The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Friday, January 10, 2003

I understand why they have to do it, but it still kills me how all these supposedly specialized TV channels quickly backslide into showing the same variety of crap that all channels do. The most obvious example is MTV: everyone jokes about how it's gone from it's original raison d'etre--a 24-hour music video channel--to... well, whatever it is now. And making loads of cash, to boot. Perhaps even more ridiculously, The Weather Channel is also going down this road.

The reason why this happens, of course, is because any time the advertising market dips, it becomes apparent that whole networks/channels based around niche interests suffer badly. (By contrast, when the ad market is robust, these channels do fantastic; it's a feast-or-famine situation.) Thus, the imperative becomes broadening audience appeal, and all of a sudden the All-This Channel becomes the All-Everything Channel.

So it is with The Game Show Network. Instead of showing reruns of The Price Is Right all day long, it's decided to produce cutting edge documentaries on subjects like the Press Your Luck "scandal", and a reality show based on the life of Chuck Woolery. Yikes.