In the Mix

August 1, 2015

The New Fall Prime Time Formula

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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It’s 2015 and I’ve noticed something about TV… it’s become even more temporary. To be more specific, it’s become victim to our disposable society.

You will note, every Fall, the major networks introduce a roster of new show – sitcoms and night time dramas. You will also note that by the new year, 90% of them have been cancelled. And you’re not asking why because you already know why. Instant gratification.

If a show doesn’t debut to impossible numbers, it gets cancelled right away. Network execs don’t even give a show a chance to find an audience anymore. Even shows that have an audience get dumped if the audience falls off too much in consecutive weeks.

For example, ABC ran a show called Galavant. They introduced the show as a four week extravaganza. They cancelled it before it even started. It’s as if they don’t want to commit to something that could potentially fail. And what’s your bet that if Galavant had ratings through the roof, it would have suddenly been back for season 2 – though there was really no season 1… 🙂

Another example is the new Fox show Empire. The show was picked up for a second season after two episodes. Two episodes. Don’t get me wrong, the show is a beast, but, do we need to be so obvious Fox? Instant gratification…

It appears that all of TV has a gun to its head. And the outcome isn’t better quality – it’s the least common denominator. It’s more reality TV. It’s confirmation of the train wreck at which everyone needs to stop and look. Please don’t stop and look. Keep driving…

One solution to this problem could be broadening our horizons. Instead of paying the same people to create more shows like the one’s they’ve already created, how about expanding the reach for talent?

Shonda Rhimes is doing a great job advancing the discussion of pop culture and social consciousness, but, she doesn’t need another show. Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and previously Private Practice. Brava Shonda Rhimes, but, let’s give someone else a chance ABC.

Send ABC a nastygram. Tell them you want some fresh meat. Then stop looking at the train wreck… Keep driving…