Saturday, July 30, 2011

TV Wasteland: Selection Process Biased Against The Good Ones

"Graham of Evidence" Reality TV Sizzle Reel from Sovanna Mam on Vimeo.

A Show Promo for "Renaissance Coronor" Graham Hetrick : Too good for television?
Why is cable TV such a wasteland? The selection process is a major culprit. It is extremely biased against thoughtful programming.

Did you know that when a show creator is trying to sell the show to the producers he does not even get to show them a full pilot episode? Even the five minute "sizzle" piece above is far more time than producers today are normally willing to give a proposed program before they decide whether to pursue it or not. Two minutes is all they usually allow. Doesn't that explain a lot of what you see on TV? A deeply flawed and superficial selection process is biased against thoughtful programming. Some things take more than 120 seconds to show their value.

The irony is that the kind of people who would be attracted to a program like the one above are a demographic that advertisers crave to attract: Educated, hip people under 50 who likely have high incomes. Such types are abandoning television altogether these days. No wonder. The selection process is set up in such a way that it will, by formula, exclude just the sort of shows they would be interested in.

Take away its star-studded cast, and I wonder if the brilliant 30 Rock! would have even made it onto television.


Blogger Linton said...

I usually don't dig reality shows but that looks like it would be a keeper, with a tasteful approach to material that could easily be exploitive.

Network TV execs are clueless. I read about NBC President Robert Wright writing a letter in 2001 griping about HBO having an unfair advantage over his network because of their lack of restrictions on content. You can take the more explicit content out of an average HBO show and the quality of story telling would still be head and shoulders above most network TV shows. That is why A&E syndicated an edited version of The Sopranos.

8:13 PM, July 31, 2011  
Anonymous RockThisTown said...

I wonder how many networks would fold if cable TV (and I presume most satellite TV programming, too) wasn't "bundled" - i.e. you get no choice of channels you pay for. You pay a set fee for "X" number of channels, but if you don't watch half of them, you're basically paying half your bill for garbage (and by that I mean you don't use it and throw it away).
I'm sure it's too complicated & perhaps expensive, but it would sure be nice if consumers could pick the channels they wanted from a menu. Each customer would get & pay for ONLY the channels they wanted. I would even be willing to commit to paying for my choices for as long as a year (maybe 2) if I could do that. My guess is that many cable networks would fold if it were done this way.

8:48 PM, July 31, 2011  
Anonymous mark said...

The day is coming where online streaming will rule. The cable companies will have to unbundle or go the way of print news.

12:37 PM, August 01, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:07 AM, March 30, 2013  

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