A New Media Paradigm. Part I

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

What puts me on this track is the recent announcement by NBC that they’re going to cut back on their programming from 22 hours of prime time a week to a Faux/CW like 17 by having Jay Leno cover 10 pm Monday to Friday.

Now not all my predictions come true, but I think this a horrible move, doomed to failure, and not just because I find Leno’s product inferior.

Back in the day I critically watched the Jay vs. Dave wars and Dave has at least the virtue of being funny and Leno not so much.  More than that, the original reason that The Tonight Show moved to Los Angeles was so that they could more easily book guests from the West Coast branch of the Film and Television industry.  No offense meant California (well maybe a little) but 99.99% of those people turn out to be vapid airheads who unscripted can’t put a complete sentence together and won’t talk about anything except their latest project and who they’re fucking, and that badly and incoherently.

Maybe it’s the price you pay for all the sunshine.

Not that David’s guests are that much better.  Intellectual rigor is not something you can expect from the media elite as a cursory perusal of Huffington Post will convince you.  Actors tend to be shallow self centered morons with no sense of shame, including News Actors (not really many reporters around any more).

And now we’re getting to the crux of the problem which is that the format is boring.  At least Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart cook, but most talk shows talk too much.  Who cares?  Jay, there’s a reason people go to sleep after the monologue and it’s not just because they’re old or have to get up in the morning.

Then there’s the repetitive nature of all of it.  Remember what happened to Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?  American Idol, Survivor, Deal or No Deal, CSI, Law and Order, they’re all the same all the time.  Nothing new ever happens.

They’ve just given up.

Even such a culture cannibalizing snooze fest as Happy Days seems like an innovative concept by comparison.  Instead of recycling nostalgia for 30 years ago we recycle it from last week.

My friends we are approaching peak TV.  Channel after channel is filled with stuff I’ve already seen or don’t want to watch in the first place.  And it’s a fundamental failure of the business model; they sell eyeballs and not only are they losing them by droves, but nobody is willing to pay for them anymore.

Their response is to downsize.  Cut the cost of production, worship efficiency, and stifle creativity.

This is a self reinforcing death spiral of deflation and depression.  If your product sucks make more of it cheaper, supply side entertainment.

That’s enough for now, but I expect I will revisit this subject.

18 comments

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  1. Big changes coming soon.

    • Edger on December 14, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    If TV blows itself up, the we won’t have to.

    But we’ll have to post more and better quality to take up the slack?

    • mishima on December 14, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    you should watch TV here its just awful and that’s being kind.

  2. Rachel and Martha. I hardly ever watch tv anymore. But when I want to relax with a distraction – I almost always tune in to the food channel. I’m not a cook, but for some reason I love it – especially Guy’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” What a hoot!!!

    On the other hand, all that might just be a testament to how bad the rest of tv is.

    • kj on December 14, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    has been canceled.  i will sorely miss Donald Sutherland playing “Tripp” Darling.  

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