Network viewership dropping? Nudity and swearing to the rescue!
It's no secret that the networks are losing ground to the cable channels when it comes to original scripted programming, especially dramas. Just take a look at the Emmy nominations for Best Drama this year and you see that three of the six nominated are from cable: Mad Men, Damages, and Dexter). And the three that are from the networks are shows that have been a while and are (arguably) on the back nine when it comes to their life: Boston Legal, Lost, and House. While the network shows obviously get more viewers than cable, cable (and online) is the place to go for more creative content and buzz.
Wired's Epicenter blog has a piece about how the more free world of cable television is hurting network TV.
I don't really agree with Mad Men being a show that wouldn't fly on network television because of its content. From a creative/programming standpoint, sure, it's a show that probably couldn't make it on network and cable is the way to go. But I wouldn't lump it into shows such as The Sopranos, Deadwood, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. It's a show with no nudity and the swears are something that are few and far between. And it still manages to be adult and sophisticated (which is the reason it wouldn't be a success on the big networks). There are many sitcoms on network TV that bleep swears or block out nudity, and sometimes that can be even funnier.
I think there's a place on television for shows that are in between Leave It To Beaver and The Sopranos. I mean, isn't that the world that most of us live in?
[via TV Tattle]