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Jun 7, 2007

Demographically Challenged

At the local Harkins Theater these days, the programming before the film is brought to me by Screenvision, which plays music and short animated films, but also still shows commercials (of course). The last few times, I've been lucky enough to see a lengthy commercial for some new History Channel TV show called Ice Road Truckers. It shows the DANGEROUS and GRITTY job that a bunch of bearded gentlemen in northern Canada do - namely, driving semis over ice (hence the name).

Fast forward to Wednesday night. While munching on dinner, I flipped the channel around and eventually settled on watching the last third or so or Pleasantville, which was running on TV Land. If you haven't seen the film, it stars Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon and --

Actually, it doesn't matter. Sure, Pleasantville's a great movie, but what the heck is it doing on TV Land? And what is a show - set in the present day, mind you - about truckers doing on The History Channel?

Yea, we all know that MTV blazed this trail some 15 years ago, when The Real World paved the way for non-music video programming on the channel born of videos. But as more and more channels lose their identity (by their own choosing, it should be noted), the question must be asked: why do we need niche programming if they don't stick to their niches? Do we really need 20 different channels that show reruns of Seinfeld and CSI? (Oh wait - bad example - we already have that.)

This wouldn't be that much of a problem if we weren't paying for it. But when DirecTV or Dish Network or whoever crows about their 500 channels, with such specialized channels as The Golf Network and ESPN Classic, is it really that big of a selling point? Give me 100 quality-packed channels over 500 clones any day.


4 people have chosen wisely: on "Demographically Challenged"

Desmond said...

Amen, brotha

Gaylord said...

Agreed, we definitely need more channels with Seinfeld reruns, start campaigning for an all Seinfeld channel, I'll sign your petition.

BostonSucksMyBlog said...

espn classic stinks(I think, i dont even have it). Dont they show boxing and poker all the time? Give me college FB, NBA, I guess not nfl.....whatever. stop being gay, Classic.

Fletch said...

I like the sound of an all Seinfeld channel, but it might be a bit thin on programming - with 48 half-hours in a day, it would cycle through the entire series every 4-5 days. Maybe Seinfeld and Simpsons together?

I almost mentioned something about ESPN Classic - at least what you're talking about are still "sports." But why are they showing movies? (Oh, that's right - it's "Entertainment and Sports Network.")