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Thursday
Jul022009

Why So Many TV Shows Suck

A few weeks ago I was on holiday in Las Vegas. In one section of the casino I was staying at, there was an area run by one of the big US TV networks where they were testing out TV pilots and newly shot episodes of TV shows.

As you passed by, they would stop you and ask you if you'd like to help them choose the future of TV. I thought it might be amusing, so I took a leaflet and listened to a thirty second pitch. Spending an hour watching a show and giving feedback might be fun - it was near the end of the day and I was tired and footsore from sightseeing.

They started out with "we'll give you $75 to go through our process".. hmm, that made it even more attractive. I can have a seat and a beer and pay for dinner with the proceeds. Then came the kicker. After watching the show, you have to participate in FIVE focus groups, each lasting an hour or so.

It turns out that the reason most TV shows suck is because the people who review them are morons. You're staying in a casino, paying two or three hundred dollars a night for a room, and you're going to give up a whole day to review a TV show for seventy five dollars. Anyone who's not a moron would conclude that this is a pretty bad deal.

Strangely, there were people queueing up to watch the shows... I looked at them, and judged them in the light of the information I had. I stand by my moron theory.

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