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Here we go again…

April 27, 2009

It is that time again. We’re coming upon my least favorite season of the broadcasting year: Upfronts.

“But why would anyone hate upfronts?” you ask. “You get to find out all the new television shows that the networks will be showcasing in the fall.”

Unfortunately for me, it also all too often spells the official death of some of my favorite shows, and the introduction of new shows I may grow to love, which will then break my heart when they are inevitably canceled the following year. And it enrages me that in many cases, networks don’t have enough respect for their viewers to simply announce they will be canceling a show. Instead, the show’s absence from the network’s schedule is the glaring notification. It’s insulting.

And as I see some of the great shows that have only aired four or five episodes already being put on the bubble (Kings was moved to the death trap Saturday night slot for one week and now is being held until June to complete its showing during summer. WTF?), I can’t help wonder how someone could fix this broken system.

The other morning on Morning Joe on MSNBC, they were discussing how the newspaper industry is dying, something we’ve been hearing a lot about these days. But they also likened it to the death of network television. The dependence on advertisers has made the big networks a sinking ship as of late. So the rapid show cancellations seem only to be a symptom of this.

And I have to admit, it isn’t as often that I watch original programming on cable. I’m not sure why, but that is the truth. And yet, cable programming seems to have so much more freedom in their viewership numbers and allowing shows to gain an audience.

Maybe my resolution needs to be to watch more cable shows. So now how do I get the actors and writers I love to make that switch as well?

I wish I thought I would change my behavior. I wish I could boycott the networks. But I know myself. I know that even if I only get a season of a good television show, I will continue to try to find something that has a spark. I just wish anger and disappointment didn’t loom on the horizon as well.

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