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Old 2008-03-25, 15:43   Link #21
Vexx
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Unfortunately, American television has reached the point where cost and eyeball count are the only thing important, even the pretense of quality has been dropped. Therefore, gameshows, infotainment, and pseudo-reality shows win everytime over quality.

I wasn't a fan of Jericho (thought it was too soap-opera like) but it clearly had ideas and production values. Seven million Neilson eyeball pairs watched it but that was a fail based on cost per eyeball. Unfortunately for me, it got splashed with a bit of Red Dawn rather than a real post-nuclear meltdown so it lost my interest.

For a while in the 80s, it was important WHICH eyeballs were watching (the ones that bought products?) -- but television has mostly lost the prize demographic (biggest wallets) to the Internet and other forms of entertainment. That leaves them the Walmart-consumer-idiots that drool over American Surgically Enhanced Model Big Brother Singathon and Idiots Can Win Game Shows Too.

Commercial-driven broadcast (and cable) tv seems to be dying in the US though it'll carry on as "bread and circus" drivel for a long while.

Sometimes my family, friends, and I will give a new show a chance -- and there are a few plums out there (House, Dexter, Monk) but 99% of our tv time is spent with PBS, BBC, selected movies, or anime. The rest of our entertainment time is spent with various forms of gaming or live events.

(I recently tried to give New Amsterdam a chance ... 400 year old detective, eh? But the writing was miserable and they really failed at making it compelling -- just another ensemble cop opera show)
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Old 2008-03-25, 23:33   Link #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
That leaves them the Walmart-consumer-idiots that drool over American Surgically Enhanced Model Big Brother Singathon and Idiots Can Win Game Shows Too.
My main problem with Reality TV is simply the fact that I tend to give less of a damn what happens happens to the people on the shows and they seem less realy to me then the characters in a lot of drama series. If that's the case then something has really gone horribly wrong in the whole process by which they make shows like Big Brother and Survivor. If I can predict more accurately how an episode is going to play out in Survivor then what is going to happen on the next House then there's also something screwy. It's also really really boring and formulaic. Since when did reality follow of a strict formula of meet, greet, ally, betray, boast, coast and fit into a character role.

With Deal or No Deal it's simply the fact that you don't have to do anything at all. I have no interest in watching somebody pick out suitcases for a straight hour. I'd sooner watch Jeopardy where people can challenge themselves, and for some of the often witty things contestants will say if they get a question wrong. There's not even really a game aspect to it. A Game implies that there is a chance of losing or failing and that there be some effort involved. With Deal or No Deal there are no real stakes. You don't have to beat out anybody else to keep the prize money, you don't have to outwit the writers as they try to trick you with trivia or word games, you don't really have to do anything at all. In a sense it's even worse than most reality TV Shows because at least most will throw a challenge or competition at some point and there is a game involved in them too. I really really hate Deal or No Deal and pray it doesn't become the standard for newer gameshows. I still remember sitting down to watch it with my parents once and annoying the hell out of them by asking them about the rules for about 15 minutes straight because I thought I was missing something because their explanation seemed to simple. Turns out it was.

The thing is that game shows have never been about seeing people win money for me. I could care less. I like to see people EARN it by outsmarting the game. When a show is entirely luck based then that element is gone and the show becomes worthless to me.

Anyway, I guess I should be grateful Jericho lasted this long. If it had been on Fox it would have been toast after the first few episodes. Fox is the only station I know that will cancel a series after only three episodes before it even has a chance to develop a cohesive plot and make its case to viewers. I guess this is why networks love not airing Drama or Comedy so much. You don't have to worry about such things as a series starting up it's plotline and introducing the characters before it can garner viewers via word of mouth. Reality TV Show #42442 is ready to go full viewership or bust the minute it hits the ground and results can be analyzed for what they are instantly. Should a reality TV show fail miserably it's also a cheap investment because the plug can be pulled and losses will still be minimal since labour costs are so low with them. It's the lowest risk format ever conceived arguably, but it's also arguably one of the least exciting.
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Old 2008-03-26, 00:10   Link #23
Irenicus
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Oh come on, Reality Shows are great. I remembered a funny radio clip from GTA San Andreas:

"What happens - when five bachelors welcome a little girl to their house!?"

I lol'd, then realized that I'd actually want to see that show for real.

More seriously though, here's a sad panda Jericho's got cancelled. I'm not its biggest fan (I don't watch American TV too often, and Vexx is right, it's a bit soap-operaish, and I kind of have a thing against soap operas...long story), but it's an interesting show with a story to tell and I'd love to see the plot plays out.

Fail, CBS, fail.
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Old 2008-03-26, 01:28   Link #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin_Sama View Post
My main problem with Reality TV is simply the fact that I tend to give less of a damn what happens happens to the people on the shows and they seem less realy to me then the characters in a lot of drama series. If that's the case then something has really gone horribly wrong in the whole process by which they make shows like Big Brother and Survivor. If I can predict more accurately how an episode is going to play out in Survivor then what is going to happen on the next House then there's also something screwy. It's also really really boring and formulaic. Since when did reality follow of a strict formula of meet, greet, ally, betray, boast, coast and fit into a character role.
Reality shows are anything but realistic. While the people who "star" in them may or may not be actors, the staff certainly uses an invisible hand to direct the course of the show. There are many testimonies from former cast members of these shows describing how they were told to say or do things for ratings reasons.

In a sense it reminds me of the movie Quiz Show, which is based on the true story of the early years of American television. The story is basically that the show started to "pick" winners ahead of time by bribing them offstage as part of a ratings gambit. The movie takes some creative license but this was common practice among many popular quiz shows in early television.

The ratings grab these days isn't so much about advertisers anymore, it's broken down into just keeping people watching. If a new show doesn't hook an audience almost immediately it is canned for something else. If the show is a hit then it's milked for everything it's got. Fox is probably the most notorious network for doing this but many other networks are guilty of crushing potentially great shows before their prime as well as over extending a shows welcome.

But hey, as long as millions tune in to see rigged contests and overly hyped formulaic shows it's all good. Writers strike? Reruns baby. No one will ever know the difference.
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Old 2008-03-26, 01:54   Link #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post

In a sense it reminds me of the movie Quiz Show, which is based on the true story of the early years of American television. The story is basically that the show started to "pick" winners ahead of time by bribing them offstage as part of a ratings gambit. The movie takes some creative license but this was common practice among many popular quiz shows in early television.
Yes I remember that movie and I believe it was primarily based off of the Twenty-One scandal. In that movie the contestants were picked as winners based off of their marketability and image, a lot like Reality TV seems to do. It also highlighted networks tendency to refuse to take any responsibility for there actions. It basically ended with the contestant who was a decent likeable guy who made a mistake taking all the responsibility and having his reputation as an up and coming college professor completely ruined and taken away from him. The networks saved face and got off scott free, just like they always seem to when they pull stunts like with Jericho, blaming it on poor ratings rather than them just completely mishandling the marketing of the show.
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Old 2008-03-26, 13:55   Link #26
Vexx
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If there's one thing that has been consistent over the decades - its the unmitigated stupidity of most network execs and the complete lack of accountability for their decisions. Pure inertia keeps the ball rolling spiked by the rare genius who appears every couple of decades or so.
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Old 2008-03-26, 14:11   Link #27
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ah how ive waited for a thread to say this

quality of tv in general (not everything obviously, but the aforementioned) has dropped from what i occasionaly see and generally hear.. and im not even that old lol.. all my time basically gets taken up on either movie channels, or espn/sky sports, well cos my parents force me to read the newspapers even though i insist i could watch the news instead lol. im no buff on statistics, but has this reflected a drop in viewership in a large way? i can imagine the use of the internet these days would, but has the.. repetetiveness ( i dont know if thats too harsh ) affected viewership?

i am a little clueless on most of this, i stopped watching tv when i was in the 7th grade.. due to unforseeable natural calamaties lol.. and most of my entertainment comes from the computer. so, can someone enlighten me on the intricacies of tv viewership?
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Old 2008-03-27, 12:45   Link #28
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Apparently CBS isn't as completely stupid as I initially thought and is trying to save some face. Negotiations with the Sci-Fi Channel to pick up Jericho are already underway and the Sci-Fi Channel has already expressed interest in the series. Things are starting to look up a bit for the series. Hopefully the talks end soon and we get an announcement that it will live on. This wouldn't be the first time Sci-Fi has picked up another networks show either, and apparently there are several other networks like TNT and HBO that might be interested. Please don't send it to The WB though, we don't need it turned into a teen drama.

Anyway, I'm going to watch some TV from the past right now in Roots. Why can't we get mini-series like Roots anymore?
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Old 2008-03-27, 20:16   Link #29
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FOX completely cancels Firefly, yet Jericho keeps getting hot potato'd? The hell.
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Old 2008-03-27, 23:59   Link #30
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Jericho never had a movie with a theatrical release, though
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Old 2008-03-28, 01:31   Link #31
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Reality shows are anything but realistic. While the people who "star" in them may or may not be actors, the staff certainly uses an invisible hand to direct the course of the show. There are many testimonies from former cast members of these shows describing how they were told to say or do things for ratings reasons.
Too true. I point my finger at every "The Bachelor" and pathetic dating show ever conceived for broadcast television. Also, half the time the people are idiots anyway, whether real or acted doesn't matter to me. I swear, half the time they are swearing so much I must hear a *beep* every other word due to censoring (thank god for that). In general, I find the people in those shows to be so shallow, I literally cannot imagine why someone would waste their time watching it. I don't see how it qualifies as "entertainment" at all. And I won't get into how I hate the mere existance of dating shows in the first place; I could rant for pages about how wrong, stupid, and exploitative they are.
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Old 2008-03-28, 03:21   Link #32
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Originally Posted by JubeiYamazaki View Post
FOX completely cancels Firefly, yet Jericho keeps getting hot potato'd? The hell.
Surviving on Fox is all but impossible. They are legendary for cancelling shows without even giving them a chance to find an audience. Lasting a season on Fox is something I consider a feat that says a show has made it. Look at the first episode of Family Guy after it came back. Peter basically goes on to list a string of shows that were cancelled by Fox in the time they were off the air, one of which is in fact Firefly.
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Old 2008-03-28, 07:44   Link #33
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I remember that episode, damn long list it was, some 30 or so off memory.

Thankfully I don't live in America and thusly not subject to the incredibly stupid whims of your network execs all that often, but it irks me no end when the few shows I do catch (thanks to the magic of the internets) end abruptly because of them, like Journeyman, Firefly and now Jericho.

Much hope for the SciFi channel though, excellent bunch there.
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Old 2008-03-28, 08:04   Link #34
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I will go ahead and say it.

The average American is a slow witted, short attentioned spanned, neanderthal who likes to watch shows that don't require high levels of brain power. So instead, they watch reality TV shows that use instant shock and awe moments to entertain themselves.

I am done.
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Old 2008-03-28, 09:13   Link #35
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atleast HERO is not yet cancelled

w8 is it cancelled???

but other than a few good realuty based TV series ill still ctick to anime hehehehe
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Old 2008-03-28, 16:51   Link #36
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Originally Posted by TigerII View Post
I will go ahead and say it.

The average American is a slow witted, short attentioned spanned, neanderthal who likes to watch shows that don't require high levels of brain power. So instead, they watch reality TV shows that use instant shock and awe moments to entertain themselves.

I am done.
Normally I don't care about insults to Americans but I find that unfair. Many countries have their own reality television shows and other "stupid" (to you and me) television shows. I think that the average modern [western] society-type person fits your description.
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Old 2008-03-29, 00:55   Link #37
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Normally I don't care about insults to Americans but I find that unfair. Many countries have their own reality television shows and other "stupid" (to you and me) television shows. I think that the average modern [western] society-type person fits your description.
ill extend that to most people who have lived comfortably for a few generations or so , western or not. decadence eventually will ALWAYS seep in.. well, like i said, i cant be sure of that, but thats just what i see around me.
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Old 2008-03-29, 01:43   Link #38
Irenicus
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Guys, guys, top it before I'll have to rain my Little Boy down on your Grand Parade.

Nostalgia doesn't get us anyway. If we are doing the cynics-comment-on-American/Westerner/Modern Person-nature thing, then let me introduce you to the fact that it has been true in every goddamn society since time immemorial. The peasants of Reformation Europe, the citizens of Ancient Athens, the villagers in Tang-Era Sichuan, the modern Afghan, and I'll bet the residents of Tenochtitlan are all equally "slow witted, short attentioned spanned, neanderthal[s] who [like] to watch shows that don't require high levels of brain power," thankyouverymuch -- public executions were, after all, quite popular back in the day. Now before we indulge in a celebration of our obviously superior tastes before the unwashed masses of the Modern West, why don't we take a minute of silence to mourn the loss of Jericho the show instead?
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