What would be the greatest thing that could happen to TV shows now?

I am excluding “reality TV”, although the answer “eliminate reality TV” would be valid in my opinion. I mean, what could bring the viewer experience to the next level? One thing I was thinking about was crossover stories; they’ve been around for a long time, and they’re usually pretty enjoyable, but would it be possible for a MASSIVE crossover story that spans all networks, many shows, and tells one epic story over one season? Of course, for some shows it’s just not going to work to have a major storyline hijacked like this, maybe they just make reference to it somehow, to add a little easter egg here or there. And of course there is the headache of having to watch all of these shows; obviously you have to choose carefully which shows are involved. Maybe you stick to one or two genres. But what if House, Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Lost, Heroes, Fringe, Supernatural, Pushing Daisies, CSI (all of them), and others all had some chapter to play out in a bigger story? What if maybe the promos told you to watch certain shows in a certain order to get the whole story, so maybe you only have to watch Ugly Betty once to get that chapter, for example? Would that be appealing, or just a headache that no one wants to take on?

Well, there’s always the Tommyverse.

The problem is that kind of idea would only work once, for those shows. Any repeat viewing, any DVD box set, any international distribution, would render the concept impractical and a confusing mess.

I think the next step in TV should be less reliability on Nielsen-type ratings, and more on potential DVD sales, as a way to maintain a show’s longevity. Keep making an entire season of a show, even if it gets shoved off the broadcast schedule, for those who are enjoying it.

Currently there is some effort to release unbroadcast eps online or in DVD, and there are continuation straight-to-DVD movies, but they’re still tentative experiments. I think more of an effort should be made to explore that avenue.

Replace all broadcasting with PBS content. Watch the populous sizzle! Some like salt on slugs, most like inquizitive toddlers.

Next stop: Rocket Science!

I am looking forward to the day when the technology of broadcast (whether cable, satellite, fiber optic, etc), and the production of some TV shows, allows multiple viewing selections.

A good example would be what a buddy and I were discussing just the other night. We both like to watch “Deal Or No Deal”. Yea, it ain’t a great TV show, but we watch it mostly for the pretty ladies anyway. Now, when a contestant picks, say, Number 9, the gorgeous Patricia Kara - I know that a camera is poised on Patricia, even though we are now seeing shots of Howie, the contestant, the crowd - everything but Patricia.

I would rather be looking at Patricia. I want the option of holding onto the camera shots on the models while listening to the rest of the show. Maybe a picture-in-picture of the model, maybe split-screen. The point is, the shot is there, and I would like to have the option to see it.

This same concept could be applied to a lot of shows. Although I don’t know anything about TV show production, I would think that you would just need a separate director on a shot like this to allow the shot to be broadcast-worthy and place it in the feed. Imagine how great this would be on other shows, particularly sports shows.

I would also like the option of adjusting the level of the background music on many TV shows. A lot of times, the music, besides being totally irrelevant to the scene in question, is also so loud that I cannot understand the actors dialog, which is more important. This would really be great on those TV shows that have constant low bass humming or drumbeats throughout the show (I’m looking at you, NCIS). I might be able to hear and understand the dialogue if the music and crap in the background didn’t over power it.

I would like to have the ability to eliminate the stupid 1/3 screen movings ads and network bugs for upcoming shows from the picture WHEN I AM TRYING TO WATCH THE CURRENT SHOW! It is really bad if there is any captioning on the screen that is covered by the promos. You are trying to watch a night-time or dimly lit scene in your favorite TV show, when a bright moving promo for another show covers almost half of the screen, with the glare wiping out most of the other half.

I would gladly pay extra for these features to make TV viewing a more enjoyable experience.

Either that, or every show on TV suddenly has Muppets in its supporting cast.

Not that that would be a bad thing, mind you.

I think this video will answer your question thoroughly.

I think if they would just go away, we’d all be better off. Commercials too. :smiley:

Massive amounts of nudity. I get to choose who. But let us just say that How I Met Your Mother will suddenly get a lot more interesting!

1: Miniseries take over standard programming so that writers can actually write a story, rather then a never ending deluge of events that almost always(unless it’s a season finale/premier) leave everything just as it was at the beginning.

2: Writers become the sought after asset, rather then actors and directors.

3: Screen-testing just stops.

The last two might be more for movies, but i see them as more-or-less the same thing.

Did you click my link above?

I’ve thought of something similar before, albeit on a smaller scale.

Pick a city … maybe a fictional city, maybe a real-world one … and set a dozen or so series in it. The various series would be your own variations on the standard spate of T.V. archetypes; The Cop Show, The Lawyer Show, The Hospital Show, The Family Drama, The Private Detective Show, whatever. Hopefully each show is a good show in its own right.

The shows cross over in small ways regularly. When a cop gets shot, it’s the doctor from the hospital show that treats them. When the Family needs a lawyer, it’s the lawyer from the Lawyer show, etc. There’s also references that are consistent, like the name of the mayor, local businesses, various street-names, whatever comes up.

Then, once a season, there is THE EVENT. Maybe one year there’s an earthquake, one year a terrorist attack, one year an outbreak of something contagious. THE EVENT touches all shows, and for a couple of weeks, characters are just all over the place in each others shows, interacting in major life- and plot- changing ways. At the end of THE EVENT something big is always different; a character has basically moved series (the cop is now a private detective, the doctor marries someone from the family, the Lawyer ran for office, whatever) or dying or leaving town, and the regular season resumes, with those changes now being permanent.

Once things had run a while, you decide how to add new story lines or series to the existing ‘universe’. Set a series in the local High School or university? All about the City’s MLB franchise? Does the city, in fact, have a secret problem with Vampires? Whatever you think will work, and that the other series can accommodate.

It would be a huge project, obviously, and would need a show runner the likes of which TV has never seen. But I’d watch.

That’s only a starter. I want to see Sarah Chalke and Cobie Smulders nekkid, too.

I’d like to see more Australian TV shows that aren’t Police Dramas, set in Hospitals, about people being mean to kittens and puppies (and the people who make the kittens and puppies better), digging up people’s back yards, or Foreigners trying to smuggle contraband past Customs.

Where’s the Australian take on something like The Mighty Boosh, Red Dwarf, Blackadder, My Name Is Earl, Two and a Half Men, or a decent, long-running Sitcom in general, for that matter?

Even a Big, Epic Mini Series set in the Colonial Days (think Deadwood with Australian and British accents) or a really good War TV Show would be a nice change of pace.

Also, I’d like to see a complete elimination of the delay between US/UK broadcast and Australian broadcast. If it’s broadcast on Monday in the US or UK, I want to see that episode in that program’s next available timeslot here in Australia, preferably the next day, or as soon as time differences permit. The same goes for Cinema and computer game releases, but that’s outside the scope of this thread…

It was one night rather than a two week THE EVENT, but there was a three-show crossover on NBC involving Jamie of Mad About You causing a blackout in New York City, which goes on to affect the gang on Friends and the completely forgotten Madman of the Poeple.

Kath and Kim is meant to fill in that slot, it not being dissimilar in gestation and development as Ab Fab. Not my particular cup of cold sick, but it seems to be pretty popular.

You mean like this?

Ah yes, The Olden Days. Brilliant stuff. :smiley:

Of course, that was 15 years ago… I think it’s time for someone to do something new and a bit different now, though. What with it being the 21st century and all. :wink:

Ditto that. The UK seems to do this a lot better - they order a whole season and produce and air it regardless of ratings. Ratings only factor into whether a new season will get produced. Although of course this at least originally had more to do with that they are public funded than consideration for DVD sales.

But really the way tv shows are still cancelled willy nilly is a travesty. And ultimately hurts the bottom line. If viewers can’t be secure in knowing that if their show ends early that it will at least wrap up the major plot lines and give some sort of resolution, they have less motivation to stick with a show that has any kind of continuity. Fox especially is bad about this, and it’s a special travesty in their case because they often will take risks in coming up with interesting premises for shows, but then they don’t follow through and support the show once it’s on the air.

Networks really need to commit to a certain number of episodes and then produce and air them no matter what the ratings are. And they need to not wait til the last minute before deciding whether or not to renew. Ideally half way through the season, but definitely no more than 75% of the way through the season they should decide the fate of the show and let the writers know that they should prepare for one of three scenarios: 1) The show is not going to continue, so prepare to wrap up the major plot arcs and make a satisfying concluding episode so that the series as a whole works as a completed story and makes for a nice DVD box set 2) The series will definitely continue, and go ahead and make a cliffhanger ending to attract viewers to the next season or 3) The series will continue, but they want the season to be somewhat contained - they can leave the major arcs unresolved, but avoid a cliffhanger ending, and resolve the season long arcs.

As far as considering DVR into ratings, this should definitely be a consideration, especially with regards to how popular a DVD set might be, but obviously it can’t be a strong factor with regards to selling the show to advertisers since a lot of DVRers don’t watch the commercials. Personally, I watch the commercials (or at least don’t fast forward through them) about 90% of the time. I understand that f no one watches the commercials, then only pay-for-cable series will be viable, and I’d rather get the shows “for free” even if that means watching the commercials.

Another thing I’d like to see, although I see this more with media reporting than the networks themselves, is to acknowledge that the ratings for a particular episode do not reflect the quality of that particular episode. No one tunes in to see an episode already knowing whether they will like it or not. At best, it reflects how viewers enjoyed previous episodes combined with trailers for the next episodes, i.e. the viewers expectations. I hate when some writer says “oh that episode didn’t do well in the ratings, the writers should avoid writing an episode like that again” or “not a lot of people tuned in to see the premiere of this show, that means the show needs to be retooled to attract viewers”. Nonsense! It just means either that the viewers were turned off or uninterested in previous episodes, or that the show wasn’t marketed properly.

Can you explain this one? What do you find objectionable about screen testing? (Or does it mean something other than I think it means?)

Jackdavinci makes some valid points about minimum episode numbers; I certainly hate it when I get interested in a TV show and then it suddenly ends because someone in a suit somewhere decided to cut the funding.

It’d be nice to see British TV shows move from 6 episode series to the 22-25 episodes of a US series, IMHO. Sure, there are shows like Fawlty Towers that wouldn’t work if stretched out to 25 episodes a series, but I’d love to see 100 episodes of Black Books or The Mighty Boosh or Red Dwarf or any of the other great British comedies which only have a handful of episodes (with the exception of Red Dwarf, and even then, 52 episodes isn’t a lot to show for a decade long TV run, even if there are a couple more episodes on the way)

I’d also like to see it made a requirement that whenever a TV series is officially cancelled- or placed on hiatus for more than a set period of time (2 years, 3 years perhaps), the Studio must fund a final hour-long (or 2-hour long, in the case of hour long normal shows) episode in which all the loose ends are tied up, and, ideally, the major protaganists are not killed off…