Jan 28, 2008

The Disappearance of Reruns

Whatever happened to reruns?

It’s like we have to be bombarded by new episodes on television every week, and if we don’t get repeats, we don’t see our favorite shows.

Yes, I know shows are instantly repurposed on cable because that’s where the old media feels the money is. Of course, as the old media migrates to the new media, they’re placing reruns at your fingertips, either “on-demand” or on broadband channels. If you don’t have access to “on-demand” services or broadband access (myself included), you’re scat out of luck. The old media once proclaimed that content is king, which is why they went on a buying spree purchasing smaller and, in rare cases, larger libraries and studios.

Instead of Hanna-Barbera, Warner Bros., New Line, and Castle Rock, there is Time Warner. Instead of Greengrass, Disney, Capital Cities/ABC, Miramax, Saban, and PIXAR, there’s The Walt Disney Company. Instead of Jay Ward, Filmation, Rankin-Bass, Big Ideas, and UPA, there is Entertainment Rights. MGM is owned by Sony and a bunch of other investors. NBC Universal owns a lot of smaller studios and outlets as does CBS Paramount, Viacom, and News Corp. They own the content. They own the networks. They own the outlets where reruns could be aired. Since they control the property’s destinies, they also have the power to keep shows off the air.

They can decide when and if a particular show would be reran. Some shows will. A lot won’t. Those shows you’re likely going to have to pay for, whether it’s a DVD purchase, a download fee, or subscription fees to cable and broadband services. Even next year, if you want to watch regular non-cable television and don’t have access to cable or a digital television, you’re going to have to buy a digital converter box for every set in your house. However you want to watch your favorite shows, it’s going to cost you in the end, which is kind of sad.

The media is changing, but certain attitudes don’t have to change because of it. People actually like certain shows and would gladly watch them, even during off periods. “Out of sight, out of mind” is an adage that comes in handy this way. People might actually forget about those shows networks tried to get people to watch in the first place.

By the way, LOST returns this week. Remember that show?

Jan 9, 2008

The New Era

I think we're approaching some strange age in the coming months.

Over the next 24 months, everything we see and realize as the world will be gone, replaced with something exciting, confusing, and entertaining. Media as the world knows it will be a thing of the past. Television, as we, our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great grandparents knew it, is history in 2009, replaced by some digital device that'll look pretty and add more places for infomercials because network execs are idiots.

Well, they are.

98% of entertainment executives are clueless morons trying to find the next great fad rather than creating something that'll last longer than they do. They'll spend and spend, but 98% of what they'll make will end up being not worth making. The traditional studio system is on the outs because those in power are becoming greedy and stupid. And you know what? The producers have nobody to blame but themselves. And the people, their consumers, aren't even on their side anymore.

We've become an age of pod people, with our ears connected by white wires to a small device in our pockets. We're connected to music or something relatively resembling music and portable videos. Now, you can see amateur performers acting foolish on the go.

It's not a pessimistic era we're about to enter, but rather, a bright era. We have the capacity to entertain ourselves, whether it's creating videos, podcasts, blogs, or websites. Talent is flowing within all of us, but only a few dare to create. Tools are becoming cheaper and more availiable to all. I'm not saying anyone can make a broadcast-caliber series, but we're definitely getting close.

It's a new era. A new wave of consciousness is approaching.

Are you ready?

Jan 8, 2008

It's Garry's Show, Not Dexter

I'm writing about a sitcom that hasn't seen the light of day in almost two decades in the US for my first real post in 2008?


I noticed that everybody is reporting that Showtime's popular crime drama Dexter is coming to CBS's strike-ridden lineup (go Writers!) in February. Everybody that reported that are saying that Dexter will be the first premimum cable series to air on broadcast television.

And those people are wrong.

Although Dexter will be the first premium DRAMA series to air a complete season, the very first premimum cable series to air a complete season on broadcast television was It's Garry Shandling's Show. Like Dexter, the popular sitcom was an original production of Showtime. It premiered in 1986 on the cable network and made its broadcast debut on the young Fox network two years later, where the channel ran four of the five seasons of the series. It left the Sunday night lineup in 1990, just catching up to the Showtime run and right around the time The Simpsons became a stand-alone series.

Another thing that's wrong . . . people say that HBO couldn't bring any of their shows to broadcast television because Time Warner doesn't have a broadcast network. They actually have a half-interest in The CW along with CBS, who also owns Showtime. And all the major HBO shows are seen elsewhere (The Sopranos are on A&E, Sex and The City is on TBS, Six Feet Under is [was? I don't have cable anymore, so I can't tell] on Bravo, and The Wire is also on BET [the final season is currently on HBO even as we speak]; OZ is nowhere to be found).

Jan 1, 2008

Happy New Year

According to the currently used calendar in the Western world, it is now 2008.

Happy new year, my friends.

I'll be back after the Epiphany.