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Old February 25 2014, 03:25 PM   #1
DarthTom
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Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

I was thinking of some of the more popular TV drama's today and all of them are on cable TV, Is this because cable TV just hires more talent, has more $$, or is it because maybe they aren't constrained by the censors?

Some of the most popular shows on TV today: House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Orange is the New Black, Mad Men, Game of Thrones etc. IMO are successful not only because the writing is good and the actors are good but also because the content is far more edgy and controversial than would be allowed on broadcast TV.

Will broadcast TV die a slow death left with only reality TV because of bad programming or because they are inhibited from providing more controversial programming because of the FCC and it's rules?
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Old February 25 2014, 03:28 PM   #2
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

You don't get ratings worthy of broadcast TV by showing nipples and dropping f-bombs, dude.
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Old February 25 2014, 03:33 PM   #3
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
You don't get ratings worthy of broadcast TV by showing nipples and dropping f-bombs, dude.
No but it adds an level of realism absent in other shows. For example, take the decent but sometimes anti-climatic NBC drama, Revolution.

Would the story had worked better if they were able to add in more realism in terms of profanity, violence, and even nudity into the show?
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Old February 25 2014, 03:36 PM   #4
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

'Friends' did OK without all that edgy stuff. So did '30 Rock', 'Frasier' and a lot of other shows past and current.

The 8 Ball says, No.
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Old February 25 2014, 03:42 PM   #5
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
'Friends' did OK without all that edgy stuff. So did '30 Rock', 'Frasier' and a lot of other shows past and current.

The 8 Ball says, No.
Those are comedies not drama. Add to that Big Bang Theory.
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Old February 25 2014, 03:45 PM   #6
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

I've no doubt successful dramas are on TV as well?
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Old February 25 2014, 03:46 PM   #7
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

All of these TV shows are network dramas.

It's really a case of premium cable, cable, and broadcast networks and how much they defer to advertisers/viewers. Premium cable can get away with R-rated stuff because they only ones they really have to please are their subscribers; cable still caters towards niche audiences but only barely these days; while broadcast can only go so far before parent groups start protesting and boycotting their sponsors.

The FCC, on the other hand, can be rather lenient when it comes to late-night programming, especially on cable (allowing uncensored profanity and even very brief partial nudity), but not during daytime hours--they can be real strict and unforgiving when it comes to that.
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Old February 25 2014, 04:21 PM   #8
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
All of these TV shows are network dramas.

It's really a case of premium cable, cable, and broadcast networks and how much they defer to advertisers/viewers. Premium cable can get away with R-rated stuff because they only ones they really have to please are their subscribers; cable still caters towards niche audiences but only barely these days; while broadcast can only go so far before parent groups start protesting and boycotting their sponsors.

The FCC, on the other hand, can be rather lenient when it comes to late-night programming, especially on cable (allowing uncensored profanity and even very brief partial nudity), but not during daytime hours--they can be real strict and unforgiving when it comes to that.
NCIS on CBS is a notable exception and still popular but it's one of the few drama's on network TV today that's in the top 10.
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Old February 25 2014, 04:30 PM   #9
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

DarthTom wrote: View Post
I was thinking of some of the more popular TV drama's today and all of them are on cable TV, Is this because cable TV just hires more talent, has more $$, or is it because maybe they aren't constrained by the censors?

Some of the most popular shows on TV today: House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Orange is the New Black, Mad Men, Game of Thrones etc. IMO are successful not only because the writing is good and the actors are good but also because the content is far more edgy and controversial than would be allowed on broadcast TV.

Will broadcast TV die a slow death left with only reality TV because of bad programming or because they are inhibited from providing more controversial programming because of the FCC and it's rules?
Smash did nudity. Did it help it? I think they are trying for mass appeal and keeping sponsors happy. It makes for some very timid programming.
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Old February 25 2014, 04:42 PM   #10
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

the ratings that most of the cable dramas get--even the ones that are really talked about--wouldn't be satisfying for a network.

Networks require a broad audience. Shows about drug making science teachers and self absorbed ad men in the 60s are to niche.

NCIS, CSIs, Castle, Once Upon A Time, Person of Interest, Criminal Minds, Elementry all do better than cable shows. For the most part.

So, really, your question is built on a faulty premise. Network dramas, even those NOT in the top ten, still get more viewers than Mad Men.

Here are some numbers: HERE.
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Old February 25 2014, 04:55 PM   #11
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
the ratings that most of the cable dramas get--even the ones that are really talked about--wouldn't be satisfying for a network.

Networks require a broad audience. Shows about drug making science teachers and self absorbed ad men in the 60s are to niche.

NCIS, CSIs, Castle, Once Upon A Time, Person of Interest, Criminal Minds, Elementry all do better than cable shows. For the most part.

So, really, your question is built on a faulty premise. Network dramas, even those NOT in the top ten, still get more viewers than Mad Men.

Here are some numbers: HERE.
Well even Duck Dynasty beat the Olympics in ratings. And TNT's Rizzoli and Isles exceeds most broadcast network ratings.

Yes, overall the networks have larger ratings because of broad appeal shows like Idol, Football, Dancing with the Stars. But IMO Cable is beating the shit out of the networks when it comes to drama. And it isn't only IMO because of the writing.

Variety

n preliminary “most current” estimates from Nielsen, the top original cable series of the year in total viewers are: AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (16.16 million), A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” (13.37 million), History’s limited-run “The Bible” (13.19m), AMC’s “Breaking Bad” (8.48m), TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” (8.33m), FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (7.09m), TNT’s “Major Crimes” (6.45m), A&E’s “Longmire” (5.95m), FX’s “American Horror Story” (5.94m) and History’s “Vikings” (5.93m)
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Old February 25 2014, 05:22 PM   #12
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

DarthTom wrote: View Post
Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
the ratings that most of the cable dramas get--even the ones that are really talked about--wouldn't be satisfying for a network.

Networks require a broad audience. Shows about drug making science teachers and self absorbed ad men in the 60s are to niche.

NCIS, CSIs, Castle, Once Upon A Time, Person of Interest, Criminal Minds, Elementry all do better than cable shows. For the most part.

So, really, your question is built on a faulty premise. Network dramas, even those NOT in the top ten, still get more viewers than Mad Men.

Here are some numbers: HERE.
Well even Duck Dynasty beat the Olympics in ratings. And TNT's Rizzoli and Isles exceeds most broadcast network ratings.

Yes, overall the networks have larger ratings because of broad appeal shows like Idol, Football, Dancing with the Stars. But IMO Cable is beating the shit out of the networks when it comes to drama. And it isn't only IMO because of the writing.

Variety

n preliminary “most current” estimates from Nielsen, the top original cable series of the year in total viewers are: AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (16.16 million), A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” (13.37 million), History’s limited-run “The Bible” (13.19m), AMC’s “Breaking Bad” (8.48m), TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” (8.33m), FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (7.09m), TNT’s “Major Crimes” (6.45m), A&E’s “Longmire” (5.95m), FX’s “American Horror Story” (5.94m) and History’s “Vikings” (5.93m)
1. Duck Dynasty is a scripted drama?

2. NCIS, NCIS: LA, Criminal Minds, Person of Interest, CSI, Castle and Elementary ALL have higher ratings than Breaking Bad on your list according to the link I used. So, NO, cable is NOT beating the shit out of network.

3. On your list, only Walking Dead would be in the top ten. Breaking Bad and Rizzoli and Isles barely cracks the top 25. So, again, no, cable is NOT beating the shit out of network.
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Old February 25 2014, 06:32 PM   #13
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

Law and Order SVU is still doing alright. Another drama to add to the list. Also, good dramas shouldn't have to rely on being edgy and full of swearing to be good. I like watching shows that have good story lines and dialogue.
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Old February 25 2014, 06:39 PM   #14
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

Censorship is much more lax than it was in the past. In the past it was controversial even to show a dysfunctional family. Networks produced great television for years with much harsher restrictions than now.

You do not need to show people swearing and banging to be realistic. If anything HBO shows go a bit ridiculously far in the other direction, showing much more nudity and swearing than is actually called for by the story. If a zombie were chasing me I might scream the F word, and you might hear a group of teenage boys using it every other sentence when their parents aren't around. But generally just walking around on the street you don't hear people just yelling it out. And you don't need to show tits to communicate to the audience that sex has taken place.

If network drama is dying it's because it's so much cheaper to throw a bunch of blondes in a house and watch them yell at each other than it is to pay writers and actors, and that has made network execs extremely risk-averse when it comes to greenlighting new shows.
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Old February 25 2014, 07:01 PM   #15
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Re: Is network drama TV dead because of censorship rules?

Oh, let me add Blacklist to the list. Variety said it's return last night had 11 million viewers.

Yep. Cable. Totally NOT beating the shit out of network drama.
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