Thursday, January 18, 2007

Not Another NATPE Post

Since my arrival in blogdom I’ve been reading several blogs that deal with television, particularly Canadian television. My absolute favorite is Denis McGrath’s Dead Things On Sticks, which in turn put me on to The Legion of Decency and Uninflected Images Juxtaposed. All three are written by very smart writer people who know a hell of a lot more about television than I do.

This week they’re all talking about the big NATPE convention in Vegas. NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) is apparently the Detroit Auto Show of the television world, where deals are made, shows are bought and sold, and the powers-that-be discuss the future of their industry.

Right now they are all very, very afraid.

I could try to summarize what the issues are and what it all might mean for Canadian television, but I’d just be talking out of my ass. Go read McGrath and Dixon and Henshaw - they know whereof they speak.

I will simply offer this, as a lowly but frequent viewer: that the widespread use of technologies like TIVO, PPV and broadband delivery that have the network execs pissing their pants right now will ultimately be good for television as an art form, if not as a business. Why? Because viewers will no longer have to decide between watching this show OR that show. They won’t lose interest in a good show because it was pre-empted one week by some football game. They won’t avoid watching something they might like just because it’s on at the same time as ‘Desperate Housewives’.

They won’t have to miss Vince D'Onofrio on ‘Law & Order: CI’ every Tuesday because they have choir practise that night and there’s too much else on and they only have two VCRs!!

(ok, sorry, that’s just me)

The point is, all the scheduling issues that frequently kill quality shows in the cradle will become moot and it will just be about the show. Not when it’s on. Not what it’s up against. Just the show and how good it is.

Imagine that.

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