Posts Tagged ‘television’

2070237174_c1e9eb2c84_mIn this extensive post, I try to redefine the relationships of networks, businesses, and artists in the television industry. Is there a better way for the creative artists of television to make money and distribute work? Technology is already shaking up how audience member interact with content, and I believe technology can help artists change the industry.

Are you ready for me to shake an entire industry? You best be. Read on, my friend.

(Photo credit: Flickr User John Edwards 2008 )


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“Hey! What’s going on, man?”

“Not much. Heading to class.”

“Oh yeah, what classes are you taking this semester?”

“Uh, well, explosions, stunts, and a class on how to make a tennis ball explode.”

“Whoa, I thought you were a science major…”

“I am..”

I’m surely not the only to notice the new trend on Discovery Channel: extreme shows. Now, these shows make for great TV. mythbusters-adam-jamie_1196814129The dorks are satisfied by the psuedo-science; the average person is thrilled by the explosions. The advertisers, oh dear, well they’re creaming their pants with the Discovery Channel’s growing viewership.

We all know it started with “Mythbusters.” A show that combined Hollywood engineering with the hosts’ thrillseeking attitude. Things are blown up, things are kinda learned.

The show is a fun break from the documentaries, Bear Grylls, and that show about how things are made…

The shows in theĀ  new schedule either look like “Mythbusters,” or the shows look like they belong on Fox Reality. “Destroyed in Seconds” comes to mind. And the new show about detonators aptly titled “Detonators.”

I’m all for fun science. Bill Nye was fun science. But I feel like Discovery Channel is dropping their freaking standards. Rather than catching viewers with explosions, Discovery Channel should be finding their next Planet Earth. Think big. The channel has more money than most museums.

The execs should cut the explosion shows. Keep Mythbusters. Smash Lab isn’t a bad addition (though the name might suggest otherwise.) Work on innovation and education. Mythbuster, Smash Lab, Man Vs. Wild, and One Way Out (honestly my new favorite show) will fund your high educational standards.

Otherwise, you might as just well add a Jerry Springer for scientists. “Bitch, I promise you that’s my stem cell!”

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A lot of good TV shows got canceled (Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money.) Not just any good shows. Shows with a fan base.

Why? Because we’re the worst customers.

And I don’t mean we’re not faithful to our product. I mean, we’re the worst in the sense that we don’t fund the show. Doesn’t that suck? Our demand for a show isn’t directly related to the success of the product.

An advertiser’s demand, on the other hand, is the only demand that matters.

Nielson ratings crunch numbers and statistics that are supposed to represent the whole viewing population, and then the advert men decide whether they want to purchase the product.

And that to me is absolutely crazy.

Hollywood has started to give TV stations exclusivity to movies over iTunes and Netflix. You can’t download it, but you can catch it on NBC… and that again takes the purchasing power out of our hands. Instead of hoping for good sales from the fans, the purchasing power is given to advertisers. UGH! I want to spend my money, but I’m being told to save it for Viagra and Coca-Cola.

As a potential up-and-comer, my goal will be to sell shows to producers that will make exclusivity contracts with companies like Hulu. Sure, the advertisers are still in the equation. But they don’t have the damn power. We do. A viewer decides whether they’ll add the show to their queue or not. They fuel a production, not Pepsi.

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