Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch! Fall Season 2015

As Felix wrote a couple of days ago, the first reviews of the fall season on US network television are already in and critics promising little for the weeks to come. But as Felix retorts:

Not every TV season can produce an outstanding, canonical series, and definitely not several. And the verdict on the overall evaluation of an AV series is not rendered at its beginning but its ending, just think about Lost or True Detective.

Well, that’s right, but also wrong (to some extent)! Let’s start with the latter.

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The early bird catches a small worm – Fall Season 2015

The first reviews of the fall season on US television are in and we couldn’t help but notice a trend: The new series seem to be rather boring. At least, that’s what most critics say. We will try to understand these evaluations in a two article-series and offer reasons why these assumptions are wrong or at least a bit simple. Felix will start, Sven will follow up.

In the last weeks, the first episodes of new network series aired with the beginning of the fall season, and you didn’t have to wait long for reviews already anticipating the outcome of the whole season like this one
http://www.npr.org/2015/09/22/442284698/5-tv-shows-to-watch-in-an-otherwise-uninspiring-fall-season
or this one
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/medien/amerikas-fernsehserien-lassen-nach-13856883.html#GEPC;s6.
The overall verdict: This season – more or less – sucks. It’s more formulaic, more safe and, accordingly, less innovative and exciting. NPR’s Eric Deggans sums up the seemingly worst examples:

There are TV versions of old movies (Fox’s Minority Report, CBS‘ Limitless), retreads of old hits (NBC’s Heroes Reborn) and new shows which seem like retreads of old hits (ABC’s Dallas-style soap opera Blood & Oil). (Deggans 2015)

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Netflix und der Tod des Fernsehens

Letzte Woche nahm Sven die Netflix-Kopro­duktion Between zum Anlass, die jüngere Geschichte – und ins­besondere das original programming – des Streaming-Unter­nehmens Revue passieren zu lassen und rief am Ende die „Revolution“ aus. Deshalb nun ein leises „Nicht so schnell…“ von mir hinterher.


„Da kann das (Programm­medium) Fernsehen schlicht nicht mehr mit­halten. Und so muss ich es schließ­lich einfach eingestehen: es war doch eine Revolution, damals: Anfang 2013!“ Mit diesem Ausruf endet Svens Plädoyer für die Innovations­kraft von Netflix, das Unternehmens­mitgründer Reed Hastings auf die Spitze treibt:

Heute sieht jeder Mensch auf der Welt das alte, lineare Fernsehen. In den nächsten 20 Jahren wird Internet-TV immer weiter wachsen und das lineare Fernsehen ersetzen. So wie das Handy das Festnetz-Telefon ersetzt hat. (Reed Hastings im Interview mit Bild)

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CfP: The Good Wife

While most culture and media sections in German newspapers and, unfortunately, some TV scholars still declare HBO series (and its closest relation, the Showtime series, it just has to be premium cable) to be the best form of serial narration or of the ominous ‚Quality TV‘. However, tides are changing and American network television is considered once more in regard to fascinating series. No wonder, you’d just have to think of the data protection and post-humanism series Person of Interest or the innovative series/serial hybrid The Good Wife. The journal Television and New Media dedicates a special issue to the latter stating “Responding to the focal shift in current television scholarship away from broadcast television, we seek proposals that are interested in reconsidering the role of broadcast television in the post-network era […]”. We are very excited about this call and look forward to hopefully interesting articles.

CFP: The Good Wife (CBS 2008 – ) a special issue of the journal Television and New Media