I think Henry Blodget is on to something here. I don’t think it’ll happen soon, but I also I don’t think TV networks know how to adapt to prevent the problems newspapers had.
- It’s easy to vastly underestimate how many households still watch TV the traditional way, ads and all.
- It’s easy to underestimate the influence networks still have on even those of us who watch TV the new way. I’d have probably watched Cougartown had it been on NBC’s Thursday night lineup.
In time I think we will shift away from needing TV networks to program shows for us, but we’re not there yet, and when a network is doing its job well and putting shows of similar interest on the schedule together, I think we do benefit. My prediction is over time we’ll move much more to an auteur method of watching TV as the influence of showrunners continues to rise. Think “from the creators of Lost” but sub in, say, Joss Whedon, Dan Harmon , Tina Fey, David Chase, Alan Ball, etc. to suit your tastes. Running Wilde didn’t quite work but I was surprised that Mitchell Hurwitz and James Vallely (from the creators of Arrested Development) didn’t give it a bigger draw. Five years from now, maybe.