This is an article I started in the Fall of 2011, but forgot to finish and post. Oops..
Lately it seems like there’s less and less good content to be had on cable. I’m sure most will agree with that sentiment, especially towards the end of the month. (ie: when the bill comes) This isn’t a rant against cable specifically. The same could be said of Satellite as well. Heck, even the selection on Netflix leaves something to be desired. It’s not a lack of creativity as I see it, but a management issue. Sure, we’re in a major recession and some of this is fallout from the economic realities of the day. I get that, but it’s not that simple. This summer was amazing in terms of movies. There was so much good content. So where are the good TV shows? If you’re into comedy, there’s certainly no shortage of that, but what about the rest?
Star Trek: Enterprise, Stargate Universe and AMC’s intelligence drama Rubicon are 3 of my favorites that were cancelled in recent seasons. Of those, Rubicon is the most difficult to explain. This was perhaps the most original new suspense thriller in some time. The fact that it was so well written and acted also makes one wonder why it was left on the cutting room floor. Unfortunately ratings are king and if the show doesn’t produce them in the number required by the network to justify the cost, the show is simply not going to make it.
Why are good TV shows cut? I believe that many of these shows are the victims of poor management. All too often, the people in charge of scheduling these shows don’t properly research the optimal viewing times for the show’s target audience. Other times a previously unknown star outshines their show. In either case programming managers need to be able to react quickly to put the show into a better performing timeslot.
In the case of Star Trek and Stargate, their most recent iterations were so different from what most fans had come to expect that many of them didn’t like the new versions. That’s acceptable and if a large enough number of the potential viewers don’t want it, there’s not a lot you can do.
So what can we do to improve the situation? The internet is one of the best things to happen to TV in a long time. Many shows are now available essentially a la-carte. Devices like Apple TV, Roku and even newer digital TVs make watching online content a breeze. If you only watch a few shows, it’s probably more cost effective to just pay for a broadband connection and watch just the shows you want. This is the way I intend to go as I just don’t see the value in a traditional cable plan any more.