In France, a documentary posing as a fake TV game show posed just that question and the results may surprise you. They won't if you're a cynical bastard with no hope for humanity.
The concept for the experiment is based in part from the work of Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist who sought to understand the psychological actions of the Third Reich and the Nazi regime and how authority influenced their actions.
A scary new article by the Associated Press shows that advertising revenue has not provided enough income for the free networks to support all of their programming efforts. And thanks to the rise of cable and the web, some companies are considering new business models that are cutting the "free" out of "free TV."
Given the way things are going, do you think there could come a time when free TV is a thing of the past like top 40 AM radio, Olestra chips and an ozone layer?
It's a good list. The only show on it I would question would be The Shield. In its place I would likely put Firefly or Family Guy, either of which proved that poor initial ratings do not translate into the failure of a franchise.
The Internet changed television when it came to popularity in the 1990's. The concept of a continuing storyline in a series became a necessity. Shows like Babylon 5 would not have survived the first season without it. In the 2000's, it was more of the same allowing for shows like the aforementioned to be given life after death and even restart certain franchises (Futurama).
What do you think the next decade will bring?
Broadcast producers and newspaper editors -- who weren't busy safeguarding their pensions and 401Ks by burying what's left of them in the desert -- cast their votes in the AP's annual Entertainer of the Year Poll. The honors went to 30 Rock star and SNL lifeguard Tina Fey.
It's really the no-brainer choice. Sharon Eberson, entertainment editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, told the wire service, "She gave us funny when we really needed it and, in a year when women in politics were making huge strides, Fey stood out in the world of entertainment."
Creators of 24 met late last year with human rights advocates, the dean of West Point's military academy and experienced interrogators to discuss torture and how the torture scenes on 24 affect how people are questioned by authorities in real life, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The panel of torture experts wanted to persuade 24 writers to "show torture subjects taking weeks or months to break, spitting out false or unreliable intelligence, and even dying. As they do in the real world," the article said.
Since the first black-and-white image appeared on the first television, the local network affiliate has been a pretty important part of our daily lives. Not only did it provide the news and programming that the network delivered, but it also provided us with local information and personalities that we brought into our family as one of our own. In addition, many of the network talent we watch today came from those same local stations.
Now, as the networks place more and more of their content on the Internet for pay-per-view or free download, local broadcasters fear that they are being left in the dust to fend for themselves. That is why, this week, local broadcasters will be meeting at the annual National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas to determine how to hang on to their audience and their money.
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