Future of Cable TV

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February 24th, 2014 at 8:10:46 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 47
Posts: 4140
Quote: AZDuffman
The universe that networks pick writers from seems very small, totally new ideas are needed.
As I understand it, Seinfeld was pitched as a "Never Painted Into A Corner" show. Previous sitcoms often running out of ideas for young reporters in a newsroom or young bookstore owners and customer encounters or even Hill Street Blues activities. One show in Canada, Street Legal, quit saying the writers have had the characters interact in every permutation and combination imaginable and now its over. Seinfeld by offering no "set" and no fully defined characters was without limitations.

Yet some very narrow shows proper such as one about three nerdy geeks and a normal broad. How many times can the normal girl auction off the opportunity for the guys to sniff her laundry lint?
February 24th, 2014 at 9:20:24 PM permalink
TheCesspit
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 23
Posts: 1929
The pressure to make 12 episodes (minimum) and to get into 100+ episode syndication seems to kill good ideas too early. Or too force half baked ideas to carry on far too long.

2 series and Christmas special. It's good formula.
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die.... it's called Life
February 24th, 2014 at 11:52:59 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 661
Posts: 7568
Quote: TheCesspit
2 series and Christmas special. It's good formula.


Parents complain about how children want to read the same story over and over again, or watch the same film dozens of times. But repetitive viewing is actually fairly common in adults.

Adults watch the same sitcoms dozens of times. People still watch Andy Griffith over and over. They watch episodes of TBBT repeatedly even though many people have seen all of them. Seinfeld has been off the air now for 16 years, and it still sells in syndication for a fortune.

You can't forget that aspect of television.
February 25th, 2014 at 12:32:50 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 47
Posts: 4140
Quote: Pacomartin

You can't forget that aspect of television.
You can't forget that aspect of residual revenues that will be owned by someone.
February 25th, 2014 at 1:35:06 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 661
Posts: 7568
Quote: Fleastiff
You can't forget that aspect of residual revenues that will be owned by someone.


Of course.
The freshman show, "VEGAS" was ranked #19 last year, and was cancelled by CBS. They thought they could do better.

The fourth year shows, "PARKS & RECREATION" (90 episodes) & "COMMUNITY" (84 episodes) were ranked #111 and #123 last year, and they both were renewed. Partly because they bring in a younger demographic, and partly because with another year they have a show with enough episodes to increase the value of syndication rights. They may both be renewed again because NBC has cancelled every other sitcom.

SIMPSONS was ranked #70, but the voice actors are well paid, and the show was renewed for two more years. The syndication deal with cable TV was signed for $1 billion.

February 25th, 2014 at 7:35:01 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 97
Posts: 6013
Quote: Fleastiff
As I understand it, Seinfeld was pitched as a "Never Painted Into A Corner" show. Previous sitcoms often running out of ideas for young reporters in a newsroom or young bookstore owners and customer encounters or even Hill Street Blues activities. One show in Canada, Street Legal, quit saying the writers have had the characters interact in every permutation and combination imaginable and now its over. Seinfeld by offering no "set" and no fully defined characters was without limitations.


One way Seinfeld kept fresh was to add new characters without adding characters, which most viewers hate. So all kinds of interactions could happen all over the place. Most of them stayed fresh. Possible exception was David Puddy who was very one-dimensional.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
February 25th, 2014 at 8:42:52 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 661
Posts: 7568
Quote: AZDuffman
One way Seinfeld kept fresh was to add new characters without adding characters


That's a good point. If you think about the number of people who built their resume with only a handful of guest appearances on the show, it is pretty amazing. Everyone remembers The Soup Nazi, Uncle Leo, and Dolores. Carol Ann Susi got a recurring voice role in The Big Bang Theory. John O'Hurley got a huge boost. And of course, Wayne Knight has had a fantastic career based on facial recognition as Jerry's arch-nemesis.

But even Newman was a guest in only 25% of the episodes, and everyone else was 15% or fewer.

Total Episodes=180
Wayne Knight ... Newman (45 episodes, 1992-1998)
Heidi Swedberg ... Susan Ross (28 episodes, 1992-1997)
Estelle Harris ... Estelle Constanza / ... (27 episodes, 1992-1998)
Jerry Stiller ... Frank Costanza (26 episodes, 1993-1998)
Liz Sheridan ... Helen / ... (21 episodes, 1990-1998)
John O'Hurley ... J. Peterman / ... (20 episodes, 1995-1998)
Barney Martin ... Morty / ... (20 episodes, 1991-1998)
Len Lesser ... Uncle Leo / ... (15 episodes, 1991-1998)
Deck McKenzie ... Angry Man / ... (13 episodes, 1991-1997)
Patrick Warburton ... David Puddy (10 episodes, 1995-1998)
Danny Woodburn ... Mickey / ... (7 episodes, 1994-1998)
Bryan Cranston ... Tim Whatley (5 episodes, 1994-1997)
Carol Ann Susi ... Carrie (2 episodes, 1992)
Susan Walters ... Dolores / ... (2 episodes, 1993-1996)
Larry Thomas ... Soup Nazi (2 episodes, 1995-1998)


The only guest star to appear in over half the episodes was the woman who played the cashier in Monk's diner. She only was given most of her spoken lines in season 8.

Ruth Cohen
February 26th, 2014 at 12:15:15 AM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 10362
I enjoy reruns because I know whats coming and
I know I'll be entertained. I don't have to think
or figure out whats happening. It's like a painting
on the wall, you know it, it's comfortable. Life
is like that a lot. I mostly want soothing, not
constant confrontation and murder mysteries.

That's why people in the old days read the same
favorite books over and over. You know whats
coming and you know you'll enjoy it. That's why
we eat the same food all the time, and keep the
same friends. Theirs comfort in routine.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
February 26th, 2014 at 9:09:01 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 661
Posts: 7568
‘Seinfeld’ Reruns Soak Up A Sponge-Worthy $3 Billion Since Cancellation .

Co-Creators Jerry Seinfeld And Larry David may soon be the first comedy billionaires.

The Simpsons may try and break Gunsmokes record 635 episodes. But analysts predict that Simpsons will eventually make more money than Seinfeld.

I've noticed that Netflix is reviving some old sitcoms that only lasted for 1 or 2 seasons. Particularly if they have an actor who is now doing well (like Ty Burrell in Modern Family). Unlike syndication, a series with very few episodes can do much better on Netflix.
March 5th, 2014 at 9:56:32 PM permalink
reno
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 52
Posts: 785
In the last 20 years, the median age of Americans has increased from 34 to 37. The median age of broadcast TV viewers has increased from 41 to 54. Not a three-year jump, but a 13-year jump.

Case in point: in the 1993-94 broadcast season, Home Improvement was the most-watched show, with a median viewer of 34. Today, it’s NCIS, with a median viewer who is 61.

I'm guessing these numbers will continue to climb higher. Whether they know it or not, the networks are in serious trouble.
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