Friday, September 26, 2008

The end of American TV seasons?

As the US financial system teeters on the brink of collapse, another seemingly fixed point in American life is also under threat, albeit with less severe consequences.

As Bill Carter reports for The New York Times, the traditional idea of TV seasons is now less relevant than ever as the networks position themselves as part of a 52-week, multi-platform media industry.

The writers' strike, which disrupted season planning, is part of the cause, but so is the increasing use of digital video recorders and the sales of DVDs.
“What counts is how many people watch a show everywhere it plays,” said Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment. “We’re selling a million DVDs of ‘The Office’ and ‘Heroes’ and ‘House.’ On ‘The Office’ if we get 200,000 downloads of an episode, that’s the same as selling two more commercial units in the show.”

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