Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is there really any creativity in network television?

Have you really paid attention to what's airing on network television these days? The hottest new show is NCIS: LA. In the show a group of government-backed investigators save the day against terrorists or other baddies, and the show has its fair share of humor, action and good-looking lead actors. Sound familiar? Yep, it's the same formula as the original NCIS. Both shows air on CBS.

Over on FOX, you can catch Melrose Place and 90210. Both are re-makes of old FOX hits from the 1990's. Dancing With the Stars? Sure, we got that too--So You Think You Can Dance is a knock-off of ABC's popular dance reality program which, interestingly, is seeing much lower ratings this season. And, one could make the argument that Flash Forward on ABC is a sister to Lost given the mystery storyline and construct of the show.

Even the Jay Leno experiment shows a lack of creativity--it's NBC's way of trying to protect the 10 p.m. ET slot with programming which is less risky and less expensive to produce. Too bad it's caused that network to lose that time slot almost every night. The network, though, is painting a happy picture saying it's what they expected in the way of audience delivery from the show...and the less costly Leno show means lost viewers aren't as big an impact to NBC.

Want further proof? Southland, on NBC, was cancelled rather abruptly. It was different, it was gritty, and it was unique. That's not a formula which is currently working on the prime time networks.

The bottom line is--thank goodness for cable alternatives who are willing to take a chance on programming such as Mad Men (AMC) and Monk (USA.)

No comments:

Post a Comment