Entertaining Returns: Not Losing My Religion Over It

R.E.M. is breaking up the act, according to a press announcement.

So I'll wait for the 41st anniversary of the band getting back together. (What -- they mean it? They are never going to play again together? Naw.) I'm sure it will be televised on the new Google TV-music holographic service that will hit my iPad 14 by then.

Everything comes back. The Who said they were going to retire. They came back. The Police broke up. They came back -- for a concert tour anyway.

Are these just entertainment marketing tricks? I hope so. I hear Elvis is coming back. (You see, in TV land nothing is never really dead. I see "Charlie's Angels" is around. I saw "Knight Rider" a couple of years ago. HBO's "Entourage" is already talking movie.)

Entertainment revivals are nothing new. As a younger man, I use to think about artistic integrity. But that's crap. It's about just more work -- good, bad, or indifferent. Why shouldn't good stuff try and come back, even if it is a failure or lame? Remembering things are they were? That's not reality. Entertainment returners really want stuff to work it out. It is not always about the money.



This week Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul came back with "X-Factor," posting an un-"American Idol"-like 4.4 rating among 18-49 viewers and some 12.5 million viewers overall. Cowell believed the show should be getting 20 million viewers. So Cowell under-delivered to the public by some 30%. Advertisers? That audience under-delivery wasn't as bad -- maybe 10%.

The key isn't always "winning." It's about surviving in the entertainment cracks. Take a look at Netflix. Those Blockbuster executives who are left, now a part of Dish Network, must be smirking over how Netflix has been twisting in the wind over the last few weeks. And Blockbuster is looking for -- yes, a return -- possibly with a competing streaming entertainment service to Netflix.

Try, try, again. Succeed, fail, and/or offer up mediocre business performance. We want the drama, and most of all, the volatility. These are the good-and-bad entertainment moments, especially when I might be losing my entertainment religion.

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