Television ratings seem to have almost leveled off from their dive that began nearly a decade ago. It’s no big secret why anymore – Video games, cable television, the Internet, and more recently hulu.com, tv.com and various websites where you can watch your show on demand. However, we think the networks are just taking a breath of air and will resume their plunge shortly. The reason is simple: just about every medium today has evolved to appeal to niche groups, except network TV (especially the Big 3).
A determination to recreate a way, any way, to deliver the massive audiences of yesteryear are blinding these dinosaurs who continue to churn out homogeneous programming for a diverse society. Simultaneously, cable nets are investing in production and turning out cutting-edge series (Mad Men, Nip/Tuck, Top Chef, etc). The nets killed us with magazine shows, then wore out reality shows and crime dramas. And today, they’re recycling old hits that died for a reason the first time.