Most shows take a season to find its legs and really get firing on all cylinders. Anyone who's re-watched the first season of Seinfeld knows that show would never make it to season 2 in today's market. It took a season or two to really get going and then look what happened - best sitcom of all time. Imagine all the good shows we've been deprived of by itchy trigger fingers...

Comments on "How Do You Choose What To Watch?"


Blogger The Original LRU said ... (July 16, 2006 2:27 PM) : 

One of the reasons I decided to not bother with a TV when I moved to my new place was because of the poor scheduling of one of my favourite TV shows. It wasn't even that it was cancelled. It was just that I couldn't rely on seeing it when it was scheduled to show.

TV is scheduled by someone else, and if you want to see something, you have to bend your life to the whims of broadcasting corporations. Forget that. :-)

The only shows that I follow eagerly today are on the internet, and they are created by amateurs. Vidcasts. IPTV. That kind of thing.


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (July 16, 2006 6:23 PM) : 

yeah, they always screw up the scheduling. case in point - I went to the *Fox* home website for their show Bones to find out more about it. Apparently, they can't even keep their schedule for reruns. The message board was overrun by unhappy posts from fans trying to find the show. No one knew when reruns would come back on or when the new shows were going to come back or when the DVDs were going to come out. One poster noted that such incompetence from the studio was almost like begging people to go download the shows.

DVD's are way better anyway. Last night there was jack all on TV, so I threw in a Rockford Files DVD and watched 3 episodes instead - much more fun :)


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