TV on a Diet

money-in-tvNo, I’m not going to talk about all the weight loss shows a la biggest losers but I am going to talk about the tightening waistline on prime time shows and their budgets. Sure, for the most part we don’t know what people in television are making unlike films which broadcast how much was shelled out by the studio practically as the byline title of big money pictures. Actors are ranked by how much they make then put on a list in some magazine beside the sexiest man on earth as determined by a bunch of gay men and single women in an office in New York. Hugh Jackman? really? What has he even done lately? It’s like saying, you know who was hot? Devon Sawa. Yeah him. Let’s pick him.

Anyway, it’s a rare day that we hear whos making what in television but we do hear ‘sorry, we couldn’t do that, budget cuts.’ from producers all the time recently. Do I believe them? Yes, of course. I’m not blind, I see what’s happening and it’s affecting everyone. The question is who’s dealing with it best and what exactly does it or should it mean to studios/programs?

We’ve got shows like Supernatural who have admitted to adding more heart-to-heart time as I call it, basically more scenes outside or inside the impala and fewer scenes kicking some cg evil ass. They also said they couldn’t afford Katie Cassidy which I think is just their nice way of saying they wanted someone new. I will give them that she actually died on the show so her body was no longer useful and they HAD to get someone new, they maybe just picked poorly. I still maintain that they didn’t hear her speak before they hired her. They couldn’t have. As far as the show goes you would never notice they were on a restraint. That’s a testament to the writing and the effects people on that show to pull off a show that keeps getting better even without any more money or even less. Heroes is complaining about cuts but maybe that has to do with their decreasing ratings and it’s effect on their advertising value.

The CW is busy putting their money into reality fashion shows. Reality TV is a plague that took over television in the past decade, which is hopefully on the way down but it’s easily a cheaper way to do TV, especially if it’s what’s getting the ratings. Survivor is still dominating the Thursday night ratings after what 8? 10 years? insane. Who’s still watching that crap?

So how to deal with it, last I checked I didn’t run a studio or a show or even know someone who was on a show unless you count stalking Greg Grunberg on Twitter as knowing. He’s creeped out by Mr Rogers but still watches him anyway. No lie. Dispite my vast experience I think the shows need to do just that, yeah scale back but scale back in content not quality.  Especially the shows that require more special effects I guess work on putting more plot behind actions.  If the question why was applied a little more often we could save ourselves a lot of stupid actions.  Perhaps this had a hand in why Eli Stone was canceled.  It’s production budget was undoubtedly bigger than any other show of it’s type.

TV should just hold in there.  People without jobs and people without money stay home and watch tv.  This swing could be a good thing for this industry if they concentrate on making themselves worthy of sitting down for.  The dipshit’s might just come running back.


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~ by doublebitch on November 29, 2008.

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