Written by Very Aware’s TV expert Daniel, The State of Television is a weekly column that highlights and sums up the biggest and most important news regarding the small screen. From ratings news to cancellations to cast shake-ups, The State of Television brings you everything you need to know about that powerful little box in your living room.
So when I am wrong, I will admit it and today is one of those days. Last week I made a prediction that because of all the controversy surrounding the MTV show SKINS, its ratings would increase for this week’s installment. That was not meant to be. SKINS went from having 3.3 million viewers for the first episode to 1.6 million for the second. Ouch. That’s a big drop. So yea, I guess that means I have shoddy prediction skills. I will try and work on that.
However, I wonder why networks still worry so much when ratings aren’t the gold standard that they used to be. With the addition of DVR’s to many peoples’ entertainment centers, the basis on how much a show is being watched has changed. No longer do I have be at home on Thursday at 8pm to watch COMMUNITY, but I can set it to record, enjoy my night out and watch it as a late night treat. (Trust me, COMMUNITY is great to watch after a couple of drinks or whatnot.) Not only has DVR redefined viewers’ watching habits but that small thing called the internet has blown the definition out of the water. If I happen to miss my show at 8 and god forbid, forget to record it, I can go online the next day and see it on the official website. Or I can go onto iTunes and buy it at the store. For someone like me, who has so many shows that must be watched, the options are becoming endless. I know its a money thing and that those ad dollars made on network TV are very important, but honestly I see more ads online than I do on my television. So studios, you’ve done well embracing the 21st century, but try to understand the new logistics in which you’re now working. Have patience with great shows who have loyal followers. Not finishing in first every week isn’t as bad as you think it may be.
With all that said, onto the news that I feel is worth chatting about. There’s actually a quite a bit of NBC news this week. First off, with the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, they have changed their logo.
Where’s that illustrious peacock? Where’s the color? Where’s the panache? This is pretty boring if you ask me. Its actually a very corporate looking logo, no imagination. But don’t worry, that crazy bird will still appear on TV and the spinning globe will not disappear in front of feature films. I know you just released a sigh of relief.
The next NBC item would be that Will Ferrell is joining the cast of THE OFFICE, at least for four episodes anyway. I’ll be honest, I don’t watch THE OFFICE much anymore. When Jim and Pam had a baby I was pretty much done. The fact that Steve Carell would not be on after this season was even more of a reason not to watch. Then I heard Ricky Gervais would be on it. The show got me back to watch, well for at least the first five minutes. I may however be willing to watch whole episodes again. With Ferrell joining the cast, I feel as if there may be a more spontaneous sense to Michael Scott’s final days and we get the bonus of seeing Steve Carell and Will Ferrell play off of each other again.
As Veryaware.com reported on earlier this week, Javier Bardem has been offered the role of Roland Deschain in Ron Howard’s adaptation of Stephen King’s THE DARK TOWER. If Bardem takes the part he’ll be involved in three movies and the first season of the show. Quite the commitment for an actor. The second season would focus on a younger Roland, therefore I am guessing a younger actor would be cast. I am totally down with this news if it goes through. Bardem is an amazing actor. Since I saw him in BEFORE NIGHT FALLS, I have been a fan. Then his performance in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN kicked my ass. I still need to make it to the Sunset 5 to catch BIUTIFUL when I get a chance. So this is potentially really cool news. Since this is a Universal production, we will be seeing this hopefully, epic story on prime time NBC.
The most exciting news of the week which Deadline reported, was that HBO picked up the new Aaron Sorkin drama, which is being produced by Scott Rudin. The show will focus on the behind the scenes drama of a cable news show. Supposedly the title is MORE AS THE STORY DEVELOPS. Sorkin is on fire and he deserves all the successes he gets. THE SOCIAL NETWORK was the best written film of the year. THE WEST WING is one of the greatest TV shows of all time. Yea, STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP was overly produced and melodramatic, but I still loved it. It also seems like a perfect fit between the writer and the material. I am also a rabid fan of nightly news who would love to see the semi fictional drama that develops while reporting on the news. Will there be any NETWORK moments? Only time will tell. I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on this one.
So that was what was on my TV mind this week. I also happened to watch the President’s State of the Union address, which had many a viewer. I also happened to catch Mark Zuckerberg meet his fictional alter ego Jesse Eisenberg on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE this weekend. It was pretty funny, although Zuckerberg is definitely not an actor. Well I must walk my dog again before I sit my ass down on my couch and catch up on my DVR library. Have an exciting week filled with adventure and I’ll see you next Monday.