Does the Television industry need a “Steve Jobs”?
An interesting article at the Hollywood Reporter argues that the Television industry needs a Steve Jobs – like visionary and needs it soon. While Television has been adapting (slowly) to the changes in viewer behavior it’s not particularly “customer friendly”.
Writer Tim Goodman identifies areas where the television industry has trained customers to be wary of their own offerings: nothing scripted shown in Summer can be good; don’t get too involved with a new show because we might cancel it at any moment; launching so many new shows in the Fall divides attention; and why are seasons such uniform lengths?
Although, as an aside, the issue of uniform 23 episode seasons is an American issue. British Television, for example, tends to run shows when the writers have great ideas for them, not to arbitrarily fill a schedule and keep producing just because there’s an audience.
Ratings are falling, and the balance of where viewing is going is heading toward cable – at least for quality! Broadcast networks have virtually ceded quality drama to cable networks. Increasingly the big networks are left with sports and reality shows that can aggregate a big-enough audience. Meanwhile, others – like Netflix – are funding quality television outside the traditional distribution channels. While this is interesting, it’s really just a change of funding, rather than a true revolutions.
The industry does need one, or more, visionaries who can “think different” because continuing to think the same and expecting different outcomes has been suggested is the very definition of insanity.