Internet-Based Content Has Mixed Record As TV Shows

The trend of internet-based TV content becoming ongoing TV shows has an uneven record of success. But should we allow it a bit of latitude?

Now as a CBS summer TV show, “Candy Crush” -- which had a five-year stint as a game app -- dropped 30% in overall viewership to 2.9 million in its second week, from a premiere total of 4.1 million a week ago.

By way of comparison, at its peak, "Candy Crush Saga" had claimed 20 million players in the U.S. each day and 93 million daily active users around the world. "Candy Crush" has been around since 2012.

There is a large potential TV audience to consider, and it is one that has been deeply interactive with the game. Why not try it?

Seven years ago, CBS took a different route, converting a popular “$#*! My Dad Says” twitter feed into a TV show that ran for 18 episodes in the 2010-2011 TV season.

There have also been successful TV shows that started on the web and continue to thrive in that space -- content that looks like traditional TV content, but may not work for broadcast networks.



For example, Netflix boasts “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black” and “Master of None.” Amazon offers “Transparency” and “Mozart in the Jungle,” while Hulu has “The Path.” Many of these shows have garnered critical approval and big industry TV awards -- all in the hopes of driving new membership.

All this may sound familiar.

Years ago, broadcast TV executives complained that HBO got away with material that the FCC-laden broadcast networks could not. One TV executive complained that the premium cable network could air “The Sopranos,” for example, but an broadcast advertising-supported TV network, it could not.

So there are limits.

Virtually all of network TV has had trouble producing successful TV shows from alternate sources -- whether as revivals of older TV shows, longtime franchise films or material from the internet.

Popularity over any new media content -- via new digital distribution points or otherwise -- is fair game. TV shows have to be successful on their own, apart from their former entertainment lives.

Judge from there.

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