The big 3 – scratch that – the big 4 networks jumped the shark decades ago, sadly nobody realized it and they still dominate the primary channels of every American television set.
A few weeks back, Fox – originator of such classics as The Simpsons and Married With Children – started airing a new series based on an illegal cross country road race: Drive.
After 2 episodes, it was canceled.
Why don’t the networks take chances anymore? Anything that breaks new ground or shows the slightest bit of ingenuity is dead on the slab before the toe tag is even filled out.
If it’s the same thing we’ve already seen, recycled and added to the mix for another successful Soylent product – they bleed the shit out of it until the shark it jumped is now in a retirement tank.
The Simpsons stopped being funny 10 years ago. Heroes – while entertaining – is a blatant rip of the X-Men. Lost? Please, get them off the island and end the show before someone ends up at a mysterious arctic base.
Don’t even get me started on ER, the various CSI iterations, or any sitcom aired since the last airing of I Love Lucy.
The cable networks are still hungry enough to keep things interesting with shows like The Shield, Nip/Tuck, The Rich’s etc… Shows that would have died a slow and painful death on any of the primary networks thrive further down the dial. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Jericho will return, but since the same types in charge of that series stomped Firefly to death, I won’t hold my breath.