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Archive for June 3rd, 2010|Daily archive page

Dramatic Reversal.

In Television on June 3, 2010 at 3:20 am

Everybody in media is trying to figure out where TV is going. How will we consume content?  On Hulu? On iPads? Intravenously? (Oh, to get a steady drip of Mad Men in my bloodstream… the euphoria…)

Those markets and models are in the midst of transition. However, one thing that has become clear within the medium itself is that with the combined ends of Lost (amid clever audience-specific Target ads), 24 (four “days” too late), and Law & Order (it’s rare to find a show that is older than all of your shirts), the network drama has changed. Those were the most culturally iconic, influential dramas left on the networks. Their collective finale presents an opportunity to discuss a shift in the paradigm: the era of the serial drama on broadcast television is over.

In the late Nineties and early Aughts, shows like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and Nip/Tuck co-existed in their natural habitats with the likes of West Wing, ER, and NYPD Blue. Now that the upstarts of original cable programming are highly evolved, there’s a schism.

Serial dramas, characterized by a narrative arc that plays out over the course of a season or over the entire series, have taken refuge among the cable stars. When did the last successful network serial drama that’s still on-air launch? In 2005, with Grey’s Anatomy?

Let’s face it; shows get a bit of a cache for being on high-end cable. It’s much cooler to say you’re watching True Blood tonight than the The Vampire Diaries. Read the rest of this entry »