Will The Networks Get It Right?

I wrote about why good television shows are canceled earlier this month, commenting that the networks (meaning ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox) have got to change the paradigm they've been using to select which shows live and which die because it is so out of date and does not reflect present day viewing habits. The networks have been trying to force viewers to watch programs at times the networks choose, something that no longer works.

Now James Joyner adds his two cents worth, linking to a New York Times piece about upcoming changes in network programming in order to draw more “live” viewers and commenting about it and how, for him, it won't work.

I watch nothing “live” anymore. Indeed, I’m only vaguely aware of what networks air the shows I watch, much less the time slot in which they’re broadcast. Everything is either on my DVR or otherwise downloaded to watch at my convenience.

Increasingly, my wife and I don’t even bother watching new shows when they debut, preferring instead to catch them a season or two later on Netflix. It’s actually quite annoying, especially for serial dramas, to be at the mercy of the network’s scheduling vagaries. It’s much more enjoyable to watch the episodes back-to-back in a relative short period.

Deb, BeezleBub and I tend to rely heavily on the DVR, shifting our viewing to meet our needs and convenience. The number of shows we watch “live” has steadily been decreasing. About the only shows we watch live these days is the local news and certain sporting events, like the New England Patriots, as an example, and a few network and cable programs. All the rest are relegated to the DVR.

There are some shows we've also purchased on DVD, such as ABC's Lost and the former WB's (now the CW) Everwood. I have a feeling that this will become more of the norm for us as time passes, particularly if the networks keep trying to force us to watch when they tell us to watch.

We have better things to do with our lives than to be locked in to someone else's schedule.

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