The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Television needs creative sparks

Viewpoint by Gary collins/reporter

Normally, I would be excited about the new TV season, but the last five years or so have been a real letdown.

More reality  and remakes of ’80s and ’90s hits indicate a lack of creativity in the networks as they milk their most popular franchises dry.

CW began the new season with  remakes of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place. CBS gave us CSI, CSI New York, CSI Miami and repeats of Survivor during the week.

NBC made a remake of Hunter in 2003, only to cancel it after three episodes, then a pointless and dull remake of Knight Rider in 2008, before canceling it after one season.

Part of the appeal of the 1982 series was the futuristic technology, like the talking car. By the 21st century, it wasn’t a very exciting concept.

The broadcast networks are in a panic as more viewers go to cable.

Hey, Mr. Programming Man, here are three steps networks could take to keep viewers happy.

1) Find an audience.

Network TV needs to follow the example of cable networks and understand that niche programming is the new normal. Follow the example of TNT or FX and decide who your audience is. The entire family no longer gathers to  watch their favorite show together. 

2) Don’t cancel a show after one episode.

After months of promotions, ABC canceled the 2006 comedy Emily’s Reasons Why Not after one episode. Nothing is more frustrating to viewers more than a show disappearing after a few months or rescheduled to another day with no explanation. People schedule their lives around TV. Yes, it sounds pathetic, but if you’re a TV-aholic like I am, it makes some sense.

3) Don’t try to be cutting-edge.

With few exceptions like Homicide: Life on the Street, cutting-edge doesn’t work for network TV.

Don’t put on a show like The Shield, then edit out the edge. Few shows can produce cutting-edge without becoming trashy. CBS’s 1997 series Brooklyn South comes to mind. In an attempt to be cutting-edge, its premiere was 48 minutes of pointless violence.

If networks are looking for the next hit, look across the pond to the people who gave us American Idol, All in The Family, Sanford and Son, Three’s Company and The Office.

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