Now, for many it depends on who you are, as well as what platform (broadcast, cable, syndication, and/or local) the show was on and its relation to other shows.
Few new hits really comes to mind this past season. Perhaps “The Blacklist” seemed a likely candidate from NBC. Before that, maybe ABC’s “Scandal.” New cable TV hits? AMC’s “Walking Dead” generates big numbers -- but it isn’t in the new category any longer.
Overall, cable hits are harder to figure out: Does one need to average 6 million viewers per original episode airing these days? Maybe it’s just 3 million.
Some might be moaning that one of cable’s key programming genres -- reality TV -- has been having a tough time of it, this from a recent THR story. For many networks who count on reality in a big way -- A&E, Bravo, TLC, E!, Oxygen, History, Discovery, OWN -- it has been tough going to make big immediate gains from new shows.
But looking overall we can see some of these long-time established cable TV networks have broader issues, like the general audience erosion that the broadcast networks have endured for a number of years.
Viewers may not be looking for the new reality show, the new comedy, or the new drama. They perhaps want something really new -- and that’s harder to come by.
Programmatic media buyers -- mostly in the digital space -- continue to look for audiences, not programming. And it doesn’t matter if hits are big or small -- you just have to find enough of your target customers. That, of course, continues to be a big problem: getting enough “scale.”
So with scale as a big hurdle, we continue to lapse back into the ease of finding that one big mass appeal form of TV entertainment viewers, or marketers, can glom onto.
To reiterate, this isn’t a task for leisure time. But we can hope -- because summer is here and we want the living to be easy.