Whether 'Dead,' 'Golden' Or 'Copycat,' TV's Still Hungry And Alive

Is TV dead? AOL asked this provocative question in a recent display ad. We didn’t necessarily get an answer -- just a link to a site that provided original content like trailers and TV shows.

Yes, the ad made you look. And isn’t that what TV, in its essence, is all about? In the wake of a phalanx of upfront media presentations  -- seemingly wanting to pull us in many directions -- we can understand the duress of the query.

The trouble is that TV -- in any form -- is far from over, whether you view it on a big living room screen or on a digital video wristwatch.  You’re watching TV pretty much how we are behaviorally trained for it: There’s a story; there are actors; there’s drama (sometimes not enough of it); and there’s comedy (sometimes not enough of it).

AOL has 16 original TV shows. YouTube, Hulu, and others also have original shows. Big-print brand names, who are now wannabe TV/video proponents, are coming out of the woodwork as well; everyone from Conde Nast to The New York Times also wants to be in video.



Here’s one reason: Digital video ads seemingly have an increasingly better upside dollarwise than plain-old display ads, which are everywhere so that marketers can buy them for a song. Everyone now wants the sight, sound, and motion of video.

TV analysts tell us we are in a “golden age” because there is so much good TV to watch -- especially original scripted shows -- and not enough time to see it all.

But how does this jive with something other people -- like Nancy Dubuc, president/chief executive officer of A+E Networks – believe? "There's still too much filler, copycat programming that's out there. We work so hard to pioneer new ideas, and then those ideas are just regurgitated by other networks,” Dubuc told The Hollywood Reporter. Sounds like some bad indigestion going on.

Did “The Voice” partly copy “American Idol”? Kind of seems that way. Commerce, and not all that much different art, won out.  That sound you hear? Could be some gas.

When there is copycat stuff, Dubuc believes everyone can get hurt -- including some of the originators of that TV content.

So TV wounds and kills – but is alive as well.

1 comment about "Whether 'Dead,' 'Golden' Or 'Copycat,' TV's Still Hungry And Alive ".
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  1. Jonathan McEwan from MediaPost, May 5, 2014 at 5:13 p.m.

    And did American Idol copy Star Search? And did Punked basically copy Candid Camera? It's arguable that The Voice saw what was horribly wrong with American Idol and found a way to fix it, by turning self righteous caustic judges into rival coaches, perhaps? In the copying — who copies whom? Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's or better yet Bewitched and I Dream of Jeanie — comes innovation, creativity and better products all around. Good thing you can't copyright a burger, or a TV show concept.

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