Thursday, December 24, 2009

So much for traditional network television:

By "network", I mean CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, WB/UPN.

There is an article at Salon hailing the 15 best television shows of the decade. Here is the list with the channel it was run on:
  1. "The Wire" - HBO
  2. "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" - Comedy Central
  3. "The Sopranos" - HBO
  4. "Six Feet Under" - HBO
  5. "Arrested Development" - FOX
  6. "Deadwood" - HBO
  7. "Mad Men" - AMC
  8. "Survivor" - CBS
  9. "The Shield" - FX Network
  10. "The Simpsons" - FOX
  11. "Everybody Loves Raymond" - CBS
  12. "Sex and the City" - HBO
  13. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" - WB/UPN
  14. "Friday Night Lights" - NBC
  15. "Battlestar Galactica" - Sci Fi
The Salon list was chosen as a proxy for where good television is (I have watched few of these shows and have no dog in this fight). What's remarkable is how many in the list of 15 are programs that aired on HBO: 5.

Only 6 of the 15 are from any of the five non-cable networks. That's remarkable.

The recent move by NBC to put Jay Leno in the 10:00 PM slot five days a week may be part of a trend: non-cable networks becoming mostly "safe" talk shows. The cables can deal with more adult fare, and have stronger language. Maybe that's where the quality dramas will all end up.


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