Thursday, July 05, 2007

Do We Really Have It That Good?

Rob Norman at Media Post states in this article:

Who can remember a single year of television that had programming to match “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Heroes,” “The Office,” “Ugly Betty,” “24,” “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Idol,” “Deal or No Deal,” “My Name is Earl” — to say nothing of many more — and the current HBO crop of “Entourage” and, my own favorite, (and that of my wives) “Big Love.” Better still let’s applaud the makers and the networks for making shows available free and on-demand on multiple platforms — and doing it with the breathtaking quality of the Move Networks player on

The winner by a street is the consumer, who gets all the benefits of self-scheduling and the devices and bandwidth with which to enjoy it. So far, at least, there are no new bills to pay, apart from those from the cell phone companies, who charge the most for the least-good user experience, and the TV manufacturers whose new devices are worth every single cent. The value of Sling Box and Apple TV remain to be seen, but represent yet further anything, anytime, anyplace options — so either they or the next one along will find a home and a value. In the same vein, we are beginning to see the advertising and revenue puzzles being solved, as well as quality driving audiences and formats creating relevant homes for brand owners. Winners without losers. How splendid.

Is it really the just the best of times? For viewers maybe, but when I look at that list of shows, I can't help but feel we may be heading into a creative downturn... and if you combine that with the challenges on the horizon for key creatives to make TV in Canada, it may also be the worst of times.


Tim Thurmeier said...

I have to admit. Out of that list, I watch five of those shows, and a couple not mentioned. As a viewer I can't ever remember so many TV shows that I enjoyed watching. As for creative downturn, maybe. What's sad is I don't watch any Canadian television shows. I think Nathan Fillion should ditch a possible role on Desperate housewives, and do a Canadian show.

Also, does anyone else wish Joss Whedon had a new TV series or three?

Marilyn said...

Wow Tim, my first thought when I read that list of shows was "it wasn't really a good year for television if there was nothing from Joss Whedon on the air."

So yes, I agree.

Diane Kristine said...

Is it really the just the best of times? For viewers maybe, but when I look at that list of shows, I can't help but feel we may be heading into a creative downturn

I'm fuzzy headed today and not sure what you mean, Will - it's the best times for viewers but not the industry? If so, how does that work - don't they go hand in hand? Or that you don't see a lot of quality on air right now, even if it's popular? Or that you're not optimistic about the coming season (but remember the buzz last year, and how many of those buzzed about shows tanked, and deserved to)?

Anyway, either way, I agree with the article, that we've got a wealth of choice. Even if it's not all to my taste, there's an incredible variety of quality shows and well-crafted guilty pleasures along with the usual dreck that'll never go away.

I'm getting more and more pessimistic about the state of Canadian TV, but I'd say the Americans are getting something right.

wcdixon said...

Diane: Not really sure what I meant to say exactly...and I had sand in my eyes.

There's been an amazing quantity of quality television over the past 6-8 years, not that there hasn't always been quality shows on the air, just not so many. But I feel that that style of story-telling (Sopranos; Six Feet Under; West Wing; Deadwood; The Wire; Rescue Me; etc.) has kinda run its course. And until the 'new' thingee appears, there will be a downturn.

And this whole 8 out 10 deal has me irked. You'll essentially have to be a Canadian in LA to get hired in any key creative role because its so easy to get landed immigracy status that the shows will be able to find directors or staff up more or less out of Hollywood.