Do you find that you’re giving Tv shows less time when you sample them? I am. But I wonder if that’s because of the new varied options or my different situation.
By “different situation” I mean this: When I was active in television, I made it a point to watch every new Tv program, especially the comedies. At the time I also knew a lot of the writers on these various shows. When I was starting in the biz I watched everything and memorized entire writing staffs.
But now that I’m no longer writing for TV it takes me a lot longer to get around to pilots. It’s no longer homework; it’s pleasure viewing. And I now have the luxury of not having to sit through everything. At least in a timely manner. I finally saw GHOSTS last week. I didn’t love it, but I stayed for the entire show. My wife left in the middle.
The other factor is that now with streaming services there are so many more options. It used to be that you’d watch entire episodes because there was nothing else on. Now, five minutes in you can say “this isn’t for me” and go exploring the thousands of other shows and movies available at your fingertips.
I must admit, that’s what I do.
But putting myself in the showrunner’s shoes— that places a huge burden on him or her or them. You have no time to adequately develop your show. You gotta wow ‘em in the first five minutes. You also have to introduce the premise, the characters, their relationships to each other, start the story, and establish the tone. Pilots were not easy before.
It’s the new reality, however. And it’s never going back.
So my viewing habits have changed. How about yours in this regard?