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Talentville Bar & Grill : Screenwriting Nuts and Bolts
TV Landscape.... Is it changing? Or is it me?

David Shelley
Posted June 22, 2012 10:01 AM
I notice CSI is canceling one of their series. It may already have ceased. I heard about it a while ago. Then, Lie to Me ended. House ended. Now I see a comedy medical show coming out. Obviously cable shows are competing. I have so far not done a particular tally of the shows, but noticing that there seems to be a change in the landscape. Someone else may know about a specific article or stats on such things, which I would be curious to see. I don't spend my time reading the tv magazines generally although scan from time to time.

With shows like Glee and then some trailers I am seeing for non-Crime Shows, I wonder if there is something of a collective burn out going on and transitions to other things. Of course this is summer, so it will likely be a lot easier to see as fall series hit and it is seen what succeeds and fails in the ecosystem.

I think for me maybe the darkness of economy stuff and the intensity of politics currently and the fact that family has enough drama going on in it, has me more interested in the talent shows and the dance shows and other things than prior and the intensity of scripted shows, mixed with my own efforts and intensity on projects are changing my tastes. So it is hard to know what is changing externally and what is changing internally.

Summer shows are an interesting palate cleanse as well. Culturally it seems to match the general summer tone.

Curious others take on things and if they notice their tv and film habits changing as they work on different projects - ie. do you notice yourself watching less rough stuff if you are writing more rough stuff, or vice versa?

David Shelley
Posted June 22, 2012 5:19 PM
Happy Hound...

I hadn't thought of it in the contexts you were listing as far as just how the cable channel programming is interplaying with networks, but it makes sense, and you may well be right. I will have to think about that and observe it further.

I know there is a definite tone to the AMC shows and there has been a tone to the USA Network shows. I don't watch enough HBO these days, but I know they do interesting things and I enjoy some of what Showtime does as well. I watch when there are the free preview weekends.

I am also aware that this is summer and I often enjoy less drama in the summer, but the USA network show cycles and some others are having me shake up my more usual rhythm, so I follow some of the dramas (though lighter than some other shows certainly).

Hm.... Thanks for the comment.

David Shelley
Posted June 24, 2012 11:38 PM
Yah, I have liked the National Geographic Channel's show "Taboo" the last few days. (referencing the other things than just scripted stuff).

Also, I have not seen the new Dallas, but should see if I can find it to see. I saw a preview, but missed the first episode. Looks like it may be fun.

Kristen Mozaffari
Posted July 24, 2012 2:26 AM
I think it's also worth noting that we are seeing a lot of independently produced shows coming out now, and I don't necessarily mean webisodes.

Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and Google are all creating original series ( as, I believe, is Yahoo! (check out Electric City, a mini anime series from none other than Tom Hanks! Somewhat related, AMC created additional webisodes for The Walking Dead (

I'm sure there are other companies I'm missing (any you know of?), but it will be interesting to see how these new players will change the television landscape even further.

Side note: If you haven't seen Downton Abbey (from Masterpiece, playing in the US on PBS, iTV in England), I highly recommend it. Brilliant writing!

David Shelley
Posted July 24, 2012 7:09 AM
Kristen, there is also a web series called Daybreak which I have only seen the first episode of. It is from the creator of Heroes, Tim Kring, if I remember right. Not sure if he wrote it or produced it. I think he created it. I didn't love the first episode, but may watch the rest at some point and see what I think.

I saw the first episode of the Tom Hanks series and didn't love it, so may not finish it. I think I am getting burnt out on comic flicks at this point in my life. Something I didn't know was possible. Web series may be interesting though to explore at some point in terms of writing/creating one. I hadn't really considered. There really is a big push with those lately all of a sudden. Thanks for commenting on them here.

Julia Watson
Posted August 2, 2012 11:55 AM
I am so loving Newsroom! Definitely my favorite new show so far this year. And I've been getting my geek fix with Lost Girl this summer. I usually have a hard time with SyFy network shows (great concepts, flat characters--BSG being the one big, obvs exception), but I love LG's casting and take on fae world-building, and find the fun, light, sex-positive, feminism-friendly tone incredibly refreshing.

My fiance and I (geek household, party of two) have been sticking with Falling Skies, even though the bad dialogue and plot-holes-the-size-of-UFOs kind of make me want to poke my eyes out with sharpie pen. (Although they make for some great MST3K type moments on our sofa.) On the plus side, the effects are great, and at least the story is finally getting some fun momentum.

We're watching the new season of Breaking Bad with baited breath too. One of the best shows I've seen in years. Glad to see Downton Abbey get a shoutout in this thread too. It's so smart on so many levels, and utterly delicious.

David Shelley
Posted August 2, 2012 2:56 PM
Did anyone see 'Treme' some time back on HBO or Showtime? (I forget which). I have been thinking about checking it out on DVD.

Jeremy Thornhill
Posted September 10, 2012 10:16 AM

For those who love our friend Alan.

David Shelley
Posted September 10, 2012 11:39 AM
Thanks Jeremy... This was a delight and fascinating to see.