People Hate TV; TV Producers Hate Network Notes

On the eve of the new TV year, a just-released poll says TV programs are getting worse. Separately, TV producers say the practice of network executives giving notes is worse, too.

Are these two things related? I have no idea.

But I do know this:  If TV producers could do what they wanted, I bet they'd concentrate less on those things viewers believe make TV bad -- too much sexual related content, too much violence, and too many reality shows.

That should please some U.S. viewers, especially those who were part of a recent poll by the Associated Press and AOL Television. According to the study, 62% of Americans said TV programs are getting worse -- for all those reasons mentioned above. Only 22% said TV is getting better.

Another poll result-- one that is enough to make TV marketers shiver: Only 7% of those surveyed could name one show they want to see this fall.

Okay, now back to those complaining TV producers. Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are two veterans -- among plenty others, no doubt -- who would like to get fewer notes from network executives.

"When Ed and I did 'My So-Called Life' and 'thirtysomething,' the network barely gave us any notes," Herskovitz told Daily Variety. "Now I have friends tell me that the network tells them what color to make the walls."

Too much minutiae, or not enough fuchsia?

Too much for some -- especially with new digital video platforms available.  For instance, Zwick and Herskovitz will take a onetime ABC pilot, "Quarterlife," and distribute it via MySpace, as well as create their own social networking site.

But before Zwick and Herskovitz go too far, they should see other results from that poll: Less than one American in 10 said they have watched a full-length television show over the Internet. For those under 30, the percentage is only a bit higher: 14%.

So what do we have left? Confusion. The poll found that 28% of Americans said they would like to see more news on television, compared to 17% in the 2005 survey.

Huh? There's sex and violence in the news. But at least that's real. Like the colors on those walls in "NCIS." That's the current state of TV land, for you.

Welcome to the new broadcast season



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