How does US TV survive?

You wonder how the US TV industry survives.

In the US, it used to be just the major network with TV shows. Then came the pay and specialty channels.

Now the main US networks are cranking out the episodes before the holidays, and in some cases take a couple of months of before resuming in Wednesday. Some fill in the gap with short run seasons [6-8 episodes].

We also have Netflix and others who have their own series. Even Amazon has gone into the game competing against Netflix.

It is no wonder that from about the 2009 season until now, the number of series that are out has doubled to a little over 400 series.

[Unsure how they calculate the number of series shown. Do they include just those shown in the US? They didn’t say.]

And of course if a series in the US had bad ratings to start it is dropped.  I’ve even read of a series that was dropped even before filming started. [I pity the people who reserved time in their schedule to appear only to have time off as that series is canceled.]

Of course with the competition out there now between the networks, pay channels, specialty channels, streaming, etc. Let alone competing against those who will wait until the series comes out on DVD or Blu-ray. And let us not forget the illegal [mostly] downloading of shows off the Internet [which isn’t part of any ratings].

So it is not surprising that 2016 begins with a series that started this week – many I don’t recognize. The major networks have few casualties this year – which is surprising. I guess it is because of the costs associated with starting a new show.

Meanwhile some popular [and some not so popular] series are ending for various reasons. Costs, low ratings, high ratings but wanted to go out on a “high”, good rating but not that good, etc.

[Think of why did Breaking Bad end what some would call prematurely. On the other hand it was time for M*A*S*H to end it.]

In any case, with so much competition, ratings have dropped quite a bit over the years. A few shows that should have been canceled are barely hanging in.

Something like CSI:Cyber had a decent short first season, but the ratings for its first full season after about a dozen episodes call for its cancelation. And yet CBS is keeping it alive [maybe nothing to replace it].

Of course there was something like Hill street blues which started out [I think] on a Saturday night and got lucky it somehow survived the first couple of seasons before the ratings went up. Of course NBC then [like now] wasn’t doing well.

Even M*A*S*H was almost canceled after the first season because of ratings [and maybe a comedy about war] but someone got smart and let the reruns show in the summer time. By the time the second season began, it was a ratings hit.


About ebraiter
computer guy

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