Originally Posted by Aleron Ives
They're losing viewers due to the inane nature of their programs, not because their shows' characters don't cuss frequently enough. I agree that the indecency rules are archaic, but they are hardly the reason for the popularity of cable programming. Networks' tendency to approve cookie-cutter crime dramas and competition shows while cancelling anything remotely unique after three episodes when it doesn't instantly draw massive viewership numbers are bigger reasons to watch cable series, as those networks often greenlight shows with riskier premises and are slower to cancel ones that initially underperform.
I have to agree.
I watch more cable series than OTA series now - and none of them have any real cursing or any violence or sexual content beyond that of anything on the big 4.
Not only are many of the cable shows more compelling with more creative stories and characters, they also seldom get cancelled quickly like often happens on the broadcast nets. Rubicon seems to be one of the few exceptions wh nit comes to cable dramas getting the quick ax.
Plus, the cable networks are a little more willing to put more serialized plots out there because audiences get multiple times to catch an episode if they miss it the first time - something that can even happen with a DVR due to tuner conflicts. They also tend to run marithions leading up to the next season so people can catch up and remember what happened between seasons.
The problem with the broadcast networks now days is they think every show needs to be a hit. It's not enough for a show to do well - it has to win the time slot.
Broadcast network dramas seem to get more bland and generic every season - then they complain that cable is getting all the Emmy love.
Well, there you go.
The real problem with broadcast TV is not that they can't use profanity, it's that they just don't seem to know what they're doing anymore. Even with CBS constantly delivering successful procedurals, that only indicates the eyeball network knows how to rinse and repeat their successful products. It doesn't mean they're doing anything better than the rest so much as it means they've managed to flow chart the same programs to a stable audience time and again.
Fox and ABC tend to jump on fads and occasionally make shows that seem risky, but come down to more the result of product integration with the mothership studio. The problem is, sometimes they jump on the fads when the audience is already done with them.
NBC, on the other hand, goes to the remake well time and again - but almost always seems to lack any appreciation for the history of those past productions. That causes them to make shows that new viewers lose interest in quickly and cause viewers of the original content to run away even quicker.