It’s hard to be a fan of network television these days. As much as the executives and creators may try to deny it, Heroes has been abominable this season. Whatever magic they managed to pull together last year seems to have deserted them. Sure it was always junk food TV, but occasionally you’d taste something delicious in there. Now it’s stale. Sometime things that work in small batches aren’t so good when you’re trying to make them commercially.
The problem with most of the new geek chic shows this season, like Bionic Woman, Reapers, and Chuck, is that they have the marketing down, but the show itself fails to deliver. I’m sure there’s a thousand good reasons for that, but the truth of it is that the networks have always been shy about shows with a strong storyline, and the new series are suffering for it. Not that you can blame them really. After all, shows like Lost and Alias have shown that even if you can grab an audience for your evening action, sci-fi soap-opera, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to keep it.
There’s also that nasty hangover from almost a decade of gorging on cheap, crappy reality television. Did you really think you were going to be able to eat all that crap and not get fat?
Looming over all this is the fact that television hasn’t been the only game in town for a long time now. The ever expanding, ever more interesting, digital world means we can have what we want when we want it. Why settle for second best?
Advertisers have agreed to pay only for viewers who watch programs within 75 hours of their original airing.
Yeah, that’s a great deal for everybody. So the old guard is working hard to protect their turf, but appointment entertainment is a dangerous game in a world where everyone with a $100 to spare can have a video player in their pocket. So, while they try and hold onto the good old days,they’re missing out on many of the opportunities that the money and power of network media could bring to the online world. The networks can keep attempting to try and make things work like the good old days, but rearranging deck chairs on the titanic is not something an audience is going to show up to watch.