Seven Degrees of Participation

June 18, 2010

June Book of the Month

Folks this is the one book not to miss. Make sure all your Republican friends get this one soon before the money to buy it with is worth nothing.

May 20, 2010

Ghost Whisperer Might Be Gone What’s Next?

Filed under: POLITICS,SOCIAL MEDIA AND NETWORKING,TELEVISION — Alan M @ 5:13 pm

by Alan Meranda

Let’s look at the degrees of television success. Just being able to get a program on broadcast TV is rather impressive. Lasting three seasons is special. Making it to 100 episodes is a huge benchmark of success on broadcast television. Getting to the five year mark means that your show meant something. Seven years is magical and it sets your show in the company of some amazing broadcast television legends. Nine years is absolutely incredible. Finally, 20 years says that your show is undeniably classic television.

On May 18, 2010, CBS announced that Ghost Whisperer will not be returning for another season on CBS, citing rising costs and a decline in viewing figures as the reasons. 2005 saw the first episode of Ghost Whisperer and the show lasted five seasons and 106 episodes. Most noticeable on the show was Jennifer Love Hewitt cast as the Melinda Gordon, the lady that whispered with the ghosts and solved mysteries related to the deaths causing the ghosts. At times the show had an eerie and unfotunate likeness to a Nancy Drew Mystery Story.

Was this controversial or inevitable? Shows like Ghost Whisperer on CBS get settled, run for several seasons and get kicked to the curb. Joan of Arcadia suffered a similar fate. Based on a general gander at the number of viewers watching successful television shows, you want to hit double-digit viewers in the millions to remain on television till it’s time to call it quits. There are exceptions to this, the most interesting being Smallville. Entering its tenth and final season this fall, Smallville has a fierce and loyal following. But the overall numbers watching Smallville are barely one fifth those of Law & Order which also was canceled.

I will fess up, I watched Ghost Whisperer regularly. The last season was a struggle to stay motivated to watch. In contrast, Medium which was picked up by CBS after being dropped by NBC due to the whole Jay Leno blunder, thrived on CBS following Ghost Whisperer. CBS renewed Medium. If anything there was a distinct edginess to the episodes of Medium this season.

Now to CBS’s credit, Ghost Whisperer lasted longer than any of the esoteric shows Fox has ever tried to make last. But the question is why do these types of shows lack long-term success? I am a serious fan of the genre. It’s great to see broadcast television bring these shows out. But the shows just don’t have a lasting impact. What’s more, I watch many of the BBC offerings on cable and have found that British television, when it comes to esoteric dramas, handily are better than what’s offered on the American broadcast airwaves.

The  folks running broadcast television are scrambling to drive numbers up for the advertisers by putting out moronic, inept, vapid, imbecilic shows that cater to the lowest common denominators of the viewing audience. These shows mirror the shortsightedness and general incompetence of the broadcast executives trying to force this crap on the viewing audience. It’s almost as if the broadcast executives of America are on par with the leadership counterparts of American politics.

All I wanted to do was expound on the demise of Ghost Whisperer. Yet an ironic association can be made to the fall of broadcast television and the economic collapse of America. Now I am not suggesting that watching more broadcast television will improve the economy.  The America political process, in too many instances, establishes lackluster political iniatives that just don’t have the legs to last like the 20-year television classic Gunsmoke did.

(–Alan Meranda is a professed and confessed aficionado of esoteric television at its finest. His latest guilty television pleasure is the third season of the Batman television show featuring Yvonne Craig as Batgirl.)

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