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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:30AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the diamonds-in-the-coal-pile dept.

John Koblin writes in the NYT that there's a malaise in TV these days that's felt among executives, viewers and critics, and it's the result of one thing: There is simply too much on television. John Landgraf, chief executive of FX Networks, reported at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour that the total number of original scripted series on TV in 2014 was 371 and will surpass 400 in 2015. The glut, according to Landgraf, has presented "a huge challenge in finding compelling original stories and the level of talent needed to sustain those stories." Michael Lombardo, president of programming at HBO. says it is harder than ever to build an audience for a show when viewers are confronted with so many choices and might click away at any moment. "I hear it all the time," says Lombardo. "People going, 'I can't commit to another show, and I don't have the time to emotionally commit to another show.' I hear that, and I'm aware of it, and I get it." Another complication is that shows not only compete against one another, but also against old series that live on in the archives of Amazon, Hulu or Netflix. So a new season of "Scandal," for example, is also competing against old series like "The Wire." "The amount of competition is just literally insane," says Landgraf.

Others point out that the explosion in programming has created more opportunity for shows with diverse casts and topics, such as "Jane the Virgin," "Transparent" and "Orange Is the New Black." Marti Noxon, the showrunner for Lifetime's "UnREAL" and Bravo's "Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce," says there has been a "sea change" in the last five years. "I couldn't have gotten those two shows on TV five years ago," says Noxon. "There was not enough opportunity for voices that speak to a smaller audience. Now many of these places are looking to reach some people — not all the people. That's opened up a tremendous opportunity for women and other people that have been left out of the conversation."


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Dunbal on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:39AM

    by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:39AM (#231045)

    Network producers think there's "too much on television" and people think "there's nothing to watch on television". Who is right? Well, how about we look at the rising trend of people cancelling their cable subscriptions.

    • (Score: 2) by naubol on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:23AM

      by naubol (1918) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:23AM (#231064)

      TV != cable in this context.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Francis on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:29AM

      by Francis (5544) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:29AM (#231071)

      Both. The standards for what is and isn't watchable has grown substantially for many viewers. When I was a kid there were about 7 or 8 channels of programming available. And you had to choose which one you'd watch. Now, with even basic cable packages having at least 150 channels which can be DVRed, there's a ton of programming out there.

      But, that doesn't mean that the programming is better, it's just that with choice, we don't have to watch shows that are marginally amusing or turn the TV off. We can go to the DVR and find something. But, with the increased amount of programming, the programs are becoming more niche and they probably do have to compete with each other. Not just over money, that's always been the case, but over people to actually produce the shows.

      Personally, between those asinine 2 half seasons split over the year per year and the shows that get canceled too soon, I've lost interest in watching most programming until it's already been canceled. That way I know how many shows I'm going to get and I don't have those awkward extended breaks in the middle. I used to like Suits, but I completely lost interest during one of those extended breaks between half seasons. I'm just not interested in waiting months between half seasons. It's just too hard to get invested in characters or stories when you're left to wait so long.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Dunbal on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:48AM

        by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:48AM (#231119)

        Now, with even basic cable packages having at least 150 channels which can be DVRed, there's a ton of programming out there.

        No there isn't. There should be, but there isn't. In fact there is very little "new" content on TV. It's the same damn show repeated over and over ad nauseam. In biology we have a method to study population called "mark and recapture". You can google it for the details and the statistical formulas. The basic idea is quite simple. If I grab a known quantity of organisms at random, mark them and release them and then return after a while and grab another known quantity of organisms and note how many in my sample are organisms I originally marked, then I can estimate the size of the population. Well you can apply something similar to TV. When you watch a show, and then a few months later you turn the TV on and lo and behold, you are watching the exact same episode, you can work out that there really aren't all that many episodes. They are filling their time and channels with the SAME BS over and over and over. It's almost insulting. There's a limit to the number of times I can watch "Transformers" or "X-men" or "Die Hard" or "Friends" or "2 and a half men"...

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:22PM (#231217)

          Shows need at least 100 episodes (~4 full seasons of 24-26 episode seasons, or ~7.5 seasons of 12-13 episode seasons) to run in syndication (reruns, basically). There aren't many shows that run longer than 100 episodes, and lots don't even make it that long (some, if they get close, will add extra crap or draw out storylines just to make it to 100 to be able to run in syndication and end the show there). If its being shown in syndication once every weekday, that means they'll get back to the episode you just watched in about 20 weeks. Some channels are way worse about it though - BBC America shows reruns of Trek: TNG, but instead of running through the whole series like any decent syndication showing, they show the same 5 episodes over and over and over and over again for like a month or 3, and then do a different 5 episodes for the same span; its really fucking annoying. I've noticed lately some new shows have reruns on different channels while they're still in their 1st season, not really sure on the details of those though except that they must be some kind of special deal between networks for those shows.

        • (Score: 1) by Francis on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:09PM

          by Francis (5544) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:09PM (#231294)

          That's not true. There's a ton of original programming out there, it's just that most of it is niche. Look at all those reality programs. You and I might not like them, but that is original content. There's all those talk shows, made for TV movies and what have you.

          Most of it is crap, but it's new crap that people haven't already watched.

          • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:06PM

            by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:06PM (#231373)

            Sorry I didn't equate it to content in the same way as I don't equate dog food with "food". Reality TV is just laziness from a production crew devoid of any creativity. I don't consider that "content" any more than I consider the interactions between cars on my drive home "content".

          • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:08PM

            by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:08PM (#231375)

            Oh and another thing since you got me started on that subject, I don't think those shows that just take stuff from the internet (or before the internet, from people's home videos) and put it on television "content" either. Seriously. The best bit is when I've already seen those videos and know exactly which watermarks have been "blurred out".

            • (Score: 1) by Francis on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:37PM

              by Francis (5544) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:37PM (#231382)

              I get that, unfortunately, we seem to be in the minority. I briefly enjoyed the Real World for a couple seasons back when the reality TV thing was a bit less transparent, but I stopped watching those well before Survivor and the whole industry blew up.

              There's some good scripted TV shows that come out, but it's hard to find a series that lasts long enough to invest myself in. Often times they're canceled before they have a chance to find an audience. I remember years back liking Cupid, later I found that there were more than just the 3 episodes I watched aired, but for some reason it got moved on the schedule with no notice and I'm guessing a lot of people didn't follow it past the move. Others like The Cape, have a really good premise and world, but aren't allowed enough time to get an audience.

              Movies are a bit more honest. They pick it up for one movie and that's probably it. You might get a sequel, but you usually have an idea as to whether or not that's even a possibility when writing it.

              • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Wednesday September 02 2015, @09:11PM

                by Dunbal (3515) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @09:11PM (#231452)

                Oh I won't say there are no good TV shows. Gotham I quite like. Breaking Bad was awesome. Everyone raves over Game of Thrones - personally I've never seen it. But be honest, we (millions of people) are paying $50+ (or in my case with HD channels, etc $100+) per month to these people, every month. And MOST channels ALSO have ad revenue, when they manage to actually sell some space in between the endless repeated sperg about the "new" show they've been repeating all season. At $100+ a month I should have a hard time choosing between blockbuster shows to watch, not spend hours channel flipping to see if there's anything good on to finally settle on that episode of that show that I've already seen 5 times.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Magic Oddball on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:30PM

        by Magic Oddball (3847) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:30PM (#231410) Journal

        I was surprised to learn firsthand this year that the paradox of choice can apply to this situation. After being bored with videos for almost 20 years, I decided to see if there were any oddball ShoutCast streaming channels left and found a short list of the consistent free ones [thugie.nl]. One of them called DoughyGuy Broadcast System [blogspot.com] had some hilariously awful bizarre old T&A fantasy/science-fiction film playing — something I'd never bother with normally — but with nothing else available, it was good enough for sitting in a window on my desktop (and sometimes actually directing all of my attention at). I soon found a *lot* of stuff moves into the "good enough" category (and becomes inexplicably enjoyable) when there's only one channel available.

        I did learn from some of the DGBS selections that some of that difference is that I'm not into more modern styles or actors (I found that I liked the Roger Moore 007 films and even a Vincent Price spoof, but not the ones made after the 80s), but a lot of it is still the result of not knowing what the hell to choose when faced with hundreds of options and feeling constantly discontent with anything I do pick.

        My reaction is a lot more extreme than most people's since I'm rarely into video-watching and in my late 30s, but I'm guessing that *some* of the same effect is going on. It's certainly the best way I can think of to explain some of the awful crap that we (or our parents or grandparents' generations) watched back in the day. ;-)

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:50AM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:50AM (#231047) Homepage

    Big Cable should have seen this coming - A la Carte eating the fuck out of its lunch. Like every other big media instsitution it has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

    " Media stocks tumbled earlier this month over what analysts said was a lack of confidence in cable bundles that had become too bloated and expensive "

    In other words, nobody wants to be charged out the ass for 400 channels they don't wanna watch just to get those 1 or 2 in the package upgrade. I'd certainly pay for that base cable TV my internet provider keeps nagging me about if they can give me a basic package I would call "'Tard-Free TV." For example, Married With Children vs. whatever PC crap like Big Bang theory people think is funny nowadays (Big Bang thory is a horribly-aging chubby Blonde talking about fucking nothing, but throw a few formulas in the background and all of a sudden it's "intelligent" -- really?! -- that's all it takes?). Computer Chronicles vs. dumb wisecracking hacker shows with socially-inept protagonists and GUI in VB Effects. Documentaries and real nature footage rather than hams badly acting fake reality shit alongside competitive eating shows.

    A la carte would have possibly saved Cable's ass so it could stay competitive, but a bottom-tier of cable service that wasn't 100% shit for anybody with a functioning hindbrain would have helped some.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:15AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:15AM (#231056)

      Nobody thinks Big Bang Theory is intelligent. It's a nerd farce, a sign of the times that nerds are now cool enough that nerd culture jokes and sex jokes can be on even footing at the center of the most popular sitcom currently on television. Some might call that cultural appropriation, others would call that a vast improvement over previous decades.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:17AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:17AM (#231058)

        Nobody thinks Big Bang Theory is intelligent.

        Unfortunately, you are so very sadly mistaken. All too many see that show - both the "comedy" and the "science" - as literal genius.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:42PM (#231389)

          Since your content-free "nah-uh" response was considered insightful, I guess you are probably right about how little it takes to be considered genius.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:18AM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:18AM (#231116) Journal

        I had heard BBT was intelligent, funny, and geek oriented so I watched a couple episodes. What I saw was a bunch geek tropes and tired out social ineptitude jokes. It wasn't even remotely funny.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:40PM (#231254)

          Like most shows after about 3-4 seasons they have run out of jokes. The good stuff was in the first few seasons. The first few seasons were funny. I am sure by this point they are scraping the bottom of the barrel. I am sure if I watched the show now I would enjoy it but would be thinking 'what have you done to this show?!'

          I know everyone *loves* the Simpsons. But after about season 6 they started repeating themselves *A LOT*. This week we get to see how homer sucks even more, Bart does something 'shocking', Lisa gets a speech, and Marge goes unnnh.

          A show like south park decided to switch to topical humor. As after about season 6 they realized they were out of material. Their best episodes are ones where the kids act like kids but amp it up (ie the WoW episode).

          Or take a show like dukes of hazard. Basically a poor chase movie in TV form. There was only so many chase tropes out there... Which is why after 3-4 seasons they were done.

          Or something like the daily show. Where the idea was to make fun of the other news stations. Instead just ended up bashing on one group. Today we get to find out what some republican said and make fun of that for 15 mins. Yawn another opinion show. I get enough of that on all the other 'news' stations.

          Even Seinfeld realized 'hey I am just doing the same stuff over and over Im out'.

          Also like most shows they may do something in one episode that fits for that one episode. But now they have baggage. They have to drag that along forever. It becomes part of the mythos of the show. It becomes a tired old joke they bring out every few episodes for a cheap laugh. Take for example Married with children. Watch the first episode then watch the last episode. The change in style and characters is quite striking. In the first episode they were just lower middle class getting by and not batshit insane. By the last episode the wife would not get off the couch the boy was a social retard kelly was border line retarded and Al was making less than min wage (yet they still lived in a middle class house). Many shows they take some small quirk of the character and blow it out until it is no longer funny but pathetic.

          Or sometimes they decide to 'switch the formula'. My goto example for this is the John Larroquette show. The first season I dont think I have ever laughed that hard at a TV show. The second season though? Well there was a reason it was canceled. They tropped everyone up and ruined the formula. It could have lasted at least 4-5 more seasons. But they screwed it up.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Wednesday September 02 2015, @04:58PM

            by VLM (445) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @04:58PM (#231346)

            Or take a show like dukes of hazard. Basically a poor chase movie in TV form.

            Uhhhhhh when I was a kid when that was new, I was like "Daisy? Who? Eww girl cooties?" and then I became a teen and its all "Whoa thats the show with Daisy in it, oh and some cars or something?" Same deal with Hee Haw and Baywatch. Before the internet you only got to see girls at school or at the mall 80s style until the rentacops chased you out, so TV was pretty cool. This is probably some of the decline of modern TV. Why watch PG-ish cheesecake on TV when you can see far better on your internet connected smartphone? This requires TV to up its game, and given experiments during superbowl halftime shows indicate that showing more skin isn't likely to be successful...

            Watch the first episode then watch the last episode.

            Not necessarily disagreeing, but I'd add that some of these shows run so long that the characters are more ossified and static than the viewers. I mean, Bart from the Simpsons and I are kind of the same generation, well, maybe I could have baby sat him or been his older bro or uncle, but he was in his first season before I graduated from high school, and he's unchanged but I haven't been a high school kid in ... awhile. How I related to a TV cartoon boy is going to change a bit as I go from being "kinda his age" to "I could mathematically be his grandpa, theoretically". Yet Bart hasn't changed. Or for another example the daughter on Married w Children has gone from theoretically possible dating material for me (maybe a little outta my league?) to I don't let my daughter dress like that.

            The only TV I can think of that attempted to age actors with the show would be old rural CBS stuff from the 70s, like Waltons, Little House on the Prairie stuff like that for stay at home moms to watch on reruns. Not aware of anything popular and current that ages the actors.

          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:06PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:06PM (#231479)

            Or sometimes they decide to 'switch the formula'. My goto example for this is the John Larroquette show. The first season I dont think I have ever laughed that hard at a TV show. The second season though? Well there was a reason it was canceled. They tropped everyone up and ruined the formula. It could have lasted at least 4-5 more seasons. But they screwed it up.

            Studios do not change shows that are successful. If there is one defining characteristic of the entire industry it is risk-aversion. That's why there are so many copy-cats and sequels. They are the living manifestation of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The Larroquette show was changed because it was failing. It would not have lasted 4 more seasons. If it had not retooled it would have not even had a 2nd season, much less the 3rd and short 4th that it did get.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:49PM (#231391)

          You took it too personally. The bimbo is the butt of her fair share of jokes too - first she was a loser actress waiting tables and now she's a big pharma rep selling drugs she doesn't understand to doctors by looking pretty - and that 'ineptitude' is just a variation of what is in all sitcoms.

          The show wouldn't be nearly so popular if the majority of the audience couldn't identify with the characters - the show is the furthest thing from mean-spirited.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MrNemesis on Wednesday September 02 2015, @09:55AM

        by MrNemesis (1582) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @09:55AM (#231179)

        I best saw it described by the following quip:

        Big Bang Theory is stupid jokes about clever people. Arrested Development is clever jokes about stupid people.

        Not trying to hold up Arrested Development as the pinnacle of comedy (being a brit I am ethically obliged to say that mantle is taken by Fawlty Towers) but it's light years ahead of Big Bang Theory in terms of actual wit.

        --
        "To paraphrase Nietzsche, I have looked into the abyss and been sick in it."
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by niceholejohnson on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:52AM

    by niceholejohnson (4934) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:52AM (#231048)

    There's not enough reason to commit to shows on american television because they're highly prone to cancellation. Why should I commit to a show if the network won't? I've seen too many shows run on for a long time (gotta milk that cash cow until it dies, apparently) and then get cancelled before concluding.

    This damages the viewers' trust in future shows. Nobody wants to commit to anything because it's almost guaranteed to die instead of finish. What percentage of american television shows reach their conclusion? 1%? 3%? There's no reason to take the risk.

    Meanwhile, in the rest of the world...

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:02AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:02AM (#231052) Journal

      Meh!
      I'd rather watch a series that had a beginning and a pre Planned end, a pre-determined number of episodes. Then it Ends.
      Go out and find something new. Writers run dry after a while. They need to move on. So do you!

      Battle Star Galactica, (say what you will) at least came to an end, but that end should have been at the end of the second season.

      Wrap it up people, nobody wants to make a lifetime of any show. Shows should be canceled. You were not meant to have it accompany you on your life's journey.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:21AM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:21AM (#231060) Homepage

        Meh, I can kinda understand. Captain Kirk narrated the beginning of every episode of Star Trek: ToS with the assertion that it was a "five-year mission," but it lasted only 3 years.

        Star Trek: TNG, DS9, and Voyager all lasted 7 seasons. That's a good number to grow and explore as a series before going out with a bang, as all three series finales did.

        Enterprise sucked ass, but we all knew it would. Was that Sammy Hagar singing the title song? Seemed it was also a make-work program for some former franchise cast members:

        " A number of episodes of Enterprise were directed by Star Trek alumni:
        Star Trek: The Next Generation - star LeVar Burton directed nine episodes
        TNG and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - star Michael Dorn directed one episode
        Star Trek: Voyager - star Roxann Dawson directed ten episodes
        Voyager star Robert Duncan McNeill - directed four episodes"

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:40AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:40AM (#231078)

          Enterprise sucked ass, but we all knew it would. Was that Sammy Hagar singing the title song?

          from Memory Alpha:

          "Where My Heart Will Take Me" is the main title song of Star Trek: Enterprise. Originally titled Faith of the Heart, it was written by Diane Warren and originally performed by Rod Stewart for the 1998 movie Patch Adams. The version for Enterprise was performed by Russell Watson. It was the only Star Trek theme song besides the Original Series that was not completely an instrumental, orchestral piece.

          http://en.memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Where_My_Heart_Will_Take_Me [wikia.com]

          I wish they had kept as the title theme "Wherever You Will Go" by The Calling, which was used in promotional material.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wherever_You_Will_Go [wikipedia.org]

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:45AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:45AM (#231081)

          Three of those are widely acclaimed and decorated directors. LeVar Burton is a board member of the DGA, Robert Duncan McNeill has directed on the order of 100 projects and Dawson has a reasonable resume as well. If you count in Jonathan Frakes and others, Star Trek, as a series, created an astonishing number of highly regarded directors. However, I'll never count William Shatner on that list, regardless of anything else he does, I can never forgive him for the terrible job he did on The Final Frontier.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:54AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:54AM (#231090)

          "Star Trek Enterprise" was a holodeck program by Will Riker. It sucked ass because it was fiction-within-fiction like "Dixon Hill" or "Captain Proton"

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @04:52PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @04:52PM (#231342)

          Meh, I can kinda understand. Captain Kirk narrated the beginning of every episode of Star Trek: ToS with the assertion that it was a "five-year mission," but it lasted only 3 years.

          The other two years were only boring space travel and therefore were not made into shows. After all, you cannot expect something exciting to happen every week.

          Note also that episodes cover a larger time than the length of the episode.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:53AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:53AM (#231109)
        0) The OP was complaining about TV series being cancelled. You're talking about something else - TV series being planned with beginning, ending and predetermined number of episodes. Shows like that still get cancelled.

        1) The newer BSG had a really crappy ending that made little sense and was quite stupid in many ways. That end didn't look very well planned. Heck much of BSG didn't seem planned either so it's a pretty bad example.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:16AM (#231197)

          1) The newer BSG had a really crappy ending that made little sense and was quite stupid in many ways. That end didn't look very well planned.

          Oh bullshit.

          I had it pegged at the escape from New Caprica: "They'll find Earth and we're all Cylons, they'll find Earth and it's prehistory, or they'll find Earth and we've destroyed ourselves." I was right, and I built that up from watching the story progress.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by theluggage on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:13AM

        by theluggage (1797) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:13AM (#231196)

        I'd rather watch a series that had a beginning and a pre Planned end, a pre-determined number of episodes. Then it Ends.

        I don't thing the G.P. had a problem with that - its when you just get the beginning, then it gets cancelled.

        A major problem is the US model of 20+ episodes per season and a "success" threshold of at least 100 episodes is broken for stories with ongoing plots: its just too long to string out a single story. If a show wants to go hundreds of episodes, the "soap opera" format with multiple storylines that start and conclude independently is the way to go (if Game of Thrones wants to go that way they need to find some way of concluding subplots other than arbitrarily killing off protagonists). There's also the art of the end-of-season cliffhanger. It should really take into account that the show might not be back, and resolve the main plot-lines of the season: the "cliffhanger" should be the consequences of resolving those plots, not padding them out.

        Babylon 5 (whatever other faults it had) did the cliffhanger bit quite well with "nothing's the same any more" being the typical end-of-season state. It did nicely illustrate the problem of stretching a planned story over 100+ episodes (it was really limping at the end), though, and was at its best when two seasons got collapsed into one. I've actually just finished watching Breaking Bad and (while not evangelising it too much) that got several things right, too: shorter seasons, cliffhangers that resolved the season's plot while still leaving you desperate to know what happened next, and an ending (love it or hate it). There's always the option of a spinoff or prequel...

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by quacking duck on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:43PM

          by quacking duck (1395) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:43PM (#231255)

          Babylon 5 (whatever other faults it had) did the cliffhanger bit quite well with "nothing's the same any more" being the typical end-of-season state. It did nicely illustrate the problem of stretching a planned story over 100+ episodes (it was really limping at the end), though, and was at its best when two seasons got collapsed into one.

          To be fair, the plot was limping in much of season 5 precisely because the threat of cancellation forced them to compress and wrap up the major storylines in season 4, then when TNT picked them up they suddenly had to fill in the first half of the season with less exciting plotlines and filler episodes. It didn't help that they couldn't secure Claudia Christian (Ivanova) for the last season and had to cast a new character and spend time filling that backstory.

          B5's network(s) also had a terrible habit of holding the last 4 or 5 episodes of the season until the fall (in the US anyway; the UK usually got them early), so any suspense at the end of season finales (of which only season 1 and 3 had legit cliffhangers IMHO) were effectively wasted.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:08AM (#231055)

      It is extremely rare for a show to ever really 'finish.' Practically zero shows go into production with even the vaguest sense of an ending or even a middle. They make it up as they go along. The fact that shows get canceled before they can 'end' isn't a problem with the network committing, its a problem with story telling.

      My approach is simply to take it as it comes. Its nice when a show gets a full season, but I have no expectations beyond that. That's one of things great about netflix's approach to dropping an entire season at once - you are guaranteed to get the full season.

      My experience is in line with the article - there is a lot of crap, packed with filler and low quallity story telling just to pad out the episode count. Especially on, but not limited to, broadcast television - Extant, Falling Skies, The Last Ship, Stitchers, Z Nation, Helix (season 2). All shows that run/ran the treadmill with just the barest minimum of story in each episode. BTW, UnReal is excellent, one of the best new shows this season. For me, its right up there with Mr Robot and Humans. Not perfect, but still great.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:22AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:22AM (#231061)

        Good point, which is why I started watching British TV shows. The crap coming out of Hollywood is... well... shit. The last show produced in North America I liked was Fringe, and they screwed that up in the last season.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by blackhawk on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:34AM

          by blackhawk (5275) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:34AM (#231074)

          Humans, Luther, Dr Who (sometimes), Torchwood (sadly now over), Silent Witness, In The Flesh, Life on Mars (original), Orphan Black (UK + US), Sherlock, The Fall...heck, most of what I've watch lately has come from the UK. Not only do they generally make a much better show, with less pandering but they know when to finish up the series.

          Vikings has got me hooked too, more so than Game of Thrones these days. It just feels more relate-able and like there's less filler / people standing around in court rooms talking. Plus...Lagartha...

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:47AM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:47AM (#231083) Journal

            Even the Canadians make a better show.

            And then end them too.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:49AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:49AM (#231086)

              Those stargate shows went on forever...

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:59AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:59AM (#231092)

                Not anymore, unless you count Dark Matter as a stargate show.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:31PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:31PM (#231222)

                Those stargate shows went on forever...

                Except for SGU, the one with the most potential. :(

              • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:52PM

                by quacking duck (1395) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:52PM (#231258)

                Those stargate shows went on forever...

                The first series, SG1, tried wrapping up several times: Seasons 6 (kind of), 7 and especially 8. They just kept on getting renewed, and having to up the stakes higher and higher with more powerful enemies. Then in the 10th season when they actually planned the plot to extend to another season, they got cancelled, and had to wrap up that storyline in a TV movie.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:20AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:20AM (#231161)

            Ahhh! The Game of Thrones. I remember that well. Every morning!

            Three sisters. Two bathrooms.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MrNemesis on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:11AM

            by MrNemesis (1582) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:11AM (#231195)

            There's even a trope about it: British Brevity [tvtropes.org].

            Essentially, british shows frequently have only one person, a "show runner", behind them instead of the authored-by-committee nature of a lot of US shows. Likewise there's no real drive here for what I think you guys call syndication (indeed, the real drive here is selling something to you leftpondians and the number of episodes seems immaterial to that). As such, when a show gets commissioned it's typically already had the entire series written and if there's a second series pending that'll already be plotted out. There's little appetite for filler since there's no need to stretch each series out for any longer than the story merits and it would detract the writer from bringing in the bacon for the juicy bits.

            Incidentally if you haven't seen it already, please give The Shadow Line a whirl. It's very highly stylised and the dialogue won't be to everyone's taste but it's got a fantastically labyrinthine plot and Chiwetel Ejiofor (for my money one of the best actors alive) and manages to go wrap itself up in a neat little bow after seven episodes. Likewise Stave of Play and Utopia (the first series at any rate). Perhaps I just like conspiracy stories.

            I was pretty annoyed when I discovered Carnivale was canned after two series for its spirally production costs; was a great swooping kitchen sink about american culture and its links to the old world and one of the most texturally rich depictions of 30's depression that I've seen. It's scope was sadly too big and it was chopped off at the knees :(

            --
            "To paraphrase Nietzsche, I have looked into the abyss and been sick in it."
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @05:41PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @05:41PM (#231364)

              I wholeheartedly agree about Carnivale. I had fallen in love with that show and poof it was gone right when it was getting into the main plot. I was very disappointed and I keep hoping (against hope I know) that someone will pick it up again and run with it.

    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:32AM

      by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:32AM (#231072) Journal

      and then there is the ones that finished and shouldn't have: Lost comes to mind.

      We're dead... or angels, or something... or, well... make up something so we can end it, put it into disc form and try to make MOOLAH, LOTS AND LOTS MOOLAH, HAHAHA!!! THEY'LL EAT IT, SO F*CK THEM, THEY'RE STUPID ANYWAYS!!! HAHAHA!

      And please bring back Sherlock... it was quirky and fun. Stop doing movies and finish it, you guys... sheesh. I WANT SHERLOCK!

      (Yes, i know Sherlock is probably dead in the water like Torchwood... sigh).

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:21AM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:21AM (#231103) Journal

        On 2 July 2014, Sherlock was renewed for a fourth series. The three-episode series is scheduled to be filmed in early 2016, following a full-length Christmas 2015 special that went into production in January 2015.

        Sherlock [wikipedia.org] is far from dead. It's one of BBC's biggest successes. "The third series became the UK's most watched drama series since 2001."

        They just take a long time to make it, and Cumberbatch and Freeman's exploding careers probably push it back even more.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:49AM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:49AM (#231120)

          Wow, they're calling 3 episodes a "season" now? Damn. That's taking it to a whole new level of "waiting a whole year for another 5 episodes of Being Human."

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:19PM

          by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:19PM (#231214) Journal

          Thanks! :)

          I figured they would be too expensive now that they're 'SUPER STARS'!

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:20AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:20AM (#231199)

        Season 4 is coming at the start of next year. The promos [youtube.com] are out (you can find more there). Please forgive the music, it's that no-talent hobo Lorde murdering that song. I don't know what the hell it did to her, yet she killed it but good.

        There are a couple of frames in the promos that show stuff that didn't happen in previous series, so don't watch too closely.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:11AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:11AM (#231097)

      What's done? When Fonzi jumped the shark, had Happy Days reached its conclusion? When Buffy & crew were put under a spell that outed all the secrets (because the writers had twisted themselves in an unbreakable knot), was Buffy done? I'd say yes, but both shows ran on for seasons after that.

      It's over when the advertisers say it is.

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:36PM (#231225)

        It's over when the advertisers say it is.

        Exactly. Take Supernatural for example, it was originally written to end at season 5, yet here it is about to start season 10, because its popular. I'm expecting they'll eventually end up killing God (they already killed Death) and even that won't end the show.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @05:06PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @05:06PM (#231350)

        Well, that phenomenon is not restricted to TV series. After all, Douglas Adams also didn't plan for five hitch-hiker books; the third book marked a natural end of the story.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:28AM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:28AM (#231104) Homepage Journal

      "not enough reason to commit to shows"

      What does that even mean?

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:46AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:46AM (#231153) Journal

        "not enough reason to commit to shows"

        What does that even mean?

        Yes, I'm missing the meaning of "shows" as well.

        (HHOS this time. Personal opinion: what they are showing no longer worth the name).

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @05:11PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @05:11PM (#231354)

          Well, the meaning of "show" is that it is shown. The stuff clearly is shown, therefore the term "show" is appropriate. The term "entertainment" however might not be appropriate.

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:00PM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:00PM (#231398) Journal
            The more appropriate terms are "exposed" or "shamed".
            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:52AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:52AM (#231049) Journal

    I hear it all the time," says Lombardo. "People going, 'I can't commit to another show, and I don't have the time to emotionally commit to another show.'

    Gee, I think I found the problem right there.

    The concept of people having to "commit" to to a show. It used to be you could dial up an episode of Star Trek, or Bonanza, or Lassie, and if you missed next week, it didn't matter. These days, they want you to commit to an entire season.

    As far as the "emotionally" part, that seems a bit of a stretch if you ask me. I can't remember the last time I had a real emotional investment in a TV show.

    Most people have only so many hours they are willing to devote to TV, and ever increasing numbers have learned that the investment seldom pays off. The increasing load of advertisements makes it even harder to stick around for even a single episode, let alone an entire season.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:04AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:04AM (#231053)

      You are not qualified to comment on this subject because you are obviously not an ordinary person. Ordinary people are fully emotionally invested in cheating on their significant others and chronic backstabbing of friends, neighbors, and coworkers. This is how ordinary people live, and you are just not a part of their society.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by krishnoid on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:25AM

      by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:25AM (#231069)

      I have to suspect that this could be a cyclical thing. I may be missing a few generations here, but:

      • Long-running radio serials
      • followed by soap operas
      • replaced by lighter sitcoms and short-story-arc series
      • replaced by heavy, continuity-rich dramatic series
      • leading to media commitment fatigue
      • possibly producing a regression back towards more self-contained fare

      Considering that the dramatic arts are as old as humanity itself, I have to think that the detailed, long-story-arc form has shown up before, and that this situation has played out in the past, just in different media.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:49AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:49AM (#231155) Journal

      I can't remember the last time I had a real emotional investment in a TV show.

      I can. I even bought all the series of M.A.S.H. on DVD

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:34AM

      by VLM (445) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:34AM (#231200)

      The concept of people having to "commit" to to a show.

      You can make episodes higher quality and worth watching or try psychological tricks to get them to watch next week. You can guess which is cheaper.

      This can have VERY negative effects on viewer numbers. In the 90s I tried to break into B5 but couldn't get thru the impervious wall of not having seen previous episodes because every episode strictly relied on having seen the previous 10-20 episodes. I'm planning on trying again this fall, starting from the first episode. From what I've read its pretty shitty ultra soft sci fi, but if you watch it as if it were a thinly skinned fantasy, full of telepathy and sorcery and monsters and dungeons and pirate ships, then its not so distracting and the story can be seen, which is supposed to be a good story. Its a lot like Star Wars in that way, there was sort of a 70s-80s-90s thing about getting rid of sci fi and replacing it with Tolkien very thinly skinned with space ships.

      Something similar happened with "The Sopranos" I was endlessly propagandized that its the best thing since sliced bread, watched two episodes around episode 60, total WTF reaction, did the scales of justice thing where its going to take 60+ hours out of my life to figure this out from the start, eh, F it, it isn't worth it. Now if they made a hundred mobster episodes that stood on their own maybe I'd have watched more than 2 before WTFing it and dropping it.

      The situation in non fiction, documentaries, is kinda different. If the BBC "World at War" series stopped in the middle, it would have been really bad.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday September 02 2015, @04:21PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @04:21PM (#231323) Journal

        Babylon 5 seems standard now, because most shows follow a larger story arc. At the time, they were practically the only ones doing it. Most big SciFi shows were Star Trek or Star Trek spin-offs, and, as such, incredibly episodic with no connective tissue. The special effects were much better than Star Trek as well, reflected both in the ships and in the aliens. The mechanics of spaceflight were much closer to realistic, too--The human fighters would pivot and fire while travelling along a vector. They also wove in sub plots into the main story arc in such a way that they would conclude and new ones would spawn across several episodes.

        That said, it's far better to watch the entire thing in the box set than to try to pick up random episodes as it originally came out over broadcast television. I watched them all a couple years ago and they have stood the test of time pretty well.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday September 02 2015, @04:38PM

          by VLM (445) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @04:38PM (#231334)

          Yeah and I did see the Trek counter-reaction of DS9 and Voyager. They get picked on a lot, but were not really all that awful. Since Enterprise they don't get picked on as much, no longer the worst, etc. It'll be interesting seeing the cause so long after seeing the result.

          I didn't read Tolkien until long after I was playing RPGs and CRPGs and all the stuff that resulted from Tolkien so it was pretty weird reading. Wow his hobbits are just like the ones in that RPG I used to play, then kick myself for the nth time, you idiot he wrote them first.

          Another "fun" thing to do is take a cheezy action sequel series and watch them in reverse. Fast and Furious, for example. I intentionally watched those in reverse, was kinda cool. Its weird seeing a dude make a cameo appearance then seeing him as a main character in an earlier movie the next week.

          Reading (watching) the source long after the response is fun if you get a chance to try it.

          I'm planning on S1E1 straight thru to the end as advised in person by some folks familiar with the series and internet opinion seems to concur. I'm more or less looking forward to starting it, hoping for a rainy day soon.

          I watched a handful of "Breaking Bad" episodes until I got sick of it and I'm tempted to watch the whole series in reverse just to mess with my mind. Think of the suspense! Why'd he shoot that dude? Find out next week when he's finally introduced!

          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday September 02 2015, @04:52PM

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @04:52PM (#231341) Journal

            Ha, that's a novel approach. But it kind of does make me think that more than a few of us are trying to wring out the last drops of a dying form of entertainment. Me, I started to watch telenovelas to learn Spanish along with my kids who are in a dual language program. It is a good way to learn a language, because the vocabulary is limited to that of a 5th grader (as all soap operas are) so you hear the same words and idioms over and over. So it has educational value, but I can't honestly call it entertaining.

            A few years ago I would have predicted that gaming would fully step in to fill the void, but that too seems to be mining itself out to depletion as fast as passive viewing is.

            No idea what will come next. A boom in the Maker movement?

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:49PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:49PM (#231421) Journal

        For me, the Science Fiction aspects don't have to be "correct", they just have to be consistent.

        (The long flight down the trench in Star Wars, only to drop two missiles that immediately take a 90 degree turn and dive down a shaft on the Death Star was a real WTF moment for me. If the missiles could do that, why the run-up through the trench?)

        The crazy Fringe series, could be watched one episode at a time the first year, but if you came in on the second year you would be as lost as ever. Their sifi didn't matter if you watched it from the beginning. People can suspend disbelief about sifi just as easily as they can about real-fi.

        But AGAIN, they pushed it too many seasons, which required them to get weirder and weirder, such that it was impossible to join it a couple seasons in.

        (I liked the series, the acting was good, and characters were believable. But it too went 5 seasons, (100 episodes) became tedious, and should have ended in half that many).

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:52AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:52AM (#231050)

    Now shown 6 hours per day on most channels. Everything you can think of, I fell asleep while watching Comedy Central and woke up to a sex toys infomercial. That was...???

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:24AM (#231067)

      The most important question is: did you buy it?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:53AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:53AM (#231088)

        Would you buy something called "Big Bruce"? Sorry, but this guy is not an "In through the out door" kinda guy.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:30PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:30PM (#231220)
          You don't have to buy it for yourself...
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:07AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:07AM (#231054)

    Timeslots mean nothing to me. I see all my streaming video series on the Internet, where I enjoy the wide selection of series to choose from.

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:41AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:41AM (#231080)

      I do it by torrent. Download and watch later.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Daiv on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:16AM

    by Daiv (3940) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:16AM (#231057)

    Here's the interpretation you should take away from this:
    "We have lost all negotiating power since all these show creators can take their show so many other places. We can't resurrect old crap anymore for guaranteed income, but we're not risky enough to bet on new material. We even tried to lock as much content behind paywalls, but people just stop watching our stuff instead of paying us again to watch it any other way than when it airs. We actually have to do the job we've been claiming to do since cable was conceived. ...and it's HARD!"

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:00AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:00AM (#231157) Journal

      Look, whole industries outsourced to China/India and reaped profit but cutting the costs... maybe the networks should start considering at Bollywood/HK? Surely Bollywood is able to make the same level of crap, only much cheaper.

      (grin)

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:43PM (#231230)

      Sounds like capitalism is the reason there's never anything worth watching on tv. The goal is always profit, not writing compelling stories or entertaining viewers, so the results are very predictable.

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:22AM

    by looorg (578) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:22AM (#231062)

    It's somewhat interesting to note they complain about there is to much on TV and then with their next breath they admit that there is a huge challenge in finding original stories. They don't see the connect here? There is not an infinite amount of quality to go around if you have to push out content to umpteen channels around the clock - story, writing, acting, visually or whatever metric you like. Perhaps the audience doesn't want to watch the same story (or remake) again and again and again. So putting up clones, copies, sequels, prequels, spinoffs or whatnot wasn't the best idea they ever came up with in TV-land. Next year there will be another couple of channels on and more streaming/downloading/whatevertheycomeupwithnext and that needs content to. Quality will start slipping eventually.

    Then we have not even touched on the issue of how audiences watches TV anymore. The old viewing habit of a certain day in a certain time slot seems to erode. HBO, NETFLIX, AMAZON etc are putting nails into that coffin with releasing seasons the same day instead of dragging it out over months. Then there are all the indie and amateur shows on like youtube etc; some of those are quite entertaining. People adapt to the way they like to watch it - I'll admit that this weekend I watched 10 episodes of Narcos; it was fairly good and entertaining. That means there wasn't really time to watch much or anything else. I don't mind the shows, they can be entertaining or relaxing. I just don't want to be locked into to viewing it when they want me to view.

    Then there are all the non-TV forms of entertainment that are "stealing" their eyeballs. Let's not even go there, that path just seems filled with infinite amounts of competition.

    On the other hand are these not the people that talk about how important it is with diversity and many different views and culture and all that? Seriously. Can't have the cake, eat it and complain at the same time about the pieces getting smaller.

    http://old.tvrage.com/narcos [tvrage.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:32AM (#231073)

      On the other hand are these not the people that talk about how important it is with diversity and many different views and culture and all that? Seriously. Can't have the cake, eat it and complain at the same time about the pieces getting smaller.

      (a) The industry is not a monolith and (b) The pieces aren't shrinking because the monoculture is fracturing, the monoculture is fracturing because the pieces are shrinking and in response they are desperately seeking out heretofore unexploited audiences.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by jmorris on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:25AM

    by jmorris (4844) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @01:25AM (#231068)

    Really? We might have 400 series in the near future? On cable systems with almost that many channels. Am I the only one who was laughing while reading that load? Guess Amazon and B&N and every other bookseller was a bunch of friggin idiots with their publishing hundreds of new books a month model, hwo on Earth can you get that many authors to churn out that many books, edit them, promote them and expect the reading public to figure it out.

    Ok, you can't have hundreds of big budget productions, I get that. I do. But somebody show me the stone tablets where it was graven by G_d that every movie must have a fifty million dollar budget and TV show has to have a couple million plus per episode as the baseline? Obviously it doesn't exist and once we broke the three networks and then the three networks and a couple of cable channels model and anybody with a suddenly inexpensive HD camcorder and a copy of Adobe Premiere could produce a TV show... well they did. That is the new reality you guys in Hollywierd so suck it up and get used to it.

    There are thousands of people who can write screenplays worth seeing, thousands and thousands of aspiring actors who will work for reasonable rates. Just how many students graduate with degrees in these arts fields? Yup, they are usually 'that and a good attitude towards customer service will get ya hired at Starbucks' degrees but just maybe they will be employable now. Working in TV won't get you rich in a world where there are a thousand or more programs in production at any one time but if it pays the rent a lot of people will call it a win. And since the model doesn't work if viewers don't watch they win too. And if the revolution ends the Kardashians it is a win for humanity.

    • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:35PM

      by quacking duck (1395) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:35PM (#231271)

      The problem with comparing TV and books is that books are the creative efforts of usually 1 author and an editor or three, and no matter how bad the writing may be, the reader constructs the world visually and aurally in their own minds.

      With TV, you're looking at not just a writer and editor, but cast and crew, so costs are exponentially higher. And that's *per episode*. Worse, they do all the visual and audio for you, leaving little to imagination. This means that the best writing in the world can be handicapped by lousy presentation, and the bar for presentation has been set pretty high, even without fancy special effects.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:57AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:57AM (#231121)

    ftfy

  • (Score: 1) by Hyper on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:53AM

    by Hyper (1525) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:53AM (#231206)

    I live in Australia you buffoon. We barely get TV here!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 02 2015, @03:06PM (#231290)

      I'm sure Bruce, Bruce, Bruce and Bruce will put on some magical show for you as long as there are no poofters.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bradley13 on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:13PM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @06:13PM (#231378) Homepage Journal

    This discussion seems to be mostly US centric. I visited the US a few years ago with my kids. This was to clean up the affairs of a family member who died unexpectedly, and I was the only person who could legally handle it, and... Anyway, the kids wound up with two weeks where they watched a lot of American TV.

    Oh. My. God.

    If you live in the US, this has probably crept up on you gradually, and you probably have no idea how bad American TV has become compared to the rest of the world. First, piles of channels have no purpose except to separate suckers from their money. Religious programming with crying creeps begging for donations. Shopping programs advertising crap for nutty prices: "Buy this authentic faux diamond ring for only $29.99" (I kid you not, that was a real product).

    TV series. If you've done without them for a few years, you realize how utterly inane they are. We saw a couple of episodes of soaps that were supposed to be good (like BBT). Lousy acting, dumb jokes, no plot - huh? The ones that weren't trying to be comedies tended to be a bit better. Star Trek TNG was on, and that was ok.

    Beyond that, looking for "family friendly" programming was pretty hopeless. The kids channels ran 20 minutes of adverts per hour, no joke, I timed it. On top of that, most of the so-called programs were just extended adverts; where Sponge Bob left off and the adverts for Sponge Bob products began, well, it was sometimes hard to tell.

    There were a few decent shows. A couple of documentaries, a survival program, a couple of other things. Within the two weeks that we were there, those few shows all repeated numerous times.

    So...nope, as far as I could tell, there really wasn't much of anything on (American) TV. Pretty much a wasteland.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.