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The Death of Network Television

Updated on May 19, 2018

What is happening?

In recent years, we have seen the decline of long running television series. The difference from later years is that showrunners and networks no longer care about the viewers. It’s all about the bottom dollar. Because of this, they have no issue pulling a series leaving endless questions and pissed off viewers in their wake.

Feeling the pain?

This year is especially painful

The past few years have been difficult to commit but this year made it almost impossible to go on. With a bloodbath of series cancellations, viewers are left wondering what’s the point in even trying. Some of the victims are:

  • Designated Survivor (ABC)- The political drama has drawn a pretty good following over its two seasons but two weeks before its finale, everyone was shocked to hear it got the ax. With two episodes left, we looked forward to a satisfying ending that never came. Instead, knowing the show would not return, they aired a season finale that not only didn’t conclude the series but left more questions and a very frustrating end.
  • The Last Man on Earth (FOX)- This post-apocalyptic comedy has brought endless laughs to viewers for four seasons. Finding that it was coming to an end was actually ok news. It’s humor had run its course but instead of wrapping the show up in a neat little package, the end it on a cliffhanger.
  • Rise (NBC)- This freshman series had all the makings of an amazing show that brigs attention to the importance of freedom of expression and the arts. Unfortunately, network wallets didn’t get fat enough for a second season. So much like the other shows that were cancelled, they left viewers wondering what these people are thinking.

The torture needs to end

Stop destroying television!!

The pain is real

Is this the end?

So is this what we have to look forward to in years to come? If that’s the case then why bother watching at all? The networks were quick to release the trailers for new shows coming this fall. Maybe to dull the pain by building excitement but for me, it enraged me even more. There are so many great shows that have started and failed whether we watch them or not. Why should it be any different next year? I just can’t bring myself to be excited about any of them.

Don’t get your hopes up!

Time to go back to the good ol’ days

I have wondered for the last few years why the ratings have declined on many new shows leading to their cancellation. My conclusion is that the public has lost faith in their longevity.

We know that Grey‘s Anatomy (ABC) and Supernatural (CW) are getting renewed and will probably stick around for a while, along with some other long running series. So we continue to watch them and enjoy their dependability. New shows just don’t stand a chance.

Why give our time and heart to a show when no matter what we do, the wallets of TV execs will determine their fate anyway? It’s a vicious cycle that will continue until networks start to actually care about public opinion and I don’t see that happening any time soon.

What do you think? Am I way off base or did I hit the nail on the head? Use the comment section below and tell me what you think.

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    • Jordan Zeitler profile imageAUTHOR

      Jordan Zeitler 

      4 months ago from St. Louis, Mo

      I don’t agree that those shows are past their prime. I’m a huge fan of Supernatural and Greys Anatomy so it’s refreshing to see it return every year. It will be sad when they finally kick the bucket.

    • Sanjana Shukla profile image

      Sanjana Shukla 

      4 months ago from Mumbai, India

      I think you are absolutely right!

      Agonisingly ancient shows (think Supernatural, the Chicago Universe, etc.) are way past their expiry date, but get renewed for a new season...and another...and another...you get the picture.

      I've even noticed slight 'stepkid' treatment being meted out to certain shows, by giving them the dreaded Thursday/Friday timeslot. Poor shows don't stand a chance!

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