With all the good TV technology around, you’d think there’d be better TV content to watch. Somehow, all my favorite shows seem to get cancelled (Studio 60, Veronica Mars), and, unlike other people, I never even get close to filling up my DVR.
So I find it interesting that popular new shows are showing up outside the regular broadcast TV networks. According to Multichannel News, USA Network’s Starter Wife got good ratings in its first week. Meanwhile, the one show I watched this season that got renewed is an FX original, The Riches. (Season finale tonight)
It’s not surprising to see good content generated on cable networks, but until recently that trend really only manifested on premium channels like HBO. Are we seeing the slow but steady democratization of television? Everybody seems to think this will happen with Internet video, but production costs are still awfully high for anything approaching professional quality TV. Basic cable networks seem to be finding their niche. How long will it take for Web TV to do the same?
In my opinion, someone needs to revive a cult TV show on the Web in order to start driving Internet TV viewing and this whole world of convergence we’re fond of promoting in the industry. YouTube is great, but I don’t want to browse YouTube clips when I turn on the TV at night. Now, if Joss Whedon started up a Buffy spin-off online, I’d have my laptop (and possibly my media extender device) at the ready. Until then, I’m sticking with cable TV. And I bet a lot of other folks are too.