Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The New Television Season

I remember in years gone by eagerly awaiting the new TV season. One of the biggest issues each year for TV Guide was the fall preview issue. In fact some where in my house are many years worth of those issues. There was once upon a time an actual premier week in which most show would be launched. Now it may take several months before an entire network’s show are on the air. Also way back in the day there were only three networks.

I’d get the issue and read the descriptions of all the new shows. A friend would come over and we’d have dinner and the look over the issue. We’d talk about which shows we thought were good and then which shows we thought would make it (good did necessarily correlate to a show that would survive). Then we’d each pick the show we thought would get cancelled first. We’d also pick out which shows we thought would be really big hits.

We’ also review the time slots shows were in and what was matched against what. Which show would win the time slot. We’d also look at the counter programming one network would do against another network’s big night and if that would work. And back in the day Saturday night was actually night people watched TV and there was original programming on that night. I know that’s hard to imagine today.

Sometime we’d have disagreement over which show in a certain time slot would do better than another. One of those disagreements was when The Golden Girls first came on the scene in 1985. My friend didn’t think it was going to do all that well. It was up against a series with Robert Wagner in it. The Golden Girls beat it handily in the ratings and went on to become one of the most important comedy series on TV. (I still watch the reruns and still laugh out loud at the show.)

Then of course we would discuss the shows that just looked so stupid you had to wonder who came up with the ideas in the first place. Here’s a trip down memory lane; let’s see if you remember any of these TV gems (I picked years at random): Hawaiian Heat-1984; Our Family Honor-1985, The Wizard-1986, The Famous Teddy Z-1989, Bakersfield P.D.-1993, Mr. Rhodes-1997, Daddio-2000, My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss-2004, The Ex List-2008, Lone Star-2010.

I don’t buy the fall preview issue any more from TV Guide. I keep the one I get from my subscription to Entertainment Weekly. I have to say these days I rarely read it as attentively as I did similar preview issues in the past.

I’m not all that much interested in the shows that are on today. Part of it is the “fake” reality shows after awhile they all look exactly the same. And with the X Factor this year, is it really necessary to have another talent show on the air. I think part of the problem these days is with TV I have the attention span of a gnat. I’m constantly flipping from one show to another during the commercial breaks.

Of course the other reason could be is the shows just aren’t as good as they used to be or as good as I remember them to be. After all there were a lot of dogs in the list sited above. Guess the best thing to do is surf and see what strikes my fancy. You never know what you might run into.

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