The Future Of TV
Buried in an otherwise skippable story about primetime television is some bad news about serialized shows. ("Serialized" shows are the ones with the long story arcs that we like -- Mad Men, Sopranos, Gossip Girl, Lost, 24. "Procedurals" are shows where most of the logic is contained within a single episode -- Bones, Fringe, Law & Order. With some small comedy exceptions -- The Office, 30 Rock -- the rise of serials is the main reason the quality of television has improved over the past decade years.) The story speculates that a combination of DVR culture and re-runs make procedurals more desirable for networks "both because viewers may increasingly store episodes of serialized shows to watch them in 8-to-10 episode bursts, and because the shows have no repeat value at all." (One thing this overlooks is DVD sales, which I presume are much higher for serials. However, I wonder if the studios -- not networks -- might be getting the bulk of that money.) Only modestly related: Slate on The Future of Sports Television, which is about that user-controlled, multi-camera dream we were promised.