Tuesday, November 29, 2005

REUNION, HOT PROPERTIES BITE DUST; AND RANTS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF TV

Well, here's a story crossing the wire that both Reunion (from Fox) and Hot Properties (ABC) have been cancelled. FOX isn't even going to order the back nine for Reunion, the show in which every year is an episode. So that series doesn't even make it to 2005, let alone 2006. Anyway, it's cancelled.

So that's ten shows cancelled according to the story, joining the junk pile most notable by the inclusion of Arrested Development, which is cancelled even though the network won't say the "C" word. Petitions are going right now to try and save the show. There is a chance that show could be picked up by another network or wind up on cable (FX and HBO have been mentioned). The people at Lost Remote seem to think cancellation is great for the show, that it can now be downloadable from the Internet and you can see it all you want, and the show will make a fortune and put network TV out of business.

Bee ess. Problem is that prime time TV still has a pull to it that the Internet can never hope to match. With TV, they throw shows on the air at you like there's no tomorrow and hope they'll be a big hit, while the Internet relies on people seeking out content through portals and these search engines. So TV has this big advantage because it seeks the viewers out, not the other way round, through its promos and the like.

So the Internet could never hope to be the main place to pull viewers in to watch regular series, not a mainstream series, anyway. Just by my own knowledge of how Hollywood works, you can bet Hollywood won't allow it to happen that way. They'll still put their best hopes for series up in network prime time before they'll put them anywhere else, because they know that's where the biggest audience is. Then they can put the show up for download after it airs, and once it becomes a big hit they can sell the whole series into worldwide syndication, and sell the reruns on DVD sets and then allow even more downloads to happen online. That way, Hollywood will make the show the biggest hit imaginable and make the absolute maximum of money.

Downloading TV shows won't end prime time as we know it, but it sure will end Blockbuster Video and these other places. That's who will get hit hardest. Blockbuster Video didn't replace TV either, so why should these broadband downloads replace it? Not going to happen, folks, this is more hype from the pro-Internet crowd, Bill Gates and crew, who still think they will eventually put TV totally out of business and control the entire world. Downloading shows for a price, like watching DVDs from Blockbuster, is not the same as watching live TV and flipping channels. This "grand design" where people would be required to pay to download all their TV shows, instead of watch them live on these networks, would destroy TV as we know it. It would ruin the experience of watching different channels and flipping between shows, and watching networks' promos and these commercials. That's why real TV fans (who are the vast majority of viewers) won't ever allow this scenario to happen. They'll just keep on watching their favorite shows on TV as usual and pay as little money as possible for it, and that will keep regular TV in business.

These shows hoping to rely on the Internet to sustain themselves are probably a niche product with cult followings, they won't be hit shows. Warner Bros. is going to put their TV reruns up on the Internet for download, but the shows they're offering were cancelled long ago. In related news, TRIO, which shows a lot of series that were so good that nobody watched and they got cancelled by network TV, is apparently going broadband-only. Why? Because nobody will watch this channel on cable. This all proves my point that broadband will serve as Home of the Flops, the Last Refuge. As I say, the Internet will be the secondary market, TV the primary market, for years to come.

In other news Simon Cowell has announced he will stay on American Idol after threatening to bolt the show. And Season Six of The Apprentice will be in Los Angeles! Why Los Angeles? To be closer to Hollywood? This is nonsense. Trump's headquarters is New York, and New York is Trump, and the Big Apple is the business mecca of the world anyway. Yet they want this next Trump Apprentice winner to make it in L.A., land of showbiz. Who knows the reason for this change of venue, but the fact that this move makes no sense isn't going to stop NBC.

AMAZING RACE SUCKS

By the way, The Amazing Race on CBS is REALLY bad this year. In fact I've given up on the show. Last week they kept that annoying, all-but-beaten Weaver family around by declaring that leg of the race to be a non-elimination round, again, when they should have just eliminated these idiots. (Which leads me to think the producers are rigging the show to keep them around. In any event, it looks really bad.) This week, these teams get to the finish line and Phil Keoghan declares this was not even the pit stop for the latest leg of the race. So the show is messing with the audience now--- and let's not even talk about how these teams aren't even seeing the world this season. THIS SHOW SUCKS, it's a DISGRACE. I hope Emmy voters take note of this travesty, this waste of a season.

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