Golly, there's just too much TV....

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by phrelin, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    In the late 1950's there were three television networks providing about 50 scripted shows to a potential market of about 100 million Americans. Apparently according to this Hollywood Reporter article, "the number of scripted programs on broadcast networks, basic and pay cable networks and OTT services totaled 409 for 2015" available via (too many to count) broadcast networks, basic and pay cable, and OTT services to a potential market of over 300 million Americans. (These numbers exclude reality TV programming, made-for-TV movies, specials, news, sports, or daytime or children’s programming.)

    As explained in that article and this Deadline Hollywood article "FX continues to beat the too-much-TV drum to a mostly receptive audience of Reporters Who Cover Television." The article continued:

    Of course, TV critics are overwhelmed. I have to acknowledge that of the sixteen shows listed in critic Tim Goodman's Best Network Shows of 2015 I only watch five. Those are only broadcast network shows.

    What I find amusing about this is that the proponent of this "too many" point of view works for FX which recently spun off a new cable network FXX. If I had a "too many" viewpoint, I think it would be that there are too many "basic" cable channels. In fact, if we wanted to make a point, three TV channels in 1960 was pretty much it for 100 million folks. Today perhaps 9 or 10 would be fine. The nice folks at Fox could have ...Fox... no FX and no Landgraf to talk out his posterior.

    Sarcasm aside, truth would help. Landgraf's company FX Productions is a production company for "Wayward Pines." Consider the truth as listed on IMDb:

    Distributors
    • Fox Network (2015) (USA) (TV)
    • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Japan (2015) (Japan) (DVD)
    • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (2015-) (Germany) (DVD) (and Blu-ray)
    • FOX (2015) (Netherlands) (TV)
    • Fox (2015) (Finland) (TV)
    • Fox (2015) (UK) (TV)
    • Fox (2015) (Greece) (TV)
    • Fox (2015) (Hungary) (TV)
    • Fox (2015) (Japan) (TV)
    In other words, this idiot is distributing his TV shows to the 7.3 billion folks around the world. That's 73 times the number of people who could watch American produced shows in 1960. Really, 73 x 50 shows = 3,650 shows, compared to 409. Somehow I find it hard to believe anyone buys Landgraf's statistical claptrap, but apparently they do. Why does it bother me that it comes from a company owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp?
     
  2. Supramom2000

    Supramom2000 In Loving Memory of Onyx-2/23/09

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    I also only watch 5 of them. Gave up on Gotham this year or it would be 6.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  3. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    And I turned mine off almost a year ago because there was simply nothing of interest.
     
  4. PrinceLH

    PrinceLH New Member

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    That's the problem.....so much TV and very little worth watching. People have a much shorter attention span and there's competition from gaming and the internet. It's why it perplexes me, that Directv is continually raising prices. Soon enough, people will either cut down their programming choices, or cut the cord for good. Directv is starting to walk a very tight rope in my house. Too bad that we didn't have a la carte and let the uninteresting channels die, or take a cut in programming revenue.
     
  5. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    Nine
     
  6. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    DIRECTV is walking the tightrope for many people and they know it. They've been fighting the channel providers who've demanded 8-20% annual increases for years, knowing that customers will only pony up 4 to 5% increases. At some point, that becomes unsustainable. Yet the channels keep demanding more. Soon, in my opinion, they won't get it.

    The problem with ala carte is that channels who only get a penny per subscriber today will have to charge a $1 per subscriber or more, just to stay in business. Channels that charge $6 may have to go to $36, according to some analysis.

    DIRECTV has done what they can to reduce their internal costs--soon the studios will be forced to as well. The technologies are almost there--they will either adopt them or be replaced by youtubers who figured out how to get production quality at youtube pricing. :)

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  7. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    There does seem to be some green apples to red delicious comparisons going on by Landgraf. How many scripted shows were there worldwide in 1950s? And viewers worldwide?

    Or, to keep things localized to the North America, how many viewers/scripted shows (I think I'd actually prefer produced hours rather than scripted shows as some are 1/2 hour, some an hour, and then the whole live/reality/unscripted content) are there now and then.

    Also, we need to know watched hours in the 1950s vs. now. Does the average family watch more or less than then?

    Yet I do get his point--there are more options than before and those options seem to have increased faster than the number of viewer hours. Then again, the market will sustain thems who figure out how to make it good enough and inexpensive enough to be profitable enough. :)

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  8. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    Back when I was a kid we played outdoors and step-dad tied up the tv with sports until mom wanted to watch MASH.

    The only chance I got to watrch tv was in the morning or after everyone went to bed.


    I think I am over compensating now from the denial of service when I was young.

    I won't post my huge list of series, but these are the only channels they are on.

    ABC HD AMC HD AUDHD BBCAHD CBS HD CNeHD Comedy Central HD DHC Discovery HD Fox HD FX HD GSN HBO HD HISTHD IFCHD LIFEHD MAXHD NBC HD NGCHD SCIHD Showtime HD SpikeHD STZeHD SyFy HD The CW TNTHD USAHD WGNHD
     
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  9. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Phrelin's original post reminded me of a Charlie Brown Christmas special a week or two ago, about the episode itself. The host made it sound like it was a big surprise that as many watched it as actually did. It was 1965, there still weren't a whole lot of channels.
     
  10. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    ^^ Not to mention that back then those types of programs were an event of sorts. The family gathered around to watch.

    Now, it's just a pastime in the background while doing other things.
     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I watched three of the 15 and have seen an episode or two of two more.
    There is certainly too much TV to watch it all.

    Then again, I'd have more time for good TV if I didn't watch any of the worst 15 shows on TV. :)
     
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  12. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Of the list of 16 favorites by the TV critic at The Hollywood Reporter, I watch 4. None of the others are interesting to me. The good news is there are enough time slots that he can have his list and I can have mine. :)

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  13. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    I am lost. I have clicked on the OP's links and don't see this list of 16?
     
  14. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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  15. Fish_Stick

    Fish_Stick Member

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    Used to watch 2, now 0. TV content is just terrible now.
     
  16. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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  17. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    I am teetering at 5.
     
  18. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Au contrare, mon ami. I believe some of the best programming
    ever is on TV now and yes, I'll acknowledge, some of the worst.

    Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.
     
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  19. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Sorry, phre, I love ya, but I gotta side with Landgraf on this one. I think the aggressive "nodding in the hall" after his comment supports that those in the industry agree that he has a valid point, even if this might not have been the most useful comment he could make in service of his industry. Just because what he said is ironic does not make it any less the truth. Landgraf's success at FX, including bringing us ground-breaking fare like The Shield and Fargo, and his repeat strategies, short season approach, and disregard for time-slot lengths, is all pretty visionary, so I don't even need to mention that he is as well-respected and successful as a net honcho as is anyone south of Les Mooves.

    Not only that, he's right. The numbers support it. 409 new shows, each with multiple episodes. Cable networks (outside of linear TV networks, which do nearly twice that many) settle on about 10-12 core shows. The big 5 debuted something like 35 new ones just this fall. We subscribe to packages with 250 channels, and end up watching somewhere around 7 of them. You would have to have ~40 favorite networks and be watching all of their top shows to keep up, not including reality, non-scripted, sports, movies, news, etc. Watch a newly-debuting show every day of the year, in-between subsequent eps of all the shows you have already started, and fall way, way behind. I've got 8 TB of storage, and I'm dumping stuff left and right. Good stuff.

    Admittedly, "We got a problem", is not "We got an answer". What he doesn't have (nor does anyone) is a way to get us to consume more than we can eat. "Winning a pie-eating contest every day" is exactly right. And if I go to a smorgasbord with 10 great dishes, I might sample every one of them. If I go to one with a hundred great dishes, I might get to sample 10 percent of them. The cream rises to the top, eventually, and that is the nature of competition. More content means more competition, which makes his job harder, not easier. Sure there is more crap now. But the percentage of non-crap is probably even higher, and even if it wasn't, there are a zillion great TV shows to pick and choose from, and TV gets better, generally speaking, all the time. Is that a problem? If so, that's what we call a "good problem". Its really only a problem for the Jon Ladgrafs of this world, who are trying to get it all in front of us. Hence, FXX, FXM, and every other channel he comes up with. FX itself was created as a result of FOX not being able to contain all the content they want to bring us, and that was back when the problem was small. Only 200 new shows a year. He's doing his job, whether we appreciate that or not.

    So here's what I don't get, which is how anyone could conflate his statement, "there is too much television", meaning there is to much content for them to wrangle and get sampled by us without loosing some good stuff in the crush, with the idea that there are "too many TV outlets". He never said that, or anything close to that. You are way too smart and considerate to not be able to hold these two similar but different concepts in your mind at the same time. It could not be construed even in the wildest of theories that it might be hypocritical to say what Jon said and then for him to go make more infrastructure to bring us all of this surfeit of content. On the contrary, that is exactly what we should expect, exactly what we should demand of Jon Landgraf. Too many shows, I'll just create FXX, and give more folks more access to more content. Case closed. I would consider Wikipedia if I were stlll a little fuzzy on the subject of what is hypocrisy and what isn't, except that I'm not.

    "Too much television" and "Too many TV channels" are not in any way the same thing. They. Are. Two. Very. Different. Things.

    So your point completely eludes me. Jon Landgraf is doing his job and doing it well, and there is no disconnect between how he does his job and the fact that FX/FOX/FXX is expanding to serve us all of this new cornucopia of content it is being deluged with. I don't know Jon Landgraf and I could not pick him out of a lineup if my life depended on it. But tell us all of the scary accomplishments that you've had that makes Jon Landgraf look like such an idiot to you by comparison. We'll wait right here.

    And I would never defend Rupert Murdoch, because what I really know about him (although I met him and the former president of ABC Preston Padden in 1998) could not fill a thimble. I didn't throw that pie, either. Did you? My best guess is that most folks probably know even less, even though they might seem to have an opinion.
     
  20. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    'losing'
     

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