Originally Posted by tluxon
LOL! Not exactly. I know it sounds like a pipedream now, but there was a time when the bottom line wasn't always the biggest motivation for why something was produced and aired. You know, like when people would pick Art as a major because it was their passion rather than skip over it because it didn't have the potential for as much pay in the end.
And what years of television are you talking about? We're talking about the business of television, not picking a college major. Television has always been about paying for eyeballs.
I'd say the business of network television has improved over the years. In the beginning most shows relied on one major sponsor to fund the whole show. No sponsor, no show. You don't see Leno or Letterman plugging sponsor products between interviews, do you?
Then the rating system was adopted which allowed networks to make shows for viewers, not individual sponsors. As long as people watched, the show at least had a chance. Over the years the rating system has been imrpoved and refined so even shows with niche audiences can stay on the air. That's why the Simpsons has been on the air forever despite not getting especially high ratings. If this change had happened sooner, Star Trek probably wouldn't have been canceled. It had been hitting a dream audience, but not a large enough one and at that time the networks only cared about the number of viewers, not who the viewers were.
I'm not sure it's an entirely dead concept yet, but there's no question that it's getting increasingly difficult to find shows on the air where monetary payback isn't the number one objective.
The people who work at these networks get a pay check just like we do. You're telling them to take a pay cut to give you the shows you want. This is unrealistic.
Nonetheless, I believe money does occasionally take a close second place to the desire to shape opinion, gain power or influence, or share a passion.
List some prime time network shows where this was the case.