Thursday, August 21, 2008

The evolution of certain networks

As you may or may not know, I'm an avid TV fan. So, it comes as no surprise that I've been upset by certain networks drifting away from the brand of programming that they are known for.

The biggest culprit is MTV!!!! Remember back in the day when videos were actually shown on that station? Before The Hills, Road Rules, and the 50 gazillion incarnations of The Real World. To date, there are only 2 shows that show much. Each year, they have been showing less and less music. TRL comes on Mon-Thu, and this summer they added FnMTV, which comes on Friday nights. I guess they could spare the extra time from Top Model marathons or didn't want to have people watching videos for more than an hour a day. *GASP* I hear that the Video Music Awards are coming up. Someone please tell me, what's the point? They don't show videos enough to justify having an awards show. Just have a Reality or bad dating show awards show. That's all they show nowadays. Oh, and change the name from MTV to something else because they are certainly not Music Television anymore. Hell, last year, at one of their award shows, Justin Timberlake was all but on his knees begging for them to play videos. I don't know about you, but when one of the biggest acts in the world says something like that, I would listen. I guess that would make too much sense, though, right?

Next we have VH1. Similar to MTV, they have forgone music videos in favor of reality. At least VH1 still shows video everyday, including a weekly countdown that shows the entire video (minus a couple). They also have various countdowns such as top 100 songs of the 80s, 90s, etc. The issue I have with that is that instead of just playing the video, they have comedians and celebs and other people talking and making fun through most of the clip they show. UGH!!! Even though VH1 has been favoring reality lately, at least they have been keeping to the musical roots, mostly. Flava Flav, Brett Michaels, and Salt N Pepa are all music acts, can't say that for all their reality stars, though. VH1 is also responsible for their Save the Music Foundation. That alone keeps them off my !$^%$ list, but they do need to expand a bit on the videos.

This next one hurts me to say, but Disney Channel is not without blame. A network formed to show vintage Disney cartoons and programs, they have totally abandoned this concept. I don't have a problem with them showing new cartoons and shows, but they need to mix it up with some vintage stuff. I can imagine Walt is turning over in his grave over this, but of course, the people running the Disney empire now on;y care about money these days.

Remember when Nickelodeon was fun to watch? Shows like Double Dare, Danger Mouse, You Can't Do That on Television dominated their schedule. Well, those days are long gone. Seems like all they show these days is Spongebob Squarepants. I have no issue with Spongebob, other than they show like 30 episodes a day. Nick doesn't seem to want to be a fun network anymore. Yes, they still have the orange colors, and they still slime people (only at the kids' choice awards), but other than that, it seems as if, like Disney channel, they're all about making money. They don't even show Rugrats reruns anymore.

Still speaking on Nickelodeon, let's go to Nick at Nite. I'm not sure if I have any kind of problem with their programming. It has updated with the times, but it's all late 80s and 90s stuff. What happened to the classic stuff? A good mix woule be nice!

TV Land is on the verge of losing its identity. It was supposed to be like Nick at Nite. Showing classic TV shows. Not all of us were around for the days when TV was actually good, and truth be told, the old shows are 1000 times better than anything that comes on these days. Nowadays, though, TV Land is selling off the classics for crappy reality programming featuring 50 yr old wannabe models (a good concept, just could have been on another network), high school reunions, Mr. T., George Foreman, etc. While Extreme Home Makeover is a good ratings grabber for ABC, it is a far cry from classic TV and why they even purchased the rights to it, I don't know. What is this world coming to?

Cartoon Network, yes, I said Cartoon Network, is flirting with danger as well. Many of the movies they have been showing lately aren't cartoons (or cartoon related). WTF?!? Jurassic Park 3 should not be shown on Cartoon Network. On top of that, they have been advertising some non-animated shows. They did this last year, though, and it got cancelled. Guess they're going to try a different one this year. Chances are it will meet the same fate.

Also on Cartoon Network is [Adult Swim]. They're known for taking chances on shows that wouldn't be aired elsewhere, as well as anime. However, lately they've taken to live action shows that aren't getting any ratings and are a far cry from funny. I hope this is just a fad.

While these networks are mutating, others have kept their identities. ESPN, Comedy Central, Food Network, BET, CMT, Weather Channel, etc., have all managed to keep up with the changing climate of our pathetic, over media saturated culture.

Finally, I spoke of TV Land earlier, and it appears that WGN may very well be taking their spot as a classic station. This summer they've been showing such classics as WKRP in Cincinnati, The Honeymooners, Alf, Family Ties, Mork & Mindy, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, etc. It's good to see that a station is changing for the better and not trying to shove more reality down our throat.

Maybe the other stations will take a note!

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