It’s Sunday night, you flip through the 500-plus TV channels and get frustrated because “there’s nothing on.” We’ve all been there, right?
Truth is, there’s plenty on but it’s on and on and on again.
Lots of specialty channels replay the exact same episodes of shows on a four- or five-hour loop. So if you missed Three’s Company at 11 a.m., you can catch it again on the same channel at 4 p.m., 8 p.m., 11 p.m., 3 a.m. until the next new episode at 11 a.m. See how it works?
And have you noticed how many stations just replay old shows over and over? Have you looked at how many stations run Two and a Half Men or The Simpsons? I did a quick search of the 500 channels I have and Simpsons is on almost every hour of the day somewhere.
In having conversations with many people it seems the consensus is the same: they don’t make TV like they used to.
Primetime shows is where the TV networks put their bread and butter — that’s why it is called primetime. So when a station is airing reruns of shows in syndication (meaning other companies can buy the rights to air the show), it makes you wonder why they don’t spend money developing their own programming, instead they ride the coattails of another network’s success.
Though I guess I just answered the “why” question: they already know a show is a hit so reruns of it will be less of a gamble than the expense of making their own TV show.
Are you like me and favouring episodes you have already seen before? Are you shying away from all the new programming?
Being an entertainment reporter I have to watch some of the shows but now I have little patience. If a show doesn’t hook me within the first five minutes I delete it from my PVR and never watch it again. Before, I would at least watch the whole show to give it a chance. Now I am becoming the average judgemental TV viewer.
And it is our impatience and quick refusal to accept shows that gets the programs cancelled after a few airings if the ratings aren’t there. (Yes, it’s happened that a show is cancelled before its first episode even airs!)