Friday, October 12, 2007

Fall TV Shows - Change and Fantasy

Remember 5 years ago on TV when reality shows lead by Survivor and Idol were all the rage? The fad that started on MTV and TV from other countries was taking over. Every network was in search of reality shows while we saw comedies nearly disappear from the line up of the 5 broadcast networks.

As the new season debuts it looks like our programming friends in TV land are sensing a trend away from reality. There are only 3 new shows that qualify as reality out of 27 new shows set to debut this fall. You can see the full line up here.

One of the trends emerging is what I call supernatural drama. Heroes and perhaps Lost started the trend and now we have the Bionic Woman, Supernatural, and Journeyman that seem to be the opposite of reality. The plots, like Heroes, are built on people with super/extra powers - the opposite of a reality thread. There are even comedy shows in this vein like Chuck and Aliens in America.

One of rules when you track trends for popular entertainment from movies, TV or music is that once a fad or trend starts to become huge a balancing will follow with the next trend often coming from the opposite pole. Looks like the TV programmers with there test audiences, research and guts are betting on the decline of the reality era and into a fantasy land of drama and comedy.

If you look back at the early 80s we had a similar trend. From the sitcoms of the 70s like Happy Days or 3s Company to a shift lead by space movies like Star Wars and ET. We even ended up with cars that talked.

Remember the old sayings.

-Change is good
-When your through changing - you're through.
-Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.John F. Kennedy:
-Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

Keep that in mind as you listen to new music, craft your imaging, plan your promotions and coach your talent. What worked today or yesterday is likely to be inadequate in the future.

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